Signs Your Child May Need Occupational Therapy

Before we dive into the signs of needing OT, let’s talk about what we do and how we help patients! Occupational Therapists (OT) and Occupational Therapy Assistants focus on the things you want and need to do in your daily life. Occupational Therapy intervention uses everyday life activities (occupations) to promote health, well-being, and your ability to participate in the important activities in your life. This includes any meaningful activity that a person wants to accomplish, such as daily activities needed to take care of yourself and going to school.

Occupational Therapy services at Unified Therapy include:

⦁    an evaluation that lets us know you or your child’s history, life experiences, and interests. This is called your occupational profile, and it helps to understand what values and activities are important in you or your child’s life.
⦁    an intervention plan that is unique and helps to improve you or your child’s ability to perform daily activities and reach goals.

Regarding children, an OT can be an excellent resource to help them overcome challenges and excel in their home and school environments. 
Here are a few tips to help a parent/caregiver and teacher identify if a child could benefit from an occupational therapy evaluation and treatment:
1. The child struggles to complete their self-care such as: bathing, dressing (including fasteners) and grooming.
2. The child is a bystander or observer on the playground and rarely tries out the equipment independently.
3. The child has a rounded posture while sitting on the floor while sitting unsupported or in a chair at the table. Or, during circle time the child is observed to move around a lot on the floor.
4. The child has a difficult time walking in line or being close to other children. 
5. The child frequently chooses the same familiar game or activity and avoids learning new motor activities or games.
6. The child avoids fine motor activities. They have difficulty manipulating small objects, using scissors, demonstrating an abnormal pencil grip, or their hand tires easily during fine motor tasks. The child may press too hard or too light on the paper when writing.
7. The child appears to be irritated by touch from other people but frequently touches things themselves.
8. The child frequently runs into things, falls to the floor, or purposely crashes into things or people.
9. The child has more trouble than their peers writing in their assignment notebook, keeping their desk and folders organized, and turning in assignments on time.
10. The child takes excessive risks and frequently demonstrates decreased safety awareness.

If you see any of these behaviors or characteristics in your child, please give us a call at 563-583-4003, option 1, to hear how we can help. 
Kara Takes is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) and Rehab Director with over 14 years of experience at Unified Therapy Services.

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