Interdisciplinary Center for Psychological and Therapeutic Support «Pronoisi»
Occupational therapy is the art and science of using “occupation” as a means to bring about a positive, measurable change in the health and functionality of a patient. “ERGO” or in foreign terminology “Occupation”, which is constantly referred to in the definitions, is another name for all our daily activities, which have both a purpose and a substance for every human being and typically:
- 1. They are timeless
- 2. They have a special meaning for the one who performs them
- 3. Include multiple activities.
You need to have realistic demands on yourself and keep time for yourself and the rest of the family.
In general occupational therapy is aimed at people with:
- Physical disabilities
- Cognitive Disabilities
- Psychosocial Dysfunctions
- Developmental or learning disorders
- Maladaptive behaviors
- Other disorders or chronic conditions.
Occupational Therapy services, though not limited to, usually include:
- Evaluate and provide personalized services in collaboration with the patient, family, caregivers or others involved.
- Evaluating, developing, improving, retaining or restoring daily life (IQ) skills, work or productive activities and play / leisure.
- Recognition and facilitation of participation in roles and activities essential to the individual.
- Evaluation, improvement and / or rehabilitation of sensory-motor, cognitive, and psychosocial performance components.
- Design and suggestions for accessibility and ergonomic arrangements.
Training the client, family or others in various appropriate interventions / manipulations & the use and maintenance of equipment and technology.
- Counseling and mentoring groups, programs, organizations or communities for providing services to different populations.
Occupational Therapy intervention generally includes:
- Restoration / Recovery
- Change in biological, physiological, psychological or neurological processes.
- Education / Learning
- Compensation / Adjustment
- Change of activity
- Changing the context-environment
- Disability Prevention (Primary, Secondary,etc)
- Promoting Health: Redesigning Lifestyle
- “Work” with purpose and essence for the individual
- Balance at work, rest, play / leisure
- Healthy interaction with the environment.
Occupational therapy in children with diffuse developmental disorders
- It evaluates the child to determine if he or she has acquired age-appropriate skills, like dressing, toileting, playing skills.
- Assists / trains the child in conquering and maintaining, normal for his / her age, daily activities and routines, taking into account the stages and milestones in a child’s physical, mental and behavioral development.
- Observes / assesses the child’s home and school environment and identifies possible modifications to promote the child’s maximum development.
- Develops a single plan in collaboration with parents & other healthcare professionals working with the child.
- It provides personalized intervention to help a child respond appropriately to information coming through his or her senses.
- The intervention can associate into various developmental activities,as sensory integration, play activities etc.
- Facilitates play activities that help the child interact and communicate with others.
- Works with parents and other health professionals / teachers to encourage training / improvement in social skills, day-to-day activities and the handling of potential behavior problems.
Concluding this brief reference to Disseminated Developmental Disorders and some of the key principles of Occupational Therapy, we would like to share some tips for parents of children with Autism, that our experience as well as the literature, support:
- Have realistic expectations for your children and get to know their normal developmental course.
- Reward positive behavior immediately & consistently.
- immediately stop negative behaviors.
- Help the child explore the environment and his/her body.
- Provide toys that the child will successfully practice their developmental skills.
- Teach / encourage independence, with the help of your therapist.
- Use visual aids to prepare your child for transitions and changes in their routine.
- “Equip” the child’s room with sensory equipment that will help it stay organized and relaxed.
- Include the child as a helper in the household chores / routines.
- Be prepared for possible regressions.
You ‘ll need to have realistic demands on yourself and keep time for yourself and the rest of the family.
- Speak, learn from other parents, books, seminars, seek expert support.