What is occupational therapy?
Occupational therapy can help your child to join in everyday activities (occupations) to help them learn the skills they need to lead a full and healthy life.
Occupational therapists can help you, your child and your whole family to improve their independence and participation by managing:
- the activity your child needs to do (we call this the occupation)
- the things your child is able to do and what they find difficult (the person’s skills)
- where the child needs to do the occupation and what is going on around them (the environment).
If these areas are not working well together, your child may struggle to do the everyday things expected of them. Our role is to work with you or your child to make changes to enable them to participate and reach their goals. Our service is used by a broad age range of children from 0-19, with or without a disability, diagnosis or health need.
What areas do we help with?
There are three types of occupations (the things you want and need to do every day)
- Self-care: learning to dress, wash, eat and use the toilet are important steps in your child’s development. Learning to look after themselves and their belongings prepares young people for adulthood
- Education and work: being able to participate in nursery or school. Joining in with classroom activities, handwriting and using equipment are vital skills that your child may need support with. As young people get older, they may show an interest in voluntary or paid work, which builds confidence and a feeling of value.
- Play and leisure activities: a child’s main occupation is play, it is how they learn about themselves and others, make new friends and develop a sense of self. As young people get older, they may show an interest in specific leisure activities which bring them benefits of participation, community and belonging.