An Occupational Therapist supports children and young people with their occupations of daily life. Children’s and young people’s occupations are centred around play and leisure, self care and daily living skills, learning/education, socializing and developing work skills. Sensory processing and self-regulation form a key part of everything we do with each child, and we will may develop a ‘sensory diet’ of different activities to maintain attention and to increase participation in activity.
Children’s and young people’s occupational therapists are the key profession in developing skills that we need in everyday life such as: washing, dressing, cleaning ourselves after using the toilet and using tools such as cutlery or utensils in the kitchen.
With younger children we follow a developmental pathway which is tailor made to each client and we may use a ‘bottom-up’ approach to ensure that the client has the requisite foundation skills such as postural control / balance whilst working on a specific activity such as ball skills for PE. We aim to put the fun into functional activity, and we use sensory and motor based activities to skill build functional activities for children’s and young people’s daily occupations.
With older children and young people, we will also use direct practice of functional tasks such as: handwriting, sandwich making, using scissors, fastenings, using cutlery, self-regulation for attention and life skills such as cooking and money management.