Occupational therapy is a specialist treatment to help children whose ability to perform meaningful activities of daily life is hampered due to physical, sensory or cognitive problems. Pediatric therapy helps these children to live more independent and active lives.
A child’s job is to play, learn, develop and do all the other little things in between. When a child experiences barriers to these; is unable to play effectively, learn effectively or is unable to overcome other obstacles developmentally, this means they’re not able to complete their daily jobs or ‘occupations’ effectively and that’s where an occupational therapist (OT) steps in.
Occupational Therapists (OTs) work with children and young people to support motor skills development, coordination, sensory processing issues, social communication difficulties and self-care.
Common OT therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations.
Our specialist paediatric occupational therapists work with children and young people up to the age of 18 years. Our OTs tailor the treatment for each individual child based on a thorough assessment.
In working with children and families they will:
- Assess a child’s needs
- Facilitate developmental progression
- Implement home programs
- Collaborate with schools
- Refer to other appropriate professionals if needed
Does my child need occupational therapy?
Some common conditions that paediatric occupational therapists work with are:
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
- Down’s syndrome
- Cerebral Palsy
- Intellectual Disability, Dyspraxia (DCD)
- Sensory Processing Disorder
- Developmental Delays
In identifying if your child needs occupational therapy, you may look out for any of the below signs and symptoms:
Delayed developmental milestones: If a child is behind in achieving age-appropriate developmental milestones.
Gross motor skills: If your child is lagging in development of age-appropriate motor and coordination skills such as running, balance, coordination etc.
Fine motor skills: If your child has difficulties with tasks like stringing beads, holding a pencil, cutting with scissors etc.
Sensory Processing: If your child is overly sensitive and seems to over react to sound, touch, smells or taste. Children with sensory processing difficulties may also be under-sensitive or hypo-sensitive e.g. feeling less pain than other children, or constantly seeking sensory experience.
Self-care skills: Difficulty getting dressed, not being able to brush their teeth, organize school bags etc.
Social Interaction Difficulties: Difficulty interacting with family or peers, understanding social rules, deficits in non-verbal communication, repetitive play etc.
In addition, other difficulties such as visual processing and play skills can also benefit from occupational therapy.
For further information about our Children and Adolescent Services call today on: (+971) 4 385 4493 (Dubai) / (+971) 2 651 8111 (Abu Dhabi) or submit an enquiry form in confidence. We will provide you with details on all our treatments and offer help on how to support your child's or teenager's mental health and wellbeing.