Parenting is a constant learning process. We often do not understand children and their needs. Occupational therapy for children has become a holistic healing tool for many children in need.
As the words suggest, occupational therapy means keeping the child occupied, in order to help him develop in all the areas of his life. It’s a misunderstood concept that this therapy is applicable in case of adults only. Children too, can be occupied in unconventional activities of learning. We often subject children to traditional learning, which implies subjecting him to a regular school and to attending extra curricular activities. Before we make them go through all this, it’s important to understand their capabilities. We expect children to excel in all the fields. Many times, their poor school performances and bad social conduct is treated with insensitive corrective measures. At the same time their sheer hard work goes unnoticed.
A considerable number of children suffer from learning disabilities such as dyslexia, aphasia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia, and auditory processing disorder. Often these learning disabilities make these children differently-abled. Children who are victims of defects from birth, autism, cancer, burns, and other such conditions are guaranteed to benefit from this type of therapy. Occupational therapy or OT helps these children to participate is activities which bring about their overall development. OT aims at bringing about psychological and social changes, through this therapy.
Children are engaged in activities or occupations such as crafts, cooking, problem-solving, and card games to improve their cognitive skills. To judge their performance in day-to-day life, the counselor may use a technique of asking the patient to prepare a craft item or any other thing. Such a thing demands the core skills of a person, such as motor skills. The development of the motor skills of a child, can be judged through these simple projects. This therapy focuses on helping kids to overcome their impairments and in leading a normal daily life. The activities are broken down and this makes the tasks easier and focusing on them, simpler. The programs are made in such a way that it enables these children to adapt to the environment quickly.
It also encourages children to interact with communities in their own environment rather than being in a hospital. This provides them with a happier surrounding, which greatly boosts the morale. Practitioners of this therapy have designed many programs to help such children.
It is important that we understand our children so that they can carve a better future for us. Just once, try listening to your child instead of giving him/her instructions!