It is common for a teacher to call the parents if a child has exhibited unwanted behavior at school, such as hurting a classmate or taking something that is not his or hers. These types of parent-teacher conferences allow the teacher to ask the parents to reinforce behavioral adjustments at home. But if the teachers bring up other behaviors that could have a lasting effect, then it could be something else that needs more attention.
What behaviors might that be? It could be everyday things, such as an inability to focus or fix his or her backpack. If your child exhibits difficulty adapting to everyday chores, the teacher might recommend seeking occupational therapy for kids in Utah.
What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational Therapy or OT aims to help people learn or engage in “activities of daily living” (ADLs) that they find difficult to do. OT issues, if seen in childhood, must be addressed early on to help the child deal with it properly. Typically, the learning does not stop even into adulthood.
Activities of Daily Living
The job of an occupational therapist is to assist children that have exhibited difficulties in fine and gross motor tasks, such as combing their hair or brushing their teeth. Children with sensory processing and self-regulation issues are candidates for an appointment with an occupational therapist.
Techniques of Occupational Therapy
The occupational therapist may use activities, exercises, strategies, and accommodations to help kids become more independent by developing certain skills. It is important for the therapist to know if your child has missed certain developmental milestones in order to address those delays deliberately.
The problems that an occupational therapist can help address include:
Self-care or Activities of Daily Living. Simple tasks may be difficult for the patients, such as brushing their teeth, getting dressed, proper use of utensils, and the operation of simple appliances at home such as the TV remote.
Hand-Eye Coordination. Writing on the whiteboard or copying what the teacher has written is a major undertaking.
Fine Motor Skills. Using everyday school materials such as pencils or scissors is very difficult for them.
Gross Motor Skills. Physical coordination is lacking, such as doing jumping jacks.
Sensory Processing Disorder. Sufferers are taught appropriate responses to sensory stimuli in an assistive manner.
Children in need of occupational therapy are advised to start at the soonest possible time so that they may cope more effectively both at home and at school. They learn to concentrate and focus, and eventually, learn to accomplish their schoolwork on their own. This results in increased self-confidence, which they’ll carry even into adulthood.
What to Expect on Your First Appointment
On your first appointment with your occupational therapist, he or she will discuss with you the concerns about your child, maybe some medical history. They’ll ask about motor skills issues, as well as your child’s ability to take care of himself or herself. A complete evaluation will be conducted to customize the right therapy.
The therapist will then start working with your child. He or she will present items to see which ones your child will respond to. Your therapist will also assess your child’s gross motor skills, such as balance and coordination, as well as his ability to follow a simple instruction.
Lastly, you and your therapist will sit down to discuss goals for development, and then create a plan based on the information gathered. Whatever therapy you agree on, rest assured that it does not end outside the therapy clinic. Your participation at home will play a crucial role in its success.
Developmental issues can be solved as long as it is caught early on and given the proper therapy right away. Starting them early is key to helping your child enjoy a normal childhood.