What is an Occupational Therapist & How Can They Help?

What is an Occupational Therapist & How Can They Help

Plenty of us have heard the phrase ‘occupational therapy’ in our lives, but that doesn’t always mean we have a good grasp of what the term actually means. For such a broad field, it can be hard to know if seeing an occupational therapist might be the best choice for us or our family. From motor skills to speech pathology, this form of therapy helps clients of all ages develop their abilities to better their everyday lives. If you’re interested in learning a bit more about the field and its benefits, continue reading our beginner’s guide to occupational therapists.

This blog includes information on the basics of occupational therapy, as well as how it can help children with speech or language disorders. If you’re looking into paediatric occupational therapy, get in contact with Chatterbox for personalised advice.

What is an Occupational Therapist?

To put it simply, occupational therapy is designed to help people develop or regain the skills they need for everyday life. Occupational therapists (also known as OTs) focus on bettering motor and communicative skills in their clients to ensure that their movement and coordination don’t inhibit their daily lives. This means helping clients improve skills that allow them to write, get dressed, and also communicate.

The Benefits of Occupational Therapy for Children

Occupational therapists work with everyone from young children in early development to elderly people adjusting to their physical changes, and everyone in between. If someone can benefit from support for their coordination, balance, self-regulation, or speech, then working with an OT might be of benefit. Clients may be of any age or ability – for many young children showing signs of developmental issues or difficulty with physical/vocal ability, occupational therapy is often one of the first steps taken for growth.

How can Occupational Therapy Help with Speech?

Outside of building motor skills and learning to accomplish everyday tasks, OTs work heavily in the area of speech and language development. This can look different for every client, but paediatric occupational therapy sees an OT work with speech pathologists to empower children that may need some extra help communicating. This kind of therapy is used to help all sorts of young people sharpen their skills, including children suffering from conditions such as:

  • Lisps
  • Stuttering
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Apraxia of speech

Occupational therapy can assist with literacy development, and can foster a healthy learning environment for anyone struggling with different language or articulation disorders.

What to Expect When You Visit a Paediatric Occupational Therapist

The first thing to expect during a visit to the paediatric occupational therapist is a thorough assessment. The occupational therapist will ask you questions about your child and their abilities. They will also observe the child and talk to them as they play. The aim of the assessment phase is to ensure any relevant conditions are diagnosed so your child can access the care they need. Next, your occupational therapist will recommend a treatment plan based on the unique needs of your child.

Book an Appointment for Your Child Today

Occupational therapy is a huge umbrella of healthcare, covering so many different needs and conditions. When it comes to paediatric occupational therapy and speech/language disorders, it’s important to provide your child with a warm and supportive environment.

Chatterbox seeks to empower both children and families in their OT journey, fostering healthy learning that can be carried out into the home. If you’re looking to further develop your child’s communicative skills, get in contact with Chatterbox today to find out how we can create a program to best suit your family’s needs.

Book an appointment now to meet with one of our friendly and caring speech occupational therapists and inquire about speech therapy for kids, by calling our Penrith clinic on 02 4731 2432, Kingswood clinic on 02 9623 6362, Bella Vista clinic on 02 8814 1821 or Oran Park on 02 4647 6777.