At the Asher-Solomon Centre for Development, we understand that every child’s needs are unique. Our team of Paediatric Occupational Therapists have a wealth of experience and work towards developing holistic, individualised and targeted treatment programmes to help each child achieve their greatest potential. Asher-Solomon therapists also work in partnership with parents, teachers and other members of the community to support the transfer of skills into everyday life.
What is Paediatric Occupational Therapy?
Paediatric occupational therapy focuses on helping children perform various activities independently, including learning at school, playing, taking care of themselves (e.g. dressing/undressing, using utensils to eat or going to the toilet without help) and organising their belongings.
As children progress through developmental stages, activity performance demands increase in complexity and independence. Mastery of age-appropriate activities requires a child to continuously advance their motor coordination skills, cognitive abilities, social skills and emotional regulation. Occupational therapists are unique in their approach to intervention and can address many skills formed throughout childhood.
Paediatric occupational therapists are allied health professionals who specialise in working with children and therefore have advanced knowledge of child development. They are also experienced in providing strategies for children to achieve success in mastering challenging skills and reaching developmental milestones.
Paediatric occupational therapy is child-centered, meaning that your child’s unique interests are used to engage them in therapy activities. Using a child’s natural interests, such as animals, dinosaurs or outer space, entices them to engage in tasks that are otherwise challenging for them. Best of all, children are unaware of the evidence-based strategies behind occupational therapy and therefore occupational therapy resembles play for them!
Why are Children Referred for Occupational Therapy?
Children are usually referred to occupational therapy following observations from parents, teachers and healthcare professionals. Children may be observed experiencing difficulty
in a skill which impacts their ability to perform a task as expected for their age or their peer group. Some common reasons for referral include:
Challenges with movement, balance and coordination
Body awareness is poor e.g. clumsy, bumps into things or trips frequently
Poor manipulation of buttons, zips and fasteners, contributing to difficulties with getting dressed/undressed
Unable to master toileting routines independently
Handwriting is messy or slow, making written expression tasks difficult to complete
Difficulties with copying information from the board accurately
Frustrated or upset by touch, movement or sound
Difficulty sitting still or paying attention
Have difficulty with personal organisation of materials, time management and problem solving.
Difficulties or reluctant with completing homework
All of these skills are crucial for independent living and success across many environments.
Our Paediatric Occupational Therapy Services
Your therapist will recommend appropriate therapy services for your child. Therapy may be delivered in individual or group sessions. Our occupational therapists will provide feedback at the end of each therapy session regarding therapeutic activities, your child’s performance and practice activities or strategies to be completed at home. Therapists also provide parents with opportunities to observe or participate in therapy sessions (e.g. demonstration of home programs or modelling strategies).
Through individualised and targeted intervention, our paediatric occupational therapy programmes help children enhance their capabilities by developing foundation skills required for the performance of various everyday tasks. Such foundation skills may include:
Promoting generalisation of therapy gains beyond the clinic occurs through ongoing communication with parents, teachers and other professionals. Therapy is most beneficial when parents and caregivers play an active role in the course of their child’s programme.
Therapists monitor each child’s progress towards achieving set intervention goals. They will communicate therapy progress to parents at the end of each session or by holding regular review meetings.
Additional Consultation Services
Asher-Solomon occupational therapists offer additional consultation services to support your child’s needs in different environments. These include:
Your Asher-Solomon therapist can visit your child’s school to work with them and work with teachers to address any issues that may be occurring in the classroom.
Your Asher-Solomon therapist can visit your home to carry out observations, conduct therapy and work with you to address any issues that may be occurring in your home environment.