Are you going to be starting occupational therapy for your child? It’s a great decision because an occupational therapist has the skills and knowledge to help your child gain independence in his or her daily routine. You could look forward to seeing improvements in your child’s daily activities such as eating, dressing, communicating, grooming, writing, and playing. Improvements that will help your child to not just live better each day but also engage better with the world around. However, for occupational therapy to yield optimal results, your child needs to be as open and receptive to participating in the therapy sessions as possible. And this is where you can help make a difference as a parent. Here are 6 tips to prepare your child to get the most out of an Occupational Therapy program.
Inform your child. Sometimes children can experience fear when going to a new, unfamiliar place. Explain to your child why they’ll be going to a place where they’ll see other kids, parents, and ‘friendly’ people they can trust and talk to. Tell your child that though some things may be challenging, they will make it easier for your child to do what he or she likes or wants to do.
Ask your child about their goals. Children are more likely to want to participate if they are able to see what’s in it for them. Ask your child about the things they wish they could do more often or easier than before. Do they want to be able to write faster, tie their shoelaces on their own, or even go to the beach with their friends and be able to dip their fingers in the sand? Write down your child’s goals or desires to give them a source of inspiration.
Dress your child for active therapy. Your child would be required to engage in exercises or activities recommended and controlled by their occupational therapist. It follows, therefore, that your child should be dressed in clothes that should neither irritate nor restrain them from feeling comfortable and participating willingly in these activities.
Tell your child what to expect. Let your child know what an occupational therapy office looks like. Perhaps there are swings hanging from the ceiling, games, toys, or exercise equipment. Let your child know how long a session is likely to be and if possible, how many such sessions they’ll be required to attend. Most importantly, let your child know that you will be there in every appointment, from start to end. So they really have nothing to worry about.
Share your child’s background with the therapist. Your child’s occupational therapist is going to need to know your child’s history. Bring along samples of your child’s schoolwork or even pictures and videos that you think might help the therapist better understand why your child needs therapy. Be sure to bring along your insurance card, photo ID, and any doctor’s referrals.
Reassure your child. Let your child know that you (and their occupational therapist) are on their side and want to see them get happier. Let your child know that apart from gaining abilities and skills to do a lot of things easier than before, they’re also going to have a lot of fun in therapy!
If your child needs occupational therapy to lead a better, happier life and you have been googling ‘occupational therapy for kids near me, look no further than Milestone Therapy Group. With a hand-picked team of qualified and experienced specialists, this occupational therapy center in Philadelphia has the expertise and services to help your child get on the path to a happier and healthier future.