Occupational Therapy

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Importance of occupational therapy for children

When I told my friends and family that I wanted to become and occupational therapist, they all thought I was going to giving sponge baths to the elderly for a living. Little did they know that occupational therapy is one of the most rewarding careers if you’re someone who loves to help people better themselves. More specifically, I wanted to become an OT that specialized in working with children. I find that most people believe occupational therapy is more prevalent with the elderly than it is with children. I find this disappointing because I feel as though in some ways, OT is more important with children than it is with the elderly.

When I interned this past summer at a hospital and at an early intervention center I learned quite a bit about how effective occupational therapy can be. For starters, I never knew occupational therapy services were offered anywhere besides hospitals. After some research I learned that OT was quite prevalent and effective by being available in the school setting along with doctor office settings. Children with fine motor difficulties demonstrate coordination problems that have a negative impact on their activities of daily living, including their functional performance at school (American Psychiatric Association, 1994; Polatajko, Fox, & Missiuna, 1995). According to Bayona (2006), there are two types of therapy methods when dealing with children in the school setting. One is called direct model and the other is called consultation model. Basically, the direct model is when a therapist works with the child on a one on one basis once or twice a week with minimal collaboration with the child’s parent or teacher. The consultation model is when a therapist works with the child on occasion but has more collaboration with the figures in the child’s daily surroundings such as teachers and parents. For the elderly, OT is usually given to help them be as independent as possible...
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