It’s amazing how much many of us take our daily activities for granted, we complete many tasks without much thought and it becomes a habit. However, for some people these tasks are incredibly challenging.
For adults and children that suffer from a disability or mental health concern, the tasks that we don’t even think about can be almost impossible. This generally results in a loss of confidence and means that they struggle to be independent.
This is why occupational therapists for children and teenagers exist. These healthcare professionals help people who struggle to lead a fulfilling life. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about occupational therapy for children and teenagers.
What is occupational therapy for children and teenagers?
Occupational therapy for children and teenagers is a health field that is commonly referred to as OT. This industry is a client centred health profession that is focused on promoting health and well-being.
Professionals in this industry are concerned with assessing and intervening in order to help their client improve, develop and recover the ability to do meaningful activities. The main goal of an OT is to help their clients complete every day activities, and self-care activities.
Healthcare professionals in this industry have the ability to make a huge difference in their client’s lives through:
- Building their knowledge and skills
- Finding new ways of completing activities
- Changing the environment to suit their needs
What does an OT do?
An occupational therapist for teenagers is an OT that focuses their professional efforts on helping young people be independent and get the most out of their lives. These healthcare professionals work with patients that struggle with day to day activities; this can be as a result of either physical disabilities or mental health issues.
There are a wide range of health concerns that OT’s have the ability and knowledge to help with, including long term conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, and cancer.
It is also possible for an OT to prescribe any needed devices or equipment that is likely to help with their clients daily activities.
How can an OT help?
Occupational therapy for children and teenagers is primarily focused around ensuring the patient has independence and has the ability to complete day to day tasks. An OT will place a focus on ensuring that their patients are leading a fulfilling and enjoyable life.
Some of the main areas in which these healthcare professionals can assist are:
- Activities of daily living. This includes self-care activities such as showering, personal grooming, dressing and eating.
- Household and community functioning. This includes things like driving, maintaining a home and budgeting.
- This involves all tasks that help someone with learning and effective participation in this environment.
- Social participation. This is about helping people to interact positively with other people and the community.
- This involves helping patients get involved in work or volunteer work.
The age and specific health concern of the client will depend on how much they are realistically able to do themselves and what the OT focuses on.
What is involved in occupational therapy for children and teenagers?
OT can be useful for people of all ages, from children to adults. However the treatment may differ depending on the specific client’s needs. Regardless of age, the aim is to build confidence and help the patient be as independent and fulfilled as possible.
The treatment involved when working with young people and youths will probably involve techniques such as:
- Setting goals
- Helping to develop confidence and independence
- Providing advice to schools
- Recommending therapy groups
These techniques can help to improve tasks like:
- Fine motor skills
- Gross motor skills
- Using steps or stairs
- Sensory processing skills
- Getting involved in work or study
- Showering and grooming
- Household tasks