How do childrenwith extra needs benefit from Occupational therapy? Occupational therapistshelp people of all ages participate in the things they want and need to dothrough therapeutic activities. The first three years of a child’s life are themost important years for brain development, with that being said, Occupationaltherapy can help children struggling to develop with organizational skills, andfocus.
To do this Occupational therapists personalize plans that can help kidswith certain learning and attention issues do the activities of daily livingthey struggle to do (“About Occupational”). Thefirst three years of a child’s life are the most important for braindevelopment. The experiences in the first three years of a child’s life areextremely important because these experiences can dramatically shape andsupport brain development into adulthood. The same events that shape andsupport the brain during early development are also responsible for storinginformation, new skills, and memories throughout life. The brain is extremelyimpressionable between birth and the age of three. That is something thatseparates brain growth from children and adults. The impressionability of achild’s brain can be a positive or negative thing depending on the environmentthat they are brought up in.
If the child is brought up in a positive,nurturing environment then learning and growing will come easy. If the child isbrought up in a negative and non-nurturing environment, this is often whenOccupational therapists come in. Occupationaltherapy is useful for children who lack fine motor skills, sensory responses,and hand eye coordination or any other physical setback. An Occupationaltherapist will help the child through different activities, strategy planning,and thinking of accommodations that could help the child every day. For Exampleif a child lacks physical strength an occupational therapist might do fun exerciseswith them to strengthen their core or other areas, which will help them succeedin daily life.
Another way that occupational therapy could be useful for achild is helping them practice handwriting which is a skill that they will needbut also a good way to practice hand-eye coordination. Occupationaltherapists personalize plans that can help kids with certain learning andattention issues do the activities of daily living they struggle to do. Occupationaltherapy can help children that have issues with coordination, organizationalskills, and focus, not just kids with physical setbacks. An example of a waythat an occupational therapist could help a child with these types of needs isby doing activities with them that make them think, like crossword puzzles,memory games, and word searches.
There are also certain ways to help kids thinkmore clearly about the decisions that they’re making. A popular method is bywriting down a task and asking the child to put the steps of completing thattask backwards. This will help them to think of an end goal and the steps tocompleting the goal in real life. Thegoal of occupational therapy is to make the patients everyday tasks moreachievable. There are lots of benefits to sending a child to an occupationaltherapist and often times the sooner a child starts seeing a therapist, themore effective it tends to be for them in their everyday lives. No matter if a child goes to occupationaltherapy for physical reasons, mental reasons, or both they will have increasedself-confidence as they become more self-sufficient and learn to do more taskson their own.