Occupational therapy (OT) provides individuals and families with a sense of independence and confidence, and for medically fragile children, occupational therapy can vastly improve their lives.
What is occupational therapy?
Quite simply, occupational therapy helps individuals of all ages improve fine and gross motor skills, visual skills, and activities of daily living. An occupational therapist works one-on-one with the patient and their family. Therapists can help with skills like bathing, dressing, eating, socialization, picking up and dropping small items and so much more.
Benefits for medically fragile children
- Improved coordination and fine motor skills
- Ability to work toward developmental milestones
- Increased independence in daily tasks
- Improved mood and behavior
- Less daily frustrations
- Greater opportunity to minimize future injury
Occupational therapy can help medically fragile children with a wide array of things and is oftentimes weaved into the child’s care plan depending on their diagnosis and care plan.
“OT for children aims to help them perform daily activities. It holds more importance for children as it can have a direct impact on their development and learning experience. The early years of a child’s life are critical since their cognitive, social, and physical development takes place in those years. Unfortunately, not every kid is able to pass through their developmental milestones successfully. Some do not mature as they should, resulting in restricted or delayed development. If your child suffers from any of the disorders mentioned in this article, OT could be exactly what they need for optimal growth, and improvement in their overall well being.” – PT Solutions.
Common diagnoses that would benefit from occupational therapy
- Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Brain Injury
- Birth Defect
- Sensory Processing Disorders
- Learning Disabilities
- Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
- Spina Bifida
- Cerebral Palsy
And so many additional life-altering diagnoses that children may live with…
Where can my family find a qualified occupational therapist?
Depending on where you reside, occupational therapy may be offered in a hospital, within the patient’s home, at a care facility, school, or at private practices.
Your child’s primary care physician may have a better grasp on nearby occupational therapists that would best fit your child’s unique needs. Verywell health has published an informational, in-depth article helping families choose the right occupational therapist for their specific care needs.
“As a healthcare consumer, don’t be afraid to ask for a phone or in-person interview, before scheduling an initial evaluation. If you have already begun treatment, it is never too late to ask these questions of your OT…” Read the full article here.
In celebration and recognition of all the amazing things occupational therapists do for individuals around the world, The Unforgotten Families encourages readers to visit the American Occupational Therapy Association to see how they can advocate in honor of #OTMonth!
If you or someone you love has had a positive experience watching their child improve through occupational therapy, share your story on social media and tag @theunforgottenfamilies.