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Occupational therapy interventions are designed to allow the child build on areas of strength and helps them to improve skills in areas of their weakness. Occupational therapy interventions are child-centered and often a session with an Occupational Therapist looks like a fascinating and elaborate play scheme. Occupational therapy uses a holistic approach in planning programmes. This therapy focuses on the physical, social, emotional, sensory and cognitive abilities and needs of the child.In the case of autism, Occupational Therapy works to develop skills for handwriting, fine motor skills and daily living skills. However, the most important part is also to assess and target the child’s sensory processing disorders. It is important to to remove barriers to learning and help the child become calmer and more focused.
An Occupational Therapist is to promote, maintain, and develop the skills needed by students to be functional in the environment that they are in (home/school) and also in their day to day activities.
Active participation in life promotes:
The Occupational Therapist (OT) helps children play, develop self-help skills and participate in their school activities as actively as possible. The occupations or “jobs” of children can be broken down into three areas: play, self-care, and learning/school. The Occupational Therapist will first assess the child to determine his or her developmental level and to determine whether or how the child’s issues are getting in the way of “learning” the jobs of childhood.How does Occupational Therapy improve quality of life?Occupational Therapy provides aid to children facing difficulties in their daily activities like brushing, dressing, toileting, writing, drawing, etc. The therapy helps develop these self-help skills in them.For children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, the Occupational Therapist can help gain these skills by observing the child’s behaviour and developing an intervention for them. The OT uses different sets of methods and plans and there is no such single ideal program as each child is different. These may include activities to help with interaction, puzzles to develop coordination and awareness and more.
The following is a list of some common intervention areas:
There are a variety of activities that can be conducted for children depending on the condition. The therapy can be conducted in several places like home, schools, clinic, specialized centre, etc. It is designed differently for kids of various age group.
The infants usually face trouble sleeping at night. The common exercises that are included are bath time activities, gentle massages and sand and water therapy.
These Sensory Integration activities helps a child response more actively and accurately to the environment. The activities are designed in such a way that it creates a deep pressure on the child. For example, soft corners are created in the room using soft furnishing like a bean bag which provides a wonderful deep pressure for a calming effect.
These activities are designed for the child’s legs and arms so that they can coordinate more effectively. These are basically divided into two broad categories: bilateral and hand-eye coordination skills. For hand-eye coordination, you can have your child to hit a ball with a bat, catch a ball, etc. Bilateral activities provide the ability to use both sides of the body in an accurate manner. Activities such as rolling out pastry sheets from a play dough can be effective.
These activities help the child understand the information send by eyes to the brain. For form constancy and to help them understand shapes put objects on a tray and ask your child to recognize them. You may use books to teach them different fonts and same alphabets of different sizes to enhance their abilities. You can also use jigsaw puzzle to aid development process.
Fine motor skills activities are required for children who have trouble using a hand, fingers, and forearm properly. The basic therapy includes simple exercises of arms, wrist, fingers, etc., so that they can perform regular work like holding a pencil with ease. For gross motor skills, you may help the child with core and shoulder activities. These activities may include swimming or hopscotch.
The NYU Steinhardt’s Department of Occupational Therapy has conducted a research in the to examine the effectiveness of occupational therapy interventions for individuals, groups, or society. Occupational therapists apply their knowledge to help individuals with disabilities to engage in activities of daily living as actively as possible and develop self-help skills. The research conducted within the Department has been focused on promoting the quality of occupational therapy and the effectiveness of occupational therapy interventions.
Based on the focus area of the research, the Department’s research agenda is concerned with finding out the links between occupational therapy education and practice and the effects of occupational therapy in the real world of practice.Ultimately, the research activities of Department faculty and students goal is to improve the quality of occupational therapy practice and research.Evaluation of researchStrengths of research conducted:
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