therapist teaching a kid

Why Your Child Might Need an Occupational Therapist

Is your child having difficulties with daily activities at home and outside the home? Is your kid experiencing issues that do not usually affect other developing children? If this is the case, your little one might benefit from seeing a licenced occupational therapist.

These specialists can help children, as well as adults, develop or regain certain skills they need for their everyday lives using physical and mental activities, sensory diets, and occupational therapy products for kids. They help children and their families when they are having difficulties in the following areas.

Sensory Processing

This involves accurately interpreting the messages that the brain sends to your senses. When a kid has sensory processing challenges, they might be hypersensitive or hyposensitive to things that seem normal to most people. Your child may be oversensitive or undersensitive to sounds, movements, or touch. They may also be constantly moving around, bumping things, crashing, or jumping, unable to self-soothe when in sensory overload, and emotionally reactive.

Developmental Delays

therapist and her patient learning

Having a developmental delay is not just about being behind other kids in certain skills, but being significantly behind in multiple skills or unable to meet expected developmental milestones. These can include not sitting or walking at an appropriate age, not developing social and play skills appropriate for your child’s age, and having difficulty learning all kinds of stuff.

Visual Processing

This is what we utilise for making sense of every single thing we see. A child may have visual processing issues if they have a hard time with the sizes and spacing of letters, copying letters or shapes, or recognising letters, among others.

Fine Motor Skills

These include small movements that the fingers, wrists, toes, tongue, and lips make. If your child has issues with fine motor skills, they may have problems holding a pencil, manipulating toys, using shoelaces, buttons, zippers, and scissors, tracing, drawing, and colouring.

Oral Sensory Skills

These skills control movements in the oral and facial area. Your kid may have delayed oral sensory skills if they drool excessively, have a hard time drinking from a cup or using a straw, or chews using their front teeth.

Gross Motor Skills

These help kids move and properly coordinate their legs, arms, and big body parts, which include bigger muscle groups used for controlling the body. If your child is behind in strength, balance, or movement skills, they may appear generally uncoordinated and clumsy.

Social Interaction and Play Skills

These are skills that children need to build relationships with other people and understand them. Your child may be behind in social and play skills if they have a hard time interacting, playing, and engaging with other people. They may also have delayed speech skills or a tough time adapting to changes or new environments.

It is important to keep in mind, though, that all kids are different and they develop these skills at different times. However, if you strongly believe that your child is already struggling to learn the vital skills mentioned above, your best recourse is to consult an occupational therapist.

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