Thursday, September 21, 2023

Best Occupational Therapy Activities: Professional Tips

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Shreya Christina
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When a child is diagnosed with autism or a sensory processing disorder, occupational therapy can help alleviate many of the concerns of parents. The goal of occupational therapy is to stimulate a maximum level of functioning in daily life.

As a result, occupational therapists have to think outside the box when devising exercises for their patients. But can you as a parent do something for your children? Yes, why not? You can do a number of activities at home to help your child acquire a wide variety of vital life skills.

1. Making Emotional Thermometer

Children with autism typically have difficulty distinguishing between different levels of displeasure or discomfort. They can become irritated or agitated at any time. Using an emotional thermometer can help with this.

First, cut out a thermometer by drawing or tracing it on paper. Then work with your child to identify 3-5 stages they are going through right now. Even though a 1 might be completely calm, a 3 might start to get irritated. For example, your child’s fine motor and visual perception skills will be enhanced if you let them design their thermometer.

2. Sensory Baking

One of the best ways to teach a wide variety of skills is through sensory baking. Several children with autism or sensory processing disorder (SPD) cannot tolerate certain textures. Introduce children to new sensations through the use of a sensory bowl. This activity can also help develop visual perception, language skills, and fine motor skills.

Collect some everyday household items and put them in a plastic bin to build a sensory bin. Shredded paper, popcorn, uncooked rice, cotton balls, and coins are examples of acceptable items. In order for your child to become overwhelmed and develop essential skills, it is essential to be aware of their individual sensory preferences. If your child plays with choking hazards, never leave them unattended.

3. Copy Skills

Visual aids are a useful tool that so many children with autism respond exceptionally well to, especially if they are simple. The flipbook of coping skills provides young people with a visual resource to turn to when experiencing emotional pain.

Work with your child to brainstorm 5-7 activities they can do when they feel frustrated or need a break. Then, take photos of your youngster participating in the activities they have chosen for themselves.

Print these images, laminate them and attach a loop ring to the back of each image. Some coping methods include reading a book, using a stress ball, going to a quiet place, and talking to a trusted adult about your feelings.

4. Create a sensory diet

A sensory diet can benefit any child with sensory sensitivities. It is a collection of activities that help a child receive the sensory information it needs to function in daily life. Exercises such as rolling an exercise ball over your head, walking with animals, pulling or pushing against the body, playing with other tactile toys, trampolining or swinging are all excellent options for children with special needs.

5. Tell stories

Storytime is a great way to spend when the weather isn’t perfect or to unwind after a long day of occupational therapy tasks. Depending on the book, you may be able to incorporate additional learning skills into your lesson plan. The book you choose will be determined by the child’s age, hobbies, and attention and concentration level.

If you want to incorporate more learning into your storytelling sessions, I recommend choosing a book where you can count the objects, trace the faces, or describe the story through images.

last words

Developing creativity and skills are two of the most critical aspects of occupational therapy activities for children Many approaches can be used to teach the necessary skills, but it is always vital to consider each child’s individual needs and interests.

However, we hope that the activities described here can serve as inspiration for future occupational therapy exercises that can be performed at home or in the office. Greetings!

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