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What is occupational therapy?

Occupational therapists (OT) collaborate with professionals and parents/caregivers to identify and meet the needs of children experiencing delays or challenges in development. Occupational therapists identify and modify barriers that interfere with functional performance. An OT will provide parent/caregiver resources and skills to use in the home/community, adapt activities, materials, and environmental conditions to allow children to participate across all settings.

How can Occupational Therapy help with barriers?

Occupational therapists help with barriers that affect a person's emotional, social, and physical needs. To do this, they use everyday activities, exercises, and other therapies.

OT helps kids play, improves their school performance, and aids their daily activities. It also boosts their self-esteem and sense of accomplishment. With OT, kids can:

• Develop fine motor skills so they can grasp and release toys and develop good handwriting or computer skills.

• Improve eye–hand coordination so they can play and do needed school skills such as bat a ball and copy from a blackboard.

• Master basic life skills such as bathing, getting dressed, brushing teeth, and self-feeding.

• Learn positive behaviors and social skills by practicing how they manage frustration and anger.

• Get special equipment to help build their independence. These include wheelchairs, splints, bathing equipment, dressing devices, and communication aids.