Occupational therapy (OT) is, as defined by WITS University, the “therapeutic use of self-care, work, education, play, leisure and social activities to increase independent function, enhance development, promote health and well-being, and prevent disability”.
For children diagnosed with ADD (attention deficit disorder), OT can be used to promote independence in self-care skills (such as dressing or brushing their teeth), organisational skills (such as packing their school bag or keeping their rooms tidy) as well as strategies for dealing with emotional difficulties.
Children with ADD can also benefit from OT in that they receive a lot of sensory stimulation from the activities done in an OT session. The OT session can cover stimulation in all of the senses (touch, sight, hearing and smell). This sensory stimulation can act as a tool to help your child to manage their physical hyperactivity.
An Occupational therapist can also help your child to be more comfortable and active in their social life, as well as their home life. They gain confidence in themselves, and so they have the confidence to build relationships with others. They may also discover other interests in the OT sessions which they can share with others.
Some children with ADD struggle with regulating their emotions. This can become challenging when the child becomes overwhelmed or frustrated at school. An OT can teach your child how to cope with and manage their emotions so that they do not compromise the child’s learning.
All of these skills which are taught in Occupational therapist are very important for children in a school setting. Children who have been diagnosed with ADD are not able to perform all of these skills at once in the school setting, and so the OT sessions assist them with building a routine at school, as well as coping with any emotional difficulties that they are faced with at school.
At Catch Up Kids, we supplement the skills taught by an OT using one on one ABA (applied behaviour analysis) therapy. We teach these skills using seven domains. These seven domains are:
Play- children learn best through play, and so we use play to teach some of the skills in the child’s program. We also encourage peer play so that your child can build relationships, and boost their confidence in social interactions.
Adaptive (such as dressing, hygiene skills or chores)
Academic- we can give extra practice with school work, and areas of the curriculum which your child struggles with.
Executive Functions- we teach your child how to plan ahead, work on their sustained attention, as well as emotional coping.
Cognition- we teach your child to have an understanding of others and their beliefs, emotions and intentions.
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