How an Occupational Therapist Can Help Your Child With Everyday Activities

Everyone has essential activities they must do every day. Occupational therapists refer to these as Activities for Daily Living, or ADL. We probably take for granted how easy it is for us to do everyday activities. However, for many children with developmental issues, these basics are a struggle.

If your child has trouble with daily tasks, this can cause much frustration for both you and your child. You may feel discouraged by the amount of time and effort seemingly simple activities take. An occupational therapist may be just what your child needs to overcome his or her obstacles.

Everyday Activities Made Easier with an Occupational Therapist

These tasks are essential for everyday life:

  • Bathing/Showering
  • Bowel/Bladder management
  • Dressing
  • Eating
  • Feeding
  • Getting around
  • Personal device care
  • Personal Hygiene/Grooming
  • Sleep/Rest

Other everyday activities that are not vital, but add happiness to a child’s life, include:

  • Care of pets
  • Using the phone or internet
  • Using transportation with a parent
  • Using money and learning financial skills
  • Taking part in caring for their health
  • Helping with making meals
  • Safety procedures/Emergency procedures
  • Shopping

All of these tasks are all important for a child to have a healthy, well-rounded and meaningful life. An occupational therapist can help your child overcome their challenges. He or she will help your child practice these activities and strengthen specific skills. Int this way, many children learn to accomplish these tasks with ease. This means more independence and happiness for your child in their everyday life.

Some activities a child should learn depend on their age, family, culture, interests, or responsibilities. An excellent occupational therapist will make a plan individualized for you and your child’s goals. By focusing on activities that mean a lot to you and your child, everyone is more motivated and rewarded.

Using Occupational Therapy at Home

What are some ways you can help your child with everyday activities? You can work along with your child’s occupational therapist by trying a few or all of the following:

  • Stick to a regular routine or schedule.
  • Use visual cues as aids for sequencing.
  • Break down tasks into simple steps.
  • Use sensory techniques to increase body and environment awareness.
  • Work in gross motor and fine motor skills to make tasks easier.
  • Teach your child how to use adaptive equipment and assistive technology.

For some, working on these vital everyday activities can be exhausting for both the parent and the child. It’s always a refreshing change of focus to put some of your energy towards less essential tasks. An occupational therapist can help your child to progress in these areas as well:

  • Play
  • Education
  • Leisure
  • Socializing
  • Work

So make sure to take some time to help your child grow in these rewarding areas too.

Occupational Therapy Gives Independence and Happiness

There is nothing more gratifying than seeing your child grow in independence. Watching them do everyday tasks by themselves proves that they are growing into successful adults. It also gives you more time and energy to focus on other areas of their development. If you are considering hiring an occupational therapist for your child, please call us at (203) 387-1401 to discuss the benefits. You can also learn more about our occupational therapy services.