as outlined by leading Body of Occupational Therapists in Australia...
Occupational therapy is a client-centred health profession that involves ongoing assessments to understand what activities you can do (and those you want to do), any current limitations, your goals/motivations and also to offer advice/techniques about how to do something more easily and safely.
Occupational therapy enables people to participate in activities they find meaningful.
These activities include taking care of oneself (and others), working, volunteering, and participating in hobbies, interests and social events.
Occupational therapists (OTs) prescribe devices to help you do the activities you want and need to do. They will make sure you can use the device in the best way to meet your needs.
This means that you will get a total solution and not just a product.
Why is it called ‘occupational’ therapy?
In occupational therapy, occupations refer to the everyday activities that people do as individuals, in families and with communities to occupy time and bring meaning and purpose to life.
Occupations include things people need to, want to and are expected to do. (WFOT – World Federation of Occupational Therapists)(https://aboutoccupationaltherapy.com.au/)
Working with Children
Occupational therapists work with paediatric clients (i.e. children and adolescents) with any condition, disability or impairment that affects their ability to perform the everyday activities of life.
These conditions can include:Neurological conditions (e.g. cerebral palsy)Acute medical, surgical and orthopaedic conditions Physical disabilities (e.g. spina bifida)Developmental delay and disabilitiesSensory and attention issues
Occupational therapists work in partnership with the young person, their parents and other important people in the their life, such as their doctor, teacher and other health professionals.
The occupations of young people are centred around play and learning, and include getting dressed, eating, going to school, making friends and being part of a club or group. Occupational therapists working in paediatrics:
- Help children achieve their developmental milestones such as fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination to help with play, school or independent skills (e.g. throwing a ball, getting dressed, holding a pen or utensil)
- Educate and involve parents, carers and others to facilitate the development and learning of children
- Help children with developmental delays learn everyday tasks (such as bathing, getting dressed, brushing their teeth, and feeding themselves)
- Help children with behavioural issues maintain positive behaviours in all environments (e.g. instead of hitting others or acting out, using positive ways to deal with anger, such as writing about feelings or participating in a physical activity)