Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy helps individuals achieve independence in their day-to-day “occupations” – work, leisure and basic daily activities. In paediatric cases, an occupational therapist focusses on enabling and enhancing the skills of children who are experiencing conditions that limit their potential and ability to complete everyday tasks. The occupation of a child includes playing, performing their self-care tasks like brushing or feeding, reading and writing and attending social or family gatherings.

How do Occupational Therapists (OTs) aid in enabling and/or enhancing skills?

OTs work on performance components including muscle strength, the range of motion, grip and grasp strength, posture, balance, bilateral coordination (use of both hands together for activities), integrated use of the whole body as one and individually. These are required so that an individual can efficiently plan movements, ambulate and successfully complete his/her activities.

OTs will break down the skills required by your child for a particular task and help achieve them through child-directed play. In addition to this, recommendations will be made for the use of modifications (when necessary) and/or adaptations for your child with physical limitations, to perform his/her daily self-care tasks such as feeding self, brushing, bathing, dressing, toileting, etc. For children with physical limitations, OTs will work towards achieving the highest functional level in order to make them as independent as possible.

Occupational Therapy
Occupational Therapy
How do Occupational Therapists (OTs) aid in enabling and/or enhancing skills?

OTs work on performance components including muscle strength, the range of motion, grip and grasp strength, posture, balance, bilateral coordination (use of both hands together for activities), integrated use of the whole body as one and individually. These are required so that an individual can efficiently plan movements, ambulate and successfully complete his/her activities.

OTs will break down the skills required by your child for a particular task and help achieve them through child-directed play. In addition to this, recommendations will be made for the use of modifications (when necessary) and/or adaptations for your child with physical limitations, to perform his/her daily self-care tasks such as feeding self, brushing, bathing, dressing, toileting, etc. For children with physical limitations, OTs will work towards achieving the highest functional level in order to make them as independent as possible.

Occupational Therapy
Occupational Therapy

Your child might need Occupational therapy if

  • He/she has trouble performing and/or planning basic day-to-day tasks independently even after repeated instructions – dressing, cleaning potty, teeth brushing, donning and doffing the school bag, tying shoe laces or buttoning.
  • He/she has difficulty learning activities that require gross movement patterns like – hopping, jumping jacks, skipping, riding a bicycle, swimming, ball catch and throw, climbing up a ladder, navigating through an obstacle course or jungle gym when in a park.
  • Observed to have weak grasp while holding objects tending to frequently drop them, and appears to be clumsy.
  • Observed to have poor posture and balance so much so that he/she tends to trip and fall frequently or occasionally even when visual obstacles aren’t present. Tendency to lean on nearby objects/walls/people who are in close vicinity; getting increasingly and easily tired while performing either gross (jumping, climbing, etc.) or fine motor activities (writing, cutting, drawing/colouring, etc.)
  • Being overly sensitive to sensory exposure or stimulation involving either one or more of the sensory inputs – touch, textures, smell, tastes, sounds, and movements; at times leading to emotional or behavioural meltdowns. E.g.: bothered by ordinary household sounds, crying or holding hands over ears when exposed to loud sounds, avoids playing with textured surfaces/objects, gags at thought of unappealing food, seem afraid of riding elevators or escalators, pulls away when touched lightly or distressed by the feel of new clothes, distressed with hair/nail cutting.
  • Being under responsive with decreased reactions to touch, textures, sounds, vision, tastes, smell, and movements; and at times may show unusually low emotional responses. E.g.: enjoys watching objects spin or move more than his/her peers, causes sounds to happen repeatedly, jumps a lot, difficulty sitting in one place for long, likes to taste non-food items, chew on toys/other objects, likes to smell non-food objects.
  • Having trouble with writing where he/she is commonly observed to either push/press to hard or not hard enough. Difficulties with developing and maintaining an appropriate pencil grasp; difficulties with writing with respect to skipping words/lines, and with appropriate spacing and sizing of letters.
  • Difficulties with play skills – playing same activities repeatedly, argues or doesn’t cooperate while playing with friends, fails to complete tasks with multiple steps, join in play without disrupting ongoing activity.
  • Finding trouble with engaging in social situations including having a conversation, maintaining appropriate eye contact, participating appropriately when in parties, going to mall, holidays, etc.
Occupational Therapy

Your child might need Occupational therapy if

  • He/she has trouble performing and/or planning basic day-to-day tasks independently even after repeated instructions – dressing, cleaning potty, teeth brushing, donning and doffing the school bag, tying shoe laces or buttoning.
  • He/she has difficulty learning activities that require gross movement patterns like – hopping, jumping jacks, skipping, riding a bicycle, swimming, ball catch and throw, climbing up a ladder, navigating through an obstacle course or jungle gym when in a park.
  • Observed to have weak grasp while holding objects tending to frequently drop them, and appears to be clumsy.
  • Observed to have poor posture and balance so much so that he/she tends to trip and fall frequently or occasionally even when visual obstacles aren’t present. Tendency to lean on nearby objects/walls/people who are in close vicinity; getting increasingly and easily tired while performing either gross (jumping, climbing, etc.) or fine motor activities (writing, cutting, drawing/colouring, etc.)
Occupational Therapy
  • Being overly sensitive to sensory exposure or stimulation involving either one or more of the sensory inputs – touch, textures, smell, tastes, sounds, and movements; at times leading to emotional or behavioural meltdowns. E.g.: bothered by ordinary household sounds, crying or holding hands over ears when exposed to loud sounds, avoids playing with textured surfaces/objects, gags at thought of unappealing food, seem afraid of riding elevators or escalators, pulls away when touched lightly or distressed by the feel of new clothes, distressed with hair/nail cutting.
  • Being under responsive with decreased reactions to touch, textures, sounds, vision, tastes, smell, and movements; and at times may show unusually low emotional responses. E.g.: enjoys watching objects spin or move more than his/her peers, causes sounds to happen repeatedly, jumps a lot, difficulty sitting in one place for long, likes to taste non-food items, chew on toys/other objects, likes to smell non-food objects.
  • Having trouble with writing where he/she is commonly observed to either push/press to hard or not hard enough. Difficulties with developing and maintaining an appropriate pencil grasp; difficulties with writing with respect to skipping words/lines, and with appropriate spacing and sizing of letters.
  • Difficulties with play skills – playing same activities repeatedly, argues or doesn’t cooperate while playing with friends, fails to complete tasks with multiple steps, join in play without disrupting ongoing activity.
  • Finding trouble with engaging in social situations including having a conversation, maintaining appropriate eye contact, participating appropriately when in parties, going to mall, holidays, etc.