Occupational Therapy

Overview

Occupational therapy (OT) focuses on helping children with physical, sensory, or cognitive disability be as independent as possible in all areas of their lives. OT can help children with various needs improve their cognitive, physical, sensory, and motor skills and enhance their self-esteem and sense of accomplishment.

Your child will benefit from Occupational Therapy if he/she:
  • Has significant delays in gross movements like crawling, sitting, walking, running or even jumping
  • Has behavioral problems, such as refusing to comply with parent or adult requests, showing aggression and throwing tantrums that last for longer than typical
  • Has significant delays in fine motor movement holding and manipulating objects
  • Has low or excessive muscle tone
  • Has difficulty in handwriting
  • Has difficulties in balance and coordination
  • Has problems in visual and perceptual skills
  • Has difficulties attending to and focusing on tasks
  • Has problems in activities of daily living such as dressing, feeding, toileting, grooming etc.
  • Has difficulty regulating sensory information such as touch, smell, taste, sound, body awareness, body movement, or body position

Occupational therapy is the primary service for children and adolescents diagnosed with:

Neurodevelopmental Disorder

Neurodevelopmental disorders are conditions that occur due to the impaired development of the central nervous system. The signs and symptoms are mostly apparent in the early years of life, and affect an individual across the lifespan. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Specific Learning Disorder, Global Developmental Delay (GDD) and Intellectual Disabilities are neurodevelopmental disorders that benefit from occupational therapy services.

Sensory Processing Disorder

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is a neurophysiological condition in which sensory input either from the environment or one’s body is poorly detected, modulated or interpreted, to which atypical responses are observed. It is said that at least 1 in 20 people in the general population may have SPD. The prevalence of SPD in children with ASD and ADHD is much higher than in the general population.

Genetic Disorder

A genetic disorder is caused by a change or mutation in a person’s DNA sequence. These changes can cause mild or severe developmental disabilities. There are a variety of genetic disorders or syndromes diagnosed in children. Trisomy 21 (Down syndrome), Prader-Willi syndrome, and Williams syndrome are the most frequently seen in clinics. Children with genetic disorders are at risk for developmental delays in many areas of function which may include: gross and fine motor skills, language and cognitive skills, self help skills (including feeding difficulties) and social skills.

Developmental Coordination Disorder / Dyspraxia

Developmental Coordination Disorder (commonly known as Dyspraxia) is a condition that makes it difficult for an individual to learn motor movements. At least 5% of children have this disorder. Constantly struggling to execute movement may result in difficulties in school, self-help tasks and social activities.

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is the commonly used name for a group of conditions characterised by motor dysfunction due to non-progressive brain damage early in life. The range of severity may be from total dependency and immobility to varying levels of independence in self-care, communication and life skills.

Global Developmental Delay (GDD)

GDD is used to explain developmental disability in children who are under five years of age. It refers to a significant developmental milestone delay in regards to gross and fine motor, speech and language; cognition; social functioning; and activities of daily living.

Assessment

During the first session, the Occupational Therapist carries out standard and thorough screening and assessment protocols to identify problems and formulate therapy goals.

Standardised assessment tools available include:
  • Sensory Profile
  • Visual Motor Integration
  • Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency (BOT-2)
  • Peabody Developmental Motor Scales
  • Test of Visual Perceptual Skills
  • Movement ABC

Intervention

Our Occupational Therapists use holistic and evidence-based approaches to cater to your child’s needs and foster functional skills needed for everyday life. They are trained in various evidence-based approaches, such as:

Handwriting without Tears

The Handwriting Without Tears® (HWT) program uses teaching strategies that are multisensory and developmentally appropriate for children. Readiness activities in Pre-K and Kindergarten prepare children for pencil and paper activities. Using hands-on teaching strategies, therapists and teachers are able to meet the needs of each child’s individual learning style.

Sensory Integration Therapy

Sensory integration therapy is one of the evidence-based approaches that occupational therapists use for children with a sensory processing disorder. Its intervention is focused on engagement in child-directed and sensory enriched experiences that are individually designed to address each child's sensory needs.

Visual Motor and Perceptual Training

Occupational therapists use different strategies in developing visual motor and perceptual skills of a child. The intervention focuses on building the foundation skills needed to effectively make sense of and interpret what they are seeing.

Baby Exercise (Therapeutic exercises for Infancy to toddler)

Baby exercises are guided therapeutic intervention for typically developing children and children with special needs. Exercises are guided by judgement and based on developmental milestones. Occupational therapy for babies uses play as the child’s primary occupation to work on certain skills.