What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational Therapy (OT) is concerned with a child’s ability to participate in daily life activities or ‘occupations’.

“The occupation of children is to thrive”

Children have many important occupations.

Occupation refers to all the tasks or activities that a person either:

• Wants to do (interests, hobbies, play)
• Has to do (e.g. eat, toilet, dress)
• Is expected to do (reading, writing, academics)

Occupational Therapy aims to help a person achieve success in their life occupations. It focuses on the main occupations of:

• School (e.g. writing, reading, fine motor skills, learning, attention, behaviour)
• Home tasks (e.g. fitting in with family life, homework, getting self ready)
• Play (e.g. imaginative play, social interaction, gross motor skills)
• Self-care ( e.g. bathing, dressing, eating, cutlery use, organising self)
• Work (preparing a person to be able to effectively engage in education/ workplace)

How Occupational Therapy will help

The Occupational Therapist will carefully analyse the sensory, physical, cognitive and behavioural aspects causing the child to have difficulties in his/her life occupations.

Intervention is then targeted at the weak areas to improve the underlying skills. Intervention looks at a combination of:

  • Education of families and child regarding the reasons for the difficulties.
  • Environmental modification where appropriate to help ensure that the child has the “just right” level of challenge to enable success.
  • Remediation of the underlying skills through clinic treatment and/ or home and school programming.