Occupational therapy is a client-centred profession that aims to support and help people to accomplish their daily activities, from taking care of oneself, to leisure activities and mobility around the home. An occupational therapist is a rehabilitation professional who evaluates and implements interventions for individuals who have motor, perception/ sensory, cognitive or emotional deficits.
The intervention is primarily based on prevention, re-education, readaptation and rehabilitation through activity. This allows the clients to improve or increase their capacity to participate in everyday life, to engage socially, to enjoy a good quality of life, and to achieve personal satisfaction.
What does an occupational therapist do?
An occupational therapist is a rehabilitation professional who evaluates and puts into place interventions for individuals who present with the following deficits:
- Motor (i.e. dyspraxia, hypotonia, tremors)
- Perception/sensory (i.e. trouble with organization/planning, difficulty with sensory integration)
- Cognitive (i.e. difficulty with concentration, memory loss)
- Emotions (i.e. low self-esteem)
An occupational therapist intervenes when activities of daily living become challenging for an individual struggling with one or more deficits. The primary objective of an occupational therapist is to help people regain their independence and to reintegrate their daily activities. Unlike a physiotherapist or osteopath, who treat localized injuries or problems, an occupational therapist is interested in the impact that deficits have on the ability of the client to function in everyday life, whether it be in the social, personal, professional, or academic parts of his life.
Clinique Évolution’s occupational therapist
The role of the paediatric occupational therapist at Clinique Évolution is to contribute to the improvement of the child’s capacity to become autonomous and independent. Playing and participating in day-to-day life activities such as dressing oneself and self-care are as important to the development of the client as academic success.
Therefore, no matter what the deficit or delay, we try to ensure the child’s participation and success in all their activities, in order to minimize the impact or restrictions in these activities. Once the initial evaluation is complete, we will draft an appropriate treatment plan in collaboration with the parents in order to achieve a certain number of goals.
– Work on sensory integration with children that are hypersensitive or hyposensitive
– Establish intervention plans to improve fine and gross motor skills
– Put into place treatment plans to assist with children’s development of their self-care skills
– Develop strategies to either improve or eliminate picky eating
For more information on the occupational therapy profession, please consult the website of the Ordre des ergothérapeutes du Québec (OEQ)
Should I consult an occupational therapist?
Does your child show delays or does your child not appear to be at the same level as his peers in terms of fine and/or gross motor skills?
- Does your child’s hand strength seem to be weak? Does he have difficulties opening and closing objects?
- Does your child seem uncoordinated?
- Does your child have difficulties walking; does he lose his balance or fall often?
- Does your child of 4 to 5 years have difficulty going up and down the stairs in a coordinated manner?
– Does your child avoid certain textures when eating or playing?
– Is your child a picky eater?
– Does your child have the tendency to avoid getting dirty or always being dirty?
– When your child is getting his hands or face washed, does he show dislike or react negatively?
– Does your child dislike or avoid hair washing?
– Does your child get distressed or react negatively to new textures or clothing?
– Does your child seek strong flavours or constantly put objects into his mouth?
– Does your child accidently come into contact with objects, walls or people?
– Is your child aware of the space his body occupies?
– Does your child respect or recognize personal space?
– Do your child’s peers have better mastery than him over the use of a pencil?
– Does your child have difficulty using scissors and is he not at the same level as his peers?
– Is your child experiencing difficulty with handwriting? (Legibility, speed, endurance or organization?)
– Is your pre-schooler struggling with toilet training skills or personal hygiene skills?
– Is your child participating in dressing? Does he require assistance?
– Is your child participating in bathing? Does he show a dislike for this activity?
– Is your pre-schooler having difficulty sorting shapes or colours, or matching pictures?
– Is your child having difficulty discriminating/ differentiating between objects?
– Does your child have difficulty following instructions? Is he often forgetful or easily distracted?
– Fine and gross skills
– Visual perception
– Treatment of sensory, motor and vision
– Sensory integration
– Fine and gross motor skills
– Visual motor skills
– Difficulty with visual perception
– Difficulty eating
– Completion of daily activities including personal hygiene
– In the case of children who are picky eaters
– Adaptive equipment
– Preparation for pre-school and kindergarten
– Modifications to the environment
– Skills development group (4 to 6 children)
The occupational therapist works with people who have the following problems:
- Learning difficulties
- Developmental delays
- Attention deficits, difficulties or disorders
- Autism Spectrum disorder
- Motor deficits (developmental coordination disorder, dyspraxia)
- Fine motor or hand skills difficulties
- Gross motor difficulties
- Dyslexia and handwriting difficulties
- Coordination difficulties
- Visual motor or visual perception difficulties (difficulty with organization/ planning)
- Sensory deficits or difficulties
- Cognitive difficulties (difficulties with concentration or memory)
- Picky eating
- Difficulties in activities of daily living or self-care skills