Occupational Therapists believe that participation in occupation can have a positive impact on wellbeing. We talk about occupational performance as a way of describing participation in occupation that supports you to live a safe, healthy and happy life.
We understand that for a person to participate fully there is a connection between 'the person', 'the occupation' and 'the environment'. Each of these elements can have a positive or negative affect on occupational performance and therefore on wellbeing.
We believe that by making changes to any of these elements we can influence participation and wellbeing.
For a child participating in the Activities of Daily Living (ADL) means being able to take part in Self Care, Play & Leisure, and Education.
As mentioned above we believe that there is a connection between 'the person', 'the occupation' and 'the environment' and that by making changes to any of these elements you can improve participation and wellbeing.
Occupational Therapists consider the everyday activities a child has to complete to keep them safe, healthy, achieving, nurtured, active, respected, responsible and included. They then consider the factors of the child/young person, the occupation and the environment which support or hinder participation and well-being. Having identified the strengths and vulnerabilities, occupational therapists then support the child/young person, their family and/or other professionals working with the child/young person to make changes to support participation and well-being.
The core PURPOSE of the Occupational Therapy Service for Children is to empower and enable children, young people and their families to live their lives as independently and easily as possible. We collaborate with the individual, their family and the wider team around the child to identify their strengths and explore how they can overcome their challenges to achieve their full potential.
As Occupational Therapists we are trained to use a holistic approach that enables us to analyse the physical, psychological, social, and emotional barriers that impact on the child’s ability to participate in self-care, play and education. Keeping the child’s wishes at the centre of the decision making process we facilitate them, and those around them, to set meaningful goals to address these functional difficulties.
We enable the child to gain and maintain life skills through the use of meaningful graded activities, and empower their carers and professionals working with them to find alternative/adaptive ways of maximising the child’s involvement in daily life; thus breaking through the barriers that prevent participation.
Medical Practitioners e.g. Paediatricians, GPs
Allied Health Professionals e.g. Speech & Language Therapists (SLT), Dieticians, Physiotherapists
Nursing staff e.g. Community Children Nurses (CCNs)/Health Visitors/Looked After and Accommodated (LAAC) Nurse
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) team & Clinical Psychologists
Education Staff (including Private/Partnership Nurseries & Schools)
Aged 0-19yrs (if still receiving secondary or special education input) and have a significant difficulty impacting on daily living activities in one or more of the following areas:
Accessing their environment – home, nursery/school and community
Positions for daily tasks such as play and sleep
Development of hand function
Organisational skills including moving from task to task; class to class; and organising personal items
Organisational skills for school transitions, e.g. nursery to primary; primary to secondary
Fine motor skills, e.g. development of hand function; use of scissors; development of pencil control; fine manipulative activities, e.g. playing with bricks, puzzles and beads
Visual perceptual skills, e.g. tracking across pages of work, and formation of shapes and letters
Difficulties which have an impact on function e.g. balance and poor motor control affecting ability to do fine motor/manipulative tasks
Modulation issues which impact on concentration and attention
Tactile issues that impact on the acquisition and development of fine motor skills
Vestibular and proprioceptive difficulties which impact on co-ordination & balance