April is Occupational Therapy Awareness Month!

Provided by Black Bear Academy

blackbear2What is Occupational Therapy?

  • Occupational therapists work with individuals to promote engagement in meaningful and purposeful everyday life activities (occupations) for the purpose of successful participation in roles and situations in home, school, work place, and community. (Case-Smith, J. 2010)

What is pediatric school-based occupational therapy?

  • Occupational therapists work with students who may be having difficulty engaging in meaningful occupations (play, activities of daily living (ADLs), pre-academic skills, and academic skills) due to interrelated factors within the child and the child’s environment.
  • OTs identify the components of an activity/task and break it down to isolate and practice required, pre-cursor skills. They also help evaluate the environment to determine factors (see developmental areas below) that may be influencing a student’s ability to successfully participate in academic, social, functional, and home activities.
  • Occupational therapists provide interventions to enhance a student’s educational functional, access, participation, and progress.

Which developmental areas do OTs focus on?

  • Fine and visual motor skills
  • Fine and visual motor skills
  • Dexterity/Manipulation
  • Visual perceptual and processing skills and ocular-motor strength and endurance
  • Core strength and postural control
  • Upper extremity strength
  • Gross motor skills
  • Self-regulation and attention
  • Sensory processing abilities and self-organization
  • Executive functioning skills
  • Cognitive development
  • Social skills
  • Purposeful play

For more information about occupational therapy and to access parent resources please visit http://www.aota.org/.

Case-Smith, J., & Clifford O’Brien, J. (2010). Occupational Therapy for Children. Missouri, USA: Mosby, Inc.

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