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Occupational therapy is treatment / rehabilitative procedure that is focused on aiding the improvement of physical, sensory and cognitive abilities in individuals having deficits in these aspects. The inclusion of occupational therapy plays an important role in helping children with disabilities to perform the activities of daily living and be as independent as possible with respect to these activities. Let us look into what actually goes into play here.
The infant brain is a highly moldable and till the age of 3 years is the most important learning period. Upto the age of 3-5 years children learn the most and these activities include the activities of daily living (such as brushing teeth, toilet activities , dressing themselves , learning to hold pencil, combing their hair etc among others). These activities are influenced by the cognitive, social and physical domains.
However, not every child is able to accomplish learning these activities or even part of it owing to some disability or impairment in either of the domains of development. There is a delay, that very often will require some therapy to help achieve these goals. This is when the occupational therapy plays an important role alongside the other therapeutic programs.
Occupational therapy plays an important role alongside physiotherapy and speech therapy – it aids in filling the gaps and promotes the child to have greater awareness and promotes their cognitive development and also influences the communicative skills. The occupational therapist first performs a detailed evaluation and assess the deficits. Accordingly a remediation program is created to help the child meet the developmentally appropriate levels. The occupational therapist works with children having the following disabilities :
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