What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapy is largely defined as a therapeutic, rehabilitative and educational approach and regard the person, their parents and other people such as tutors, caregivers or other members of their lives as meaningful participants in the development of an appropriate intervention plan.
Similarities and differences between Catch Up Kids and Occupational Therapy:
At Catch Up Kids, we largely support the view of Occupational Therapy and also the participants being a meaningful and integral part of the development of an intervention plan, as brought forward by Occupational Therapy, although, your highly skilled and trained team are also equipped with the knowledge of pivotal areas of development, such as, Motor Development, Executive Functioning Skills Development, Social Development, Cognitive Development and Academic Development.
Sessions at Catch Up Kids, as a session with Occupational Therapy session would be, is a one-on-one session with your child, to aid and assist in areas that are needed for successful and meaningful learning in school and also in other settings, such as socialization and play.
Occupational Therapy and Catch Up Kids, share the share methods of teaching, according to the 8 areas of human functioning, although, Catch Up Kids offer a more intensive intervention schedule, as it is evident in a large amount of research that increased hours of intervention, yield more positive outcomes.
As per our experience and collaboration with the Occupational Therapy domain, sessions may range and vary in intensity, but are most commonly scheduled for up to once or twice a week and no longer than 1 hour sessions. At Catch Up Kids, it is recommended that your child attend a minimum of 6 hours per week, at Catch Up Kids, to ensure that we are providing opportunities, not only for intensive intervention, but sessions that allow your child to learn and absorb what they need assistance with, all the while, using activities from techniques such as Natural Environmental Training and motivational techniques, to ensure your child feels successful and enjoys their session with us.
In an Occupational Therapy evaluation, for children who require more assistance in the areas of human functioning, evaluations are done across similar, if not the same domains as we would at Catch Up Kids, ensuring to understand the challenges and priority areas for the client and parents, for example, at Catch Up Kids, we would largely evaluate areas and include these into your child’s tailor made program:
- Self-Care Targets, also known as adaptive skills which include, but are not limited to, personal hygiene tasks, eating, dressing skills and so forth. We also provide in depth teaching strategies of breaking down more complex tasks into smaller steps, to teach one skill set at a time, to master the broad mastery of the skill
- Executive Functioning Skills: Improve your child’s ability to emotionally regulate themselves, to meet the demands of the ever-increasing Academic Environment, planning and organizational skills, self-monitoring techniques to increase your child’s ability to monitor their ow performance, memory skills, which are broken down into multiple subsets, such as auditory memory, working memory etc
- Academic Skills: Ability to understand concepts taught at school, by breaking skill sets down into prerequisite skills for these tasks, handwriting and penmanship and other areas that fall within this domain
- Play Skills: Using the strengths of your child to develop meaningful play skills, independent play skills and incorporating language skills into the play domain
- Social Skills: Evaluating and developing these skills so your child is better able to resolve conflict, understand collaboration of social partners and incorporate skills from both the language and play domain, to foster positive social interactions
Environmental Adaptions and Modifications that are used by Catch Up Kids and Occupational Therapy:
As Catch Up Kids is an individualised tutoring establishment, we are able to modify the environment and ensure that we are teaching assistive techniques as you would in Occupational Therapy, to support a large amount of learning needs and skill acquisition, such as:
- Modifying tasks: This could include, breaking the tasks down into smaller segments, with the end goals of increasing understanding and sustained attention systematically, adapting the instructions of tasks or using visual modifications to aid with the learning and mastery of skills
- Adaption of the environment: As each child has their own workspace, we are able to modify their environment to build up on skills such as sustained attention and slowly integrate and adapt this environment to resemble the classroom set up, including distractions, but not before we ensure prerequisite skills are taught in the Executive Functioning Domain, to promote success of this
- Individualised Educational Plans (IEP): These are to be designed and set forth by the Catch Up Co-ordinator and the school, to closely monitor your child’s progress and ensure that goals that are set are measurable and attainable and that they are not stagnant, i.e. upon mastery of one goal, identifying and addressing another goal in its place
Occupational Therapy has proved effective, when implementing their techniques, with regard to children who need assistance at school. As mentioned, Catch Up Kids, with its’ skilled team members, which consist of a Catch Up Co-Ordinator (Program Designer) and Catch Up Team, has had much success in tutoring children with a variety of needs as the program entails increased, consistent intervention, monthly team meetings / workshops, meetings with schools, parent training and so forth, to ensure goals are met and all domains are considered in the education and intervention of your child.
Written by: Amber Brooke – Smith