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What Is Occupational Therapy (OT)?
Occupational therapy (OT) helps people of all ages solve challenges interfering with their ability to manage every day activities that are most important to them. These every day activities are referred to as “occupations”. Occupational therapists (OTs) help individuals learn, regain and develop the necessary life skills required to live a meaningful, independent and functional life to support overall health and well-being. An occupational therapist (OT) provides individuals with the tools for the “job” of living.
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Why Does My Child Need OT?
A child's "occupations" include:
• Self-care activities (i.e. dressing, bathing, teeth brushing, tying shoes)
• Recreational activities (i.e. jump rope, sports teams, clubs)
• School management (i.e. following routines, attention, remaining seated)
• Or any activity they want to do, need to do or are expected to do
An OT will provide support to children who are experiencing any cognitive, motor, sensory, behavioural, emotional, mental or environmental challenges. OT aims to increase participation and involvement in desired occupations by providing creative solutions and promoting skill development, to make a positive and significant difference in the life of every child and their family.
Do OTs Work with Children who have a Diagnosis?
Occupational therapists are highly trained and unique health care professionals who work with ANY individual who is experiencing challenges with every day activities. An OT can understand and support your child with, or without a formal diagnosis.
An OT is trained to work with diagnosis' including:
• Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
• Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
• Learning Disability (LD)
• Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)
• Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
• Any developmental or intellectual delay
• Cerebral Palsy (CP)
• Muscular Dystrophy (MD)
• Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD)
• Any other diagnosis
How Do I know if My Child Needs OT?
If your child…
• Has difficulty holding objects/ toys/ cup/ utensils
• Is unable to dress themselves, tie shoes or use zippers/ buttons on clothing
• Has trouble with printing name or has illegible writing
• Avoids certain food textures and is a picky eater
• Has difficulty with toilet-training
• Has difficulty completing daily tasks independently
• Appears clumsy, uncoordinated or unable to throw/ catch a ball
• Is over sensitive or becomes emotional to bright light, loud noises or touch
• Engages in sensory seeking behaviours including spinning, jumping, rocking
• Has difficulty with regulating their emotions
• Appears disorganized, often having a messy bag or desk area at school
• Has difficulty following multi-step instructions or following routines
• Experiences high levels of anxiety or any mental health challenges
What Does an OT Do?
The OT at Kids Clinic works directly with the family and child to establish meaningful goals that reflect the families' values, needs and priorities. The OT will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of a child's skills and abilities, as well as evaluate the role of the physical/ social/ cultural environment, to determine all underlying barriers to their participation in an occupation. Treatment provided will focus on providing creative solutions, skill development training, environmental modifications, education and guided discovery through individualized programming to support the child at home, in school and in the community.
What Are the Benefits to OT?
OT can result in a wide variety of observable benefits for your child. OT can help your child reach their full potential in completing every day tasks. OT can maximize a child's independence, improve their overall self-esteem and promote overall health and well-being.
A child may see benefits in the following areas after receiving OT:
• Self-care skills
• Daily living skills
• Increased participation in school or community activities
• Fine motor skills
• Printing and handwriting skills
• Gross motor/ hand-eye coordination skills
• Social and behavioural skills
• Self-regulation/ emotional-regulation skills
• Improvements in self-esteem/ confidence
• Increased attention and organization skills
• Ability to cope with and manage everyday stress or anxiety
• Ability to transition between activities successfully
• Ability to cope effectively with the sensory environment
• Increased independence
Funding For OT Services
Check with your private insurance plan or employer benefit program as these may provide funding for occupational therapy services. If not, you can contact Kids Clinic for a sample letter of request to submit for request.
Also check out our Funding Page for charitable organizations that may provide OT funding.
300 Rossland Road E, Suite 301, Ajax, ON L1Z 0M1 • email: email@example.com • 905-683-7228 • Fax 905-683-3303
Located within the medical building on the N.E. corner of Salem and Rossland Rd.