How we help

How can Occupational Therapy help my child?

Intervention aims to support children and their families when children encounter difficulties in the following areas:

 

Sensory integration:

Sensory Integration is the ability to organise and interpret information we receive through the senses from our own bodies & the environment. This enables us to produce an appropriate response for particular situations, the task & environment

Children with difficulties in sensory integration may demonstrate:

    • Oversensitivity to noises, household applicance e.g. blenders, vacuums, lawnmowers etc
    • Oversensitivity to grooming tasks, messy play, being touched
    • High activity levels, fidgeting, being constantly on the go
    • Poor emotional and behavioural responses
    • Poor sleep patterns
    • Fussiness with eating
    • Difficulty paying attention, staying on task
    • Dyspraxia
    • Trouble with reaching academic & developmental milsteones
    • Under-reactivity to sensation e.g. not noticing when their name is called, missing instructions
    • Difficulty matching self to the envrionment
    • Trouble developing age appropriate play & social skills

 

 

Infants and Babies:

Our work with babies and infants varies greatly however the overall aim of intervention at this age is develop the early motor, social-emotional and regulation capacities that are essential for development in later years of life.

Infants who may benefit from our service include:

    • Children with ‘flat head’ or tight neck muscles
    • Infants who dislike tummy time, crawling, rolling or sitting unassisted
    • Infants with feeding and settling challenges
    • Infants who are not reaching their motor & social milestones within the expected age ranges
    • Infants with high or low muscle tone
    • Infants who suffered from traumatic births

 

Fine motor:

Fine motor skills refers to using our hands for activities such as eating, drinking, dressing ourselves, playing with objects, drawing, writing and typing. Our hands help us manipulate & explore objects in our environment and become independent in carrying out our daily tasks.

Children with fine motor difficulties may demonstrate:

    • Poor pre-writing, drawing & writing skills
    • Inconsistent use of their dominant hand
    • Poor strength and control in the hands
    • Poor co-ordination when using both hands together
    • Avoidance of fine motor tasks
    • Reduced efficiency & fluency in movements

 

Gross motor:

Gross motor skills involve the large muscles of the body and help our bodies learn to coordinate all our muscles in order to hold our body in postures against gravity. When these skills are developed we are able to run, jump, ride a bike, kick a ball, maintain our posture, negotiate obstacles and participate in sports.

 Children with gross motor difficulties may demonstrate:

    • Delays in milestones such as crawling, walking, running, ball skills & jumping
    • Clumsiness
    • Avoiding or not appear as smooth in climbing activities, participating in sport etc
    • Difficulty maintaining good posture & sitting positions for tasks
    • Reduced social participation

 

Attention & Regulation:

The brain is required to process both apparent and less apparent information. Attention is the brains ability to focus on sensory information and produce an appropriate response. With out capacity to attend to relevant stimuli and inhibit irrelevant stimuli the child is able to regulate their state of arousal to match the task and environment.

 Children with attention & regulatory difficulties may demonstrate:

    • Increased levels or activity or arousal
    • Become easily distracted
    • Difficulty know what to focus on relevant to the task
    • Demonstrate poor impulse control
    • Appear disinterested in tasks or lose interest quickly
    • Have poor sleep patterns
    • Behavioural dis-regulation e.g. meltdowns, outburst etc

 

Play & social development:

Play is a child’s occupation and median through which they can develop skills such as; social, communication, motor & cognitive. Play encourages children to engage with others, to develop attention, develop skills and to participate in society. Social participation is a complex process in which we are required to share attention, adapt, understand social cues, problem solve & regulate our own responses.

Children with difficulties in play & social skills may demonstrate:

    • Preference for solitary play
    • Not reacting to others attempts to communicate and play
    • Demonstrate repetitive play & social interactions
    • Reduced interest in pretend & social play
    • Slower to develop play skills then their peers
    • Difficultly producing responses which match the situation
    • Poor frustration tolerance and frequent meltdowns
    • Difficultly forming & sustaining friendships

 

Visual perception:

Development of visual perceptual skills allows us to make sense of what we see in order to make judgements about the size, shape, spatial relationships and configurations of objects. Difficulties with visual perception can become more evident in preschool & early school years when we begin to rely more on visual skills for learning and organising their environment.

 Children with difficulties in visual perception may demonstrate:

    • Problems with cutting, colouring, puzzles or construction
    • Difficulties with dressing and other daily tasks e.g. tying shoe laces
    • Problems in reading, spelling and handwriting
    • Difficulty copying from the blackboard
    • Missing parts of information relevant to the task
    • Difficulty completing matching & memory games/tasks

 

Daily living activities:

Engaging in daily living tasks provides the opportunity for children to develop their roles as a player, sibling, son/daughter, student, peer & friend allowing them to function in home, school, community and work environments.

Children with difficulties with daily living may demonstrate:

    • Difficulties toilet training
    • Reduced independence in daily tasks e.g. eating, dressing etc
    • Difficulties learning new tasks for independence
    • Sensitivities to bathing, grooming or oral hygiene