Occupational therapy is often considered something adults go through to help them get back to work, but it is not limited to having a job, nor is it only for adults. This type of therapy is meant to help someone with any of their daily activities, whether it is an adult that needs help with their job after an injury, or children who have developmental delays. Here are some different reasons a child might need occupational therapy.
They Have Learning Delays
A common reason a child might need occupational therapy is if they have difficulty learning new things, which can happen for a variety of reasons. For example, your child's teacher might have mentioned that while they seem to be listening during different lessons, the child has problems learning new material at the same pace. Other children have more difficulty with focusing and concentrating while at school. Children may have either extremely low energy or hyperactivity, both of which can make it hard to learn at an appropriate level. The occupational therapist will work on various exercises and games to determine the root cause of the learning delays and help use alternative methods for improving their learning abilities.
Their Fine and Gross Motor Skills Are Lacking
Some children have more difficulty with physical developments, which is often shown through lack of fine motor skills. If your child can't hold onto an object for long periods of time, or use the proper strength to grasp objects, it has to do with fine motor skills. There are also gross motor tasks, such as hopping, running, or skipping that might require help from occupational therapy. Some sensory issues might represent themselves as well, including issues with touch, movement, or sound. If your child seems overly sensitive to different textures or tastes, that is likely a sensory problem. The occupational therapist can help by using sensory activities that will relax your child, such as swinging or jumping on small trampolines. Regular breaks are often necessary, as well as having special seating in different rooms due to the different senses. Giving children something to fidget with is also helpful.
Your Child Has Poor Social and Play Skills
Pay close attention to how your child interacts with others, as this can also be a good indication for the need for occupational therapy. A good way to look at their social skills is by watching them engage with their peers and friends, siblings, and other relatives. If you bring your child to the neighborhood park, do they seem to enjoy playing with others, or do they shy away and stick by your side? Social interaction issues might also present themselves by causing your child to only be focused on one type of thing obsessively, such as trains or animals. The occupational therapist will work with your child, trying to figure out where their lack of social skills stems from. They will work on tapping into the child's creative side and determining if being shy is an issue they need to help with.