What is Occupational Therapy

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Occupational therapists help kids to participate in their everyday life activities and community. For kids this means play, looking after themselves, and participating at preschool and in the community. We help them to participate and be as independent as possible by exploring how they move, how they learn, and how they experience and make sense of the world around them. By working in partnership with families and caregivers we help to determine their abilities and how to build on them, how to adapt or change the task and what can be changed in the environment to promote success and increase their independence.

An occupational therapist is a regulated, licensed health care professional who is required to have a university level education in occupational therapy, pass a national exam and maintain their licensing with a provincial regulatory college. Occupational therapists are experts at assessing a child's skills to determine their abilities developmentally (This can include assessment of physical, cognitive, sensory, visual perceptual, psychosocial, fine and gross motor skills) as well as break down the task and analyse the environment to determine how to progress and tackle these challenges using evidence-based and developmentally appropriate strategies. What we do every day is most often best addressed within context and so therapists will often assess and work with kids where and when they typically are performing the challenging task.

Who Would Benefit

Occupations are the activities you fill your day with. Your occupations can be divided in to three realms; self care, productivity and leisure. The main occupation for children is play. It is through active play and participation in their lives that they learn, grow and develop.

Caregivers and professionals frequently come to us when a child is not meeting developmental expectations or to address minor concerns before they have a significant impact. It may be a child already identified to be facing unexpected challenges, or they may have difficulty in just one particular area. Areas of concern commonly identified are:

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  • Self Care:feeding skills, personal hygiene, dressing skills, sleep
  • Life Skills: crossing the street, tying sholaces, difficulty with transitions
  • Productivity: play skills, grasp, pre-printing, printing and writing, scissor skills, inability to sit still, challenges with personal space
  • Leisure: challenges such as range of motion, body awareness and motor skills, and difficulties participating in the activities of play

Other frequently cited concerns include:

  • Accessibility to technology and environments
  • Recommendations and support for adaptive equipment and devices

Review Mantra Living's Screening Tool - developed to help you determine if occupational therapy is right for your child

Who We Serve

An idea of who we serve includes but is not limited to:

  • Sensory Processing Disorders
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Developmental Coordination Disorder
  • Developmental Delays
  • Fetal alcohol Syndrome
  • Mental Health Challenges
  • Down Syndrome
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Syndromes and other rare disorders
  • ADHD
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
  • Acquired injuries- brain injury/stroke etc.
  • Supporting post-surgical clients (to promote independence, or maximize recovery)
  • Those that are undiagnosed