What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational Therapy (OT) is a regulated health profession which helps individuals to maximize their level of independence in everyday activities. OT's are licensed practitioners with the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario. Support staff includes Therapy Assistants. All of our staff receive ongoing training specific to working with children with a variety of needs to ensure quality services for our children, their families and schools. Occupational therapists help children to develop the skills needed to participate as independently as possible in their daily routines through the use of therapeutic strategies and adapted activities.
Occupational therapists work directly with children and their caregivers to improve their functional abilities to engage in:
- Productivity (school and school readiness, work and pre-vocational skills)
- Self care (feeding, dressing, and personal hygiene)
- Leisure activities (individual and social/group play, participation in community activities)
At the Children’s Rehabilitation Centre Algoma, Occupational Therapists provide services for children from birth to 19 years of age with a variety of conditions. Your child may receive Occupational Therapy Services through one or more of our teams and/or clinics.
What will the occupational therapist provide?
Upon referral, an occupational therapist will work together with you and other team members to get to know your child and family and determine how to help promote your child's development and encourage participation in their daily activities. The OT works closely with the child, the family, caregivers and other health care professionals to establish individualized therapy goals and treatment plans.
The therapist will assess your child and assist you and other caregivers (ie: teachers, in-home workers) to understand your child's strengths and challenges. Therapists may use a combination of clinical observations and standardized assessments to gain information regarding your child's abilities. The OT may evaluate a number of skills areas as needed, which may include:
- Fine motor
- Visual motor
- Visual perception
- Sensory motor
- Self care
The OT may also look at the physical accessibility of your child's environment (home and/or school) and determine if there is a need for adaptive equipment or modifications (ie: bath seats, ramps.)
Information gathered will allow the OT to determine your child's unique needs. This may include:
- Programming suggestions to promote development and encourage independence in daily activities
- Consultation with family, caregivers, teachers and other team members regarding specific needs, therapeutic strategies and/or physical adaptations
- Individual or group therapy programs using a variety of treatment methods
- Recommendations for adaptive equipment or environmental modifications
- Periodic monitoring of therapy programs, motor skill development, and/or equipment needs
- Collaboration with children and their families, caregivers, daycare and school staff and other agencies to provide individualized treatment plans suited to the child and family’s strengths and needs.
- Education and training for families, school personnel and caregivers on, gross motor programs, the use of equipment, safe lifting and other related issues
Equipment: Occupational therapists may recommend a variety of commercially available or custom made adaptive equipment to allow your child to participate as independently as possible in their daily routines. The OT will assess your child’s equipment needs and recommend the most appropriate equipment available.
These may include:
- Pencil grips
- Adapted scissors
- Slant boards
- Adaptive classroom chairs
- Grab bars
- Bath seats
- Toileting aids
- Mechanical/electrical lifts
- Feeding aids
If purchase is required, the OT can assist with seeking an appropriate vendor and/or with seeking funding assistance as needed.