THE IMPORTANCE OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY

Occupational therapy is a type of health care treatment that helps to solve the problems that interfere with a persons ability to do the things that are important to them everyday things like:

Self-care – getting dressed, eating, moving around the house,

Being productive – going to work or school, participating in the community, and

Leisure activities – sports, gardening, social activities.

Occupational therapy (OT) is the use of assessment and intervention to develop, recover, or maintain the meaningful activities, or occupations, of individuals, groups, or communities. It is an allied health profession performed by occupational therapists. Occupational therapy can also prevent a problem or minimize its effects.

Most people think of occupational therapy as a treatment for adults that helps them get back to work, but that is a very narrow definition. Occupation refers to managing all the activities important for independent living. For children, their main job is playing, learning and doing age appropriate activities of daily living (e.g. dressing, eating, and b,athing). If your child has physical or cognitive disabilities, occupational therapy goals can be defined to help your child improve their ability to function in these areas.

Occupational therapy has been shown to help some kids with learning and attention issues become more independent and successful. This is especially true for young children.

The connection may not seem obvious. But problems with coordination, strength, control and daily self-care skills can lead to academic difficulties. Occupational therapy can help kids with learning and attention issues improve their strength, coordination, and planning and organization skills. Occupational therapy can help parents and teachers understand a childs capabilities. The younger a child is when he starts occupational therapy, the more effective it tends to be.

For example, a child who has autism and has trouble gripping a pencil may struggle to complete class assignments on time. Some kids have trouble with organization. They may struggle to load a backpack with materials they need at school. Occupational therapy could be helpful in these situations.

The benefits of occupational therapy for kids include:

Increased independence and self-confidence

Better understanding between parents and teachers of what a child should be able to accomplish

Improved ability to concentrate and complete schoolwork

Occupational therapy can help a number of issues, including:

Dyslexia

Dysgraphia

Dyspraxia

Sensory processing issues

Visual processing issues

Autism

If your child is working with an OT, hell probably learn to adapt to his difficulties over time. This will make day-to-day living easier. Depending on the severity of your childs symptoms, he may need to work with an OT for many months. So its important to find an OT you and your child are comfortable with.

Keep in mind that occupational therapy for children cant cure your child. For example, if your child has dysgraphia, an OT can help him improve his handwriting. The OT can show him how to use a note-taking software. But your child may never become a fast writer.

The sooner your child starts with occupational therapy, the more effective it tends to be. Occupational therapists can help younger kids improve social and academic skills, making their lives easier as teenagers. However, OTs can also be helpful for older kids.

Occupational therapy is just one option for addressing your childs learning and attention issues. Being open to all possible treatments can help you find the right one for your child.

The desired outcome of the treatment is to help children learn to be as independent as possible. This can range from improving physical abilities, so the child can participate in self-care to helping the child be prepared to perform school-related activities. Since each child is unique, the goals and outcomes of the therapy treatment plan will be specific to that child and his or her needs.

This means that the therapy is ongoing until the child attains the necessary skills. Once skills are mastered in one area, say self-care, the therapy will focus on other skills that are needed to be functional in the community. Again, the nature of the therapy depends on your childs disability, how quickly he or she learns new skills and the goals of the family.

THE IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL SKILLS THERAPY

Social skills are ways of dealing with others that create healthy and positive interactions. Children who have social skills can communicate clearly, calmly, and respectfully.

Also, many people have not learned to “read” the many subtle cues contained in social interactions, such as how to tell when someone wants to change the topic of conversation or shift to another activity. Social skills training helps patients to learn to interpret these and other social signals so that they can determine how to act appropriately in the company of other people in a variety of different situations.

When people improve their social skills or change selected behaviours, they will raise their self-esteem and increase the likelihood that others will respond favourably to them. Trainees learn to change their social behaviour patterns by practicing selected behaviours in individual or group therapy sessions. Another goal of social skills training is improving a patient’s ability to function in everyday social situations. Social skills training can help patients to work on specific issuesfor example, improving one’s telephone mannersthat interfere with their jobs or daily lives.

A person who lacks certain social skills may have great difficulty building a network of supportive friends and acquaintances as he or she grows older, and may become socially isolated. Moreover, one of the consequences of loneliness is an increased risk of developing emotional problems or mental disorders. Social skills training has been shown to be effective in treating patients with a broad range of emotional problems and diagnoses. Some of the disorders treated by social skills trainers include shyness; adjustment disorders; marital and family conflicts, anxiety disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, social phobia, alcohol dependence; depression; bipolar disorder; schizophrenia; developmental disabilities; avoidant personality disorder; paranoid.

A specific example of how social skills training can be helpful includes its application to alcohol dependence. In treating patients with alcohol dependence, a therapist who is using social skills training focuses on teaching the patients ways to avoid drinking when they go to parties where alcohol is served, or when they find themselves in other situations in which others may pressure them to drink.

Another example is the application of social skills training to social phobia or shyness. People who suffer from social phobia or shyness are not ignorant of social cues, but they tend to avoid specific situations in which their limitations might cause them embarrassment. Social skills training can help these patients to improve their communication and social skills so that they will be able to mingle with others or go to job interviews with greater ease and self-confidence.

Some studies indicate that the social skills training given to patients with shyness and social phobia can be applied to those with avoidant personality disorder, but more research is needed to differentiate among the particular types of social skills that benefit specific groups of patients, rather than treating social skills as a single entity. When trainers apply social skills training to the treatment of other personality disorders, they focus on the specific skills required to handle the issues that emerge with each disorder. For example, in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCD), social skills trainers focus on helping patients with OCD to deal with heavy responsibilities and stress.

social skills therapy for children help them acquire social skills to teach them people specific sets of social competencies.

Many childrens nowadays due to the rising reliance on technology and sterotypes also require therapy for social skills in order to cope in school.

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huntergatheressfc_vol2_smHunterGatheress features the writings of the Paranoid Women Institute and the collection entitled Tall Tales of Synchronicity.

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HunterGatheress is a literary journal with emphasis on conspiracy, paranormal, occult and strange fiction and poetry from the Kitchen Midden of Joan d’Arc, HunterGatheress for Paranoia Magazine since 1992.