Occupational therapy is the only profession that helps people across the lifespan to do the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of daily activities (occupations). Occupational therapy practitioners enable people of all ages to live life to its fullest by helping them promote health, and prevent—or live better with—injury, illness, or disability.
Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes. Occupational therapy services typically include:
Occupational therapy practitioners have a holistic perspective, in which the focus is on adapting the environment and/or task to fit the person, and the person is an integral part of the therapy team. It is an evidence-based practice deeply rooted in science.
The reason we have decided to get an OT evaluation for Charlotte because, during her speech evaluation, the therapist noticed her hand flapping, claw hands(something she does with her hands), running around, tiptoeing, and the rubbing of fabric when she's drinking. The therapist said she was "sensory seeking", and that it may interfere with her daily activities later in life, but she wouldn't conclusively say until after her psychology appointment, and a few speech therapy sessions because she theorized that these actions may be a form of communication.
Charley had her evaluation with an occupational therapist last Friday. And while she’s sensory seeking less and less since starting speech therapy, we’ve had an appointment since May, so we decided to go just in case.
The consensus was that her sensory seeking did not interfere with her daily life and she has no obsessive tendencies. But to help with her sensory seeking, the therapist suggested I go on Pinterest and find some activities for her.
The first is just water in a roasting pan, with stones and toys. We noticed she liked pouring her juice and playing in it, so this would mimic that. As you can see, she likes it. She also likes to play with stones while she’s outside so I bought craft stones from the dollar tree.
The second is rice. Pretty straightforward. I’m actually thinking of purchasing fancy sand for that table since it keeps everything contained although I still find myself cleaning up rice. But it keeps her occupied and I’m happy about that.
The third is Play-Doh. She’s only playing with that in her high chair and where she won’t get it stuck in my carpet or anywhere else. LOL.
I have 5 more activities planned, some I haven’t got the supplies for yet:
1. Flour and baby oil:
This makes a mixture like kinetic sand, and I already have the supplies!
2. Grass and barnyard animals:
I’m going to the dollar tree to pick up tiny plastic animals, along with some dried grass from outside.
3. Cotton balls:
I don’t have enough but I have a container that I can fill with cotton and small toys and have her go searching.
4. Texture board:
We would make this using poster board, sandpaper, and other textures.
WE’RE GONNA MAKE SLIME LADIES! (I actually can’t wait for this one).
Now for the serious part. If you feel like your child may be sensory seeking, I implore you to take them for an evaluation. Early intervention is key, and if there's nothing wrong, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Don't listen to outside sources that say these things are normal, because what's normal for one child, isn't normal for another. You know your child better than anyone. Trust your instincts, and do your best.
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