A child with special needs needing  occupational therapy would not have been something I would have ever given thought t. To me occupational therapy was something you got after an accident to ensure you were able to cope when you went home or if you had a form of physical disability or stroke. My eyes have really been opened these last few years.

A child with special needs requires occupational therapy (OT) for different reasons with the main aim to establish independence and allow the child to participate more fully in normal everyday roles and activities.

Some  of  the main reasons for OT for a child with special needs are listed as follows:

  1. Enabling the child to care for their basic needs such as toileting, dressing, feeding and washing
  2. Helping with play by demonstration or by giving mobility aids, special toys etc that encourage play
  3. Helping a child adapt to its school environment. This may include providing visual cues, special chair etc
  4. Evaluating a home situation and making suggestions for improvement/modification.
  5. Help with fine motor skills and handwriting for the child with special needs
  6. Another child with special needs may require splints to make life easier and an occupational therapist can make some simple ones.

OTs work with a child with special needs to help them improve upon something they can already do or add a new skill to their list of abilities. Some children have sensory issues and will need to learn coping skills to regulate them so they can react to and interact with others on a social level.

They also work with parents educating them on how best to support their child so that they can participate more fully in the community and with the ultimate aim of independent living as much as practically possible.

 

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