The Full Story
What is OT?
Occupational Therapist work with children that have a variety of disabilities. Disabilities include Fine motor such as handwriting, cutting, shoe laces, holding utensils, gross motor such as balance, bumping into objects, Bilateral coordination delays - difficulty using both hands together to perform a task (e.g., tying shoes, throwing/catching a ball), Feeding such as difficulties swallowing, dysphagia, bringing food to mouth, use of utensils, Sensory processing disorders - difficulty responding appropriately to different sensory experiences (i.e., touch, taste, sound, and movement), Range of motion such as moving body parts and muscle stimulation, Visual perception and awareness such as difficulty organizing visual information from the environment in order to perform a task.
What is Dysgraphia?
• holds wrist, arm, body or paper in an awkward position when writing • cramped or unusual grip/may complain of sore hand • tires quickly while writing • illegible handwriting that can be both cursive and print • a mix of upper- and lowercase letters • difficulty using scissors or to coloring inside the lines • trouble writing on a line • prints letters that are different sizes and height • unfinished words or letters, omitted words from a sentence• inconsistent spacing between words and letters • writing is slow • says words out-loud when writing or has trouble putting their thoughts on paper • trouble organizing words • letters and words that run together on the page • unable to identify a misspelled word • spells correctly orally but makes spelling errors when writing • does not start sentences with a capital letter
Vision & OT
Occupational therapy works on vision in all different areas to help a child's performance as a whole both in the classroom and at home.
Visual Motor Processing – Using feedback from the eyes to coordinate movement of other parts of the body (writing on/within the lines, copying from the board or a book, moving around without bumping into things, participating in sports that require well-timed and precise movements in space).
Visual Discrimination – Using sight to compare and contrast features of different items and distinguish one item from another (letters, shapes, objects, colors, and patterns). Visual Figure-Ground – Distinguishing shapes or printed characters from their background (finding specific information on a page of words and/or numbers; being able to see images within a competing background).
Visual Sequencing – Seeing and/or distinguishing an order of symbols, words, or images (trouble using an answer sheet; staying in the right place when reading; reversing letters, numbers, or words; and understanding the process of solving math equations)
Visual-Spatial Awareness – Understanding an object’s position in space as it relates to oneself (understanding near/ far; and understanding the relationship of objects and characters described on paper or in a spoken narrative).
Kinesio Tape can help improve outcomes when coupled with therapy services. It is used to move lymph fluids, change muscle tone, improve posture, and correct movement patterns. Physical and occupational therapist use this tape to help improve mobility and performance with task.
Image source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/469148486164130832/