Children with special needs benefit from Occupational Therapy (OT). What? But they don’t have jobs! OT has less to do with an occupation than a job. And more as an occupation dealing with a series of daily tasks.
Occupational therapy is an accepted branch of healthcare. It helps people solve problems doing their daily tasks or day-to-day life functions.
For a special needs child– perhaps yours– those daily tasks needing guidance from an Occupational Therapist might include:
? Eating foods
? Getting dressed
? Playing with toys
? Socializing with others
As you can see, these traditional skills and tasks are developmental milestones. The longer it takes for a child to learn these skills, the greater the problems will be as he or she gets older.
April is Occupational Therapy Month
So, in keeping with April as “Occupational Therapy Month,” we want to shed some light on signs to watch for. Any of these might keep your special needs child from reaching these developmental milestones.
Are they an overreaction to a child just being stubborn or not interested in doing something? You are the parent. You know your kid! Bring the child to the doctor or pediatrician if there is a concern.
Think your child will outgrow finicky food eating or temper tantrums? That could put him or her behind on meeting early life milestones.
What Signs to Look for
Does your child have problems with visual processing?
This can include recognizing letters, copying them, and even judging the spaces between them. Visual processing also involves picking out one object among others in a group. This skill comes into play not only in the classroom but also in playgrounds.
Does your child have problems starting homework?
Yes, most kids don’t want to do homework. Yet, they eventually do it. But what about when your son or daughter needs you to be always standing there? This is a cause for concern. This is a task initiation failure.
Does your child have problems with fine motor skills?
This area involves moving fingers, lips, toes, tongue, and wrist. You will be looking for mistakes with holding pencils & crayons, forks & spoons, or tying shoelaces.
Does your child have problems focusing?
Again, most kids get easily distracted. But is it an everyday matter at home? At school? This could not only hurt your child learning educational lessons but also proper social skills.
Finding Occupational Therapists
Do they provide the OT services at a clinic or hospital you need to go to? Or in your home?
Do they have experience not only as an Occupational Therapist but also in the specific areas that your child needs help with?
Once you & your doctor have decided that your child needs an Occupational Therapist, check out this website with advice on questions to ask.
Then use what you learn there to find an Occupational Therapist in North Carolina. Here is one website with listings.
Both offer a lot of info on picking the person who will guide your child to reach these milestones with you.
This post was written by Anthony M Scialis. Find him here.