Therapy session are based on the unique needs of each child. OT sessions can address difficulties with development of gross motor and fine motor, motor planning, body awareness, sensory processing skills and self-regulation. Initial therapy sessions are focused on building rapport between the child and therapist, and developing a therapeutic relationship. Some children prefer their parents to be present during sessions, while other children will work better when their parents are not watching. Parents are always welcome but your therapist will discuss which option would be best for your child. The last few minutes of each session are spent with the parents/caregivers to review what happened during the session, and provide any “homework” for your child to do.
Although OTAP provides a large sensory motor gym with a variety of equipment, your child’s therapist may decide initially to work with your child in a smaller, quieter room to support engagement in appropriate activities. They may then move to a larger room, where other children may a be working one-on-one with therapists. When appropriate, children are encouraged to interact with peers to promote social skills development.
A child’s main “occupation” is play therefore therapy is playful! Therapy sessions follow a child led but adult guided approach. The therapist encourages the child to participate in fun but purposeful activities that stimulate sensory systems that may not be working as effectively as they should be.
Therapy is fun and enjoyable for the child and is skillfully managed by the therapist to ensure it is appropriate for the child and is set to the “just right challenge,” where the activity is not too difficult so that the child no longer wants to play but is not too easy so they lose interest quickly. It is this “just-right challenge” that ensures the child forms an adaptive response that will develop the functions in which the child is having problems.