An occupational therapist (OT) is a medical professional who is specially trained to work with patients who have one or multiple conditions that limit their independent function and hinder their ability to complete the most basic daily tasks. The individuals could be from any age group, ranging from toddlers right on up to senior citizens. When it comes to dealing with children the pediatric OT can help with a variety of treatments to help them with their physical and motor skills, social interaction with others, and many basic self care tasks like feeding and bathing. This could take place in the home, school, community, as well as the office. A main goal of any treatment plan will be to help with independence and to improve the child’s self esteem and overall confidence in their everyday activities.
The main perception of occupational therapy is that it will benefit an adult who has either been in an accident, has a debilitating condition, was born with a disability or handicap, or has started to experience the effects of aging on the body. While this is a large part of what a therapist does, pediatrics has grown into a major area of practice in the industry. According to AOTA there are even success stories for helping those children who are on the autism spectrum. A kid’s drive to learn and play with toys can be harnessed by the therapist as they devise the best occupations (or activities) that can help them improve on their weaknesses.
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