What is an OT?

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Children’s Occupations? Children don’t need jobs! Children just play surely?

Have you heard of children’s occupational therapy?

Children’s occupational therapists look, specifically at the occupations of children.

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How can children have occupations?

We all have jobs to do in our lives, activities that we find meaningful and give us purpose, well children are no different.

So what do children actually do?

A child’s main occupation is PLAY!

Some people might say a child’s main “job” is to go to school but actually it is to play! Through play children learn and develop all sorts of skills they need to become healthy young people. School comes a little later and again through play.

As children develop their occupations develop too and we expect them to be able to start being able to go to the toilet on their own, dressing themselves, washing themselves, and then move onto learning new skills at school such as writing, drawing and numbers.

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When children are unable to take part in their occupations due to illness, disability or a developmental condition, occupational therapists step in to look at how they can help to get the child back on track.

Case studies

Patrick is just a normal 6 year old boy, except he cannot seem to concentrate in class. His handwriting is very messy and he often fidgets and gets told off by the teacher, this is making Patrick feel very sad.  His mum asked an occupational therapist to see Patrick for an assessment. The occupational therapist looked at the classroom, Patrick’s chair and desk. She checked that Patrick doesn’t have any other difficulties with how his hands and eyes work together and that he has the skills to sit up and pay attention to tasks.

After some individual help from the occupational therapist with his handwriting, a special cushion and some ideas to help Patrick concentrate in the classroom Patrick now doesn’t get into trouble any more. His teacher knows how best to help him achieve in the classroom and Patrick is a much happier little boy.

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Sophie is a 7-year-old girl who has cerebral palsy. Sophie cannot walk or move her body how she would like and she struggles to speak. She attends a special school. Sophie met the occupational therapist and worked with her using a communication aid. By using her eyes and a special computer Sophie learned to communicate! With the help of the OT Sophie also used a special powered wheelchair that she controlled with small movements of her body.

James is 4 years old. James has autism and gets very upset if he is in a place that is too noisy or crowded. James likes his day to be in a strict and predictable routine and will have a melt-down if things don’t go the way he wants. James saw an occupational therapist with his parents.  The occupational therapist specialised in autism and sensory processing disorders. She created a sensory diet, a list of activities that James can do throughout the day to help him cope with the stresses of the world around him and regulate how he behaves. She helped educate James’ parents about how best to help him through a melt down and cope with little changes to his daily routine.  Autism is part of James’ life, and will never go away but James can now cope with the world around him much better than before

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Meet the Autor

Olivia James

Olivia James

Olivia James is an Occupational Therapist at OT for Kids. Through working closely with each and every child; Olivia’s role is to produce positive results for every child who accesses our service.

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  • Meet The Author

    Olivia James

    Olivia James

    Olivia James is an Occupational Therapist at OT for Kids. Through working closely with each and every child; Olivia’s role is to produce positive results for every child who accesses our service.

  • What people say about us...

    OT for Kids have been a great help in aiding my son Jake with coping with his dyspraxia both at home and in school. They came out to our house and completed the assessment at home.

    The assessment and report proved beneficial in our discussions with Jake's school and we are very pleased with the outcome the report has helped us achieve.
    Jackie, parent.
    At our school, there are many children who have difficulty forming letters correctly, concentrate or perform well in P.E, which can impact greatly on their learning. With the support and OT Groups available from OT for Kids, these children have made great progress and are now at a level which is not so concerning. As a teacher and SENCO, I thoroughly enjoyed working (and learning) from the Occupational Therapist.
    Emily, SENCO and Teacher.
    As a case manager, I regularly deal with many private companies. I found OT for Kids to be highly professional, reliable and provide me with flexible appointments that suited both me and my clients. The OT completed a comprehensive assessment and report, which was not only clear, concise and an accurate reflection of the difficulties, but it was returned to me quickly.
    John, Case Manager.
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