What comes to mind when you hear of this term? Many people have diverse ideas of occupational therapy; some suppose that occupational therapists help people get jobs or occupy children and adults. However, is that what it entails? No. As you read this article, you will gain the right idea of what it involves.
Let us start by knowing what occupational therapy is. According to the World Federation of Occupational therapy (WFOT), Occupational therapy (0T) is a client-centred health profession that promotes health and well being across the lifespan, from birth to old age, by engaging in meaningful and purposeful activities. These activities are what are referred to as occupations. Occupations are everything you do from the moment you wake up to when you go to sleep; be it bathing, eating, cooking, working, or even taking care of children. Now for children, their occupation is different from the adults; their occupation is engaging in play and going to school.
An occupational therapist helps an individual to do what he needs, wants, or is required to do. A Pediatric Occupational Therapist (POT) helps children do what they need or want to do. The POT works with children from birth to 18 years old, infants, toddlers, and adolescents. They help a child to engage in his/her occupation.
A paediatric occupational therapist (POT) deals with children with the following conditions:
The paediatric occupational therapists focus is to improve the child’s quality of life and for the child to be independent in doing his or her daily activities and tasks.
The POT conducts assessments to find out the child’s needs hence coming up with treatment plans to address the needs found. The POT breaks down activities/occupations into small parts and identifies the deficits to improve the child’s functioning at school, home, and play.
While implementing the treatment plan, the therapist must match the various tasks to the specific child. Paediatric therapy services are child-centred and individualized.
Children love fun, and therapy demands one to tap into their creative juices to make the sessions engaging.
When working with the child, the therapist majorly uses play as a means of treatment for the child. Doing so attracts the child’s interest, enabling the child to engage in the activities given and improving the treatment outcome.
A paediatric occupational therapist works in various settings.
In a nutshell pediatric occupational therapy aims at improving the child’s quality of life and functionality. The child’s occupation (play) forms the basis of the treatment. This captures the child’s interests and helps the child to engage in activities. Occupational therapy addresses the deficits the child presents with and work on them. Occupational therapists work in different settings such as schools, hospitals, outpatient centres and in the community.