Occupational Therapy Event
We returned for the 2nd event in our 5-part Caregiver Lifestyle series. On March 19, we welcomed Developmental Psychologist from Vejthani Hospital and founder of Unichild Clinic. Warinthorn Ramasoot and her colleague Dr. Chaithaya, provided an overview of their strategies and how caregivers can combine occupational therapy goals at home.
What is occupational therapy?
Occupational therapy (OT) is a paramedical health care treatment that assists people of all ages who are experiencing physical, sensory, or cognitive difficulties. OT can help them build skills, develop, and regain independence. Occupational therapists help with barriers that affect a person’s emotional, social, and physical needs.
How many sessions?
Instead of considering it a session, consider making it a strategy built into daily life. You can have dedicated sessions throughout the day that focuses on a goal, but occupational therapy should be about building life skills and independence. Daily routine activities can be a moment for learning.
How long should each session be?
This will depend on your child’s attention span. Track how long your child can maintain focus. If they get frustrated or leave an activity, this will be your goal time to beat. It also helps to plan activities. Some activities will be longer than others. Don’t get frustrated if they cannot do not maintain attention for a long period of time. Encourage and motivate them with positive reinforcement, and over time; their attention span will increase.
Unichild Developmental Clinic
Unichild Clinic Child Development Center is located in Bangkok, Thailand. They offer several services. By fate, we happened to move nearby. Nestled inside a neighborhood, the clinic felt child-centered even before walking in.
Their clinic includes:
As you can see, they are a one-stop service for parents. I loved how they ended every session with our daughter by spending time with us as parents. The therapists reviewed what they did and then explained how we could continue the learning at home. This is what we wanted to share back to the rare disease community.
Occupational therapy strategies
Unichild’s occupational therapy program uses a multi-pronged approach. At home you should do the same. Instead of thinking it as one thing, consider it a toolbox of strategies. The aspects of your home OT program will need to focus on multiple areas.
A core aspect is developing upper body strength. As was mentioned in our Physical Therapy event, humans are designed to be upright. Supporting this provides stability and core muscle strength needed.
Other aspects include fine motor skills, bilateral coordination, eye-hand coordination, oral motor skills, and visual perception. Simple activities these can be accomplished with are writing and creating activities where your child needs to cross the midline.
Finally, one of the most important aspects in our opinion is developing self-help skills. This means every routine activity you do for your child can be a learning experience: feedings, bathroom, changing clothes, bathing, brushing teeth, opening doors. and much more. Occupational therapy seeks to develop independent children.
Occupational Therapy Event
For caregivers who could not attend or would like to review, please find the online occupational therapy workshop video. Please consider subscribing to our YouTube Channel. Every like, comment, and share is motivation for us to continue!