Some children can have difficulties performing everyday activities for many reasons; they may have inherited or have been born with a condition, acquired an injury or may have differences in their learning style and needs. If a child’s play and ability to learn is affected then their independence, health and how they feel about themselves will be impacted. An Occupational Therapist can help your child live more independently and improve their ability to play and learn.
If your child has difficulty with any daily activities they may need assistance from an Occupational Therapist.
- Children learn through play and consider it ‘work’. Pretend play ability is linked to language, narrative language, and story comprehension, all important skills to have when a child starts to learn to read.
- Handwriting skills increase as the child starts and progresses through school. Fine motor skills are important in preschool as a child learns to hold, manipulate and use a pencil.
- Running, jumping, balance and ball skills (gross motor skills) are important skills to master at a young age. Gross motor skills are needed for lots of everyday activities like standing on one leg to get dressed, sitting at a table to eat or write, having the endurance to manage a full day of school, playing a team sport.
- Self care skills like dressing, using a knife and fork, going to the toilet independently, tying laces and organising belongings are examples of everyday activities we expect a child to master at a certain age.
- Knowing the social rules to be able to make and keep friends are important building blocks for adulthood.
Ruth Hickson is currently providing a private Occupational Therapy service in the Southern Highlands for children aged between 2 and 16 years. In addition she runs a clinic in Mungindi in remote NorthWest NSW every 6-8 weeks.