TIPS FROM AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST

Ø   Fine motor skills?
Ø   Gross motor skills?
Ø   Attention and concentration?
Ø   Social skills and emotional regulation?
Ø   Self-organisation?
Ø   Self-care skills?
Ø   Learning challenges: conditions such as Autism Spectrum Disorders, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorders, Global Developmental Delay, Dyspraxia or Developmental Co-ordination Disorder and Specific Learning Difficulties?

 

If any of the above mentioned challenges sound like the struggle your child is having, the early intervention of Occupational Therapy could make a real difference to your child’s confidence, skills and learning.

 

HOW TO BE AN O-T AT HOME

To keep your child moving forward, try these 4 ideas for at-home Occupational Therapy.

Strengthening fine-motor skills is well within your ability.

  1. Stability
  • Always make sure that your child is stable and supported through the feet (i.e. their feet should not be dangling in the air) before they tackle any fine motor tasks.
  • Keep in mind that your child may not develop a mature pencil grasp until they are 5-6 years old.
  1. Have ARTS & CRAFTS time
  • Many of the skills that occupational therapists target are taught through art.
  • Your child may learn to copy shapes, hold a pencil or use a pair of scissors without even realizing its therapy.
  • Fun art projects are something that’s easy for you to do at home.
  1. Work on handwriting
  • Printing or cursive can be a huge chore for kids with fine motor delays, and improving control of those skills is a major OT goal.
  • Work on your child’s pencil grasp.

REMEMBER: PRACTICE MAKES PERMANENT! If your child continues to practice with an immature grasp, it may become permanent L

  1. Play with your child
  • Since the occupation of a child is play, most games of early childhood have an Occupational Therapy component.
  • Simply throwing a ball with your child can improve eye-hand coordination, concentration, and balance.
  • Games like Ring-around-the-Rosie, Hop Scotch, bean-bag toss, and simple playground activities, all can provide an OT workout without your child even knowing it.

NB: Having fun together is always the best kind of therapy! J

For further assistance, it is never too early or too late to seek advice from a professional Occupational Therapist near you!