Our Occupational Therapists make learning fun
Our occupational therapists at Pearson Allied Health Services believe every child should have a chance to reach their full potential.
Our occupational therapy team see children who may have a diagnosis such as sensory processing disorder, Autism, Developmental Delays, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and Sensory difficulties. Our goal is to enable every child to fully participate in activities of daily life. This literally means helping children to meet their developmental milestones.
Therapy can be provided to assist with the following areas:
Gross motor skills
Gross motor skills are required for the child to be able to learn to walk, jump and climb. These skills involve the large muscles of the body and depend on the child having good muscle tone and strength.
Children with gross motor difficulties may have;
- a floppy body
- a tendency to avoid gross motor activities
- a delay in developing motor milestones, e.g. walking
- poor body awareness, meaning that they could be clumsy, fall over a lot or bump into things frequently
- difficulty in jumping, hopping, skipping, riding a bike and swimming
- poor balance, and ball skills
Fine motor skills
Fine motor skills are required for the child to be able to write, cut, and manipulate small objects. Fine motor skills involve the small muscles of the body and involve fine motor control, dexterity and strength.
Children with fine motor difficulties may struggle with;
- holding a pencil correctly
- developing a dominant hand
- tying shoelaces or using cutlery
- manipulation of buttons, zippers etc
- using scissors
- with handwriting
- with playing games that require precise hand and finger control
- manipulating small objects like money, beads, etc
- poor strength and control in their hands
Visual perception is the process of locating and extracting information from the environment, it helps the child form a mental map of how the world works.
The easier is it for a child to perceive differences and relationships between objects in the environment, the easier the thinking process becomes. An Occupational Therapist can help a child to form a mental map of how the world works and where they fit in it.
Children with difficulties in processing information may present with;
- Difficulty in recognising differences in words with similar beginnings, endings or even entire words. Leading to problems with reading, spelling and handwriting
- difficulty remembering sight words
- difficulty copying accurately from the board
- reversals of letters and numbers
- poor left/right conceptualisation
- poor eye-hand co-ordination
- Difficulty in retaining information over an adequate period of time
Functional life skills
Children with poor self care skills may have difficulty with the following tasks: using cutlery in a coordinated manner doing up buttons, zippers and other fasteners getting dressed and learning to tie shoelaces getting ready for school poor sleeping patterns sensitivities to bathing, grooming, oral hygiene and limited diet.
Sensory processing disorder
Some kids seem to find it difficult to handle the sensory information they receive via their senses of sound, touch, taste, sight and smell. Kids who cannot organise the incoming sensory signals can find daily activities and routines are disrupted as a result. Sensory Processing Disorder can lead to devastating consequences in daily skills, social relationships, behavioural responses, self-esteem and learning. Children with sensory processing disorders may have difficulties processing information through any of the sensory systems, including for example:
- difficulties with bright lights and loud noises
- heightened response to touch, movement and sound
- refusing to wear clothing because it feels scratchy or the tag irritates them
- aggressive or impulsive behaviour when overwhelmed by sensory stimulation
- upset by transitions and unexpected changes
- likes crashing, bumping, jumping and rough housing
- often licks, sucks or chews on non-food items such as pencil, hair and clothes
- are clumsy, awkward and/or accident-prone
- has difficulty with personal organisation
- poor attention and emotional regulation
- being a picky eater (e.g liking one type of food, or one particular colour)