Health » Occupational Therapy and Special Needs Children

Occupational Therapy and Special Needs Children

DisKids jpgAn Occupational Therapists main job is to help people to achieve independence, meaning and satisfaction in all aspect of their lives. Occupational therapist can help children with various needs to improve their cognitive, physical, sensory, and motor skills and enhance both self-esteem and a sense of accomplishment.


According to AOTA (American Occupational Therapy Association), children suffering from the following disorders may benefit from Occupational Therapy services:

Sensory Processing Disorder                            

Multiple Sclerosis

Learning Disability

Pervasive Developmental Disorder/ Autism Mental   

  Health & Behavior Problem

Severe Head Injury

Cerebral Palsy

Post-Surgical Condition


Developmental Delay

Traumatic Injury of Brain & Spinal Cord    

Spina Bifida

Birth Injury/Birth Defects


Traumatic Amputation

Broken Bone or other orthopedic condition

Juvenile Rheumatic Arthritis

Other Chronic Illness


Occupational Therapists are trained to help children with poor fine motor skills and to help them develop grasp for play activity (holding of toys) and academics (good handwriting).  Similarly, they can address poor hand-eye coordination to improve various play and academic skills such as hitting a ball or copying from the whiteboard.


Occupation Therapists also work with children on sensory issues for example those who cry during a haircut or face wash, are sensitive to sounds; are picky eaters or do not like having cuddles.  Children who are easily distracted, have difficulty following directions, are unorganized or forgetful as well as other attention issues may also benefit from occupational therapy to improve focus and social skills.


Occupational Therapists are instrumental in teaching children with severe developmental disability daily living self-care tasks and improving coordination required though various exercises.


They also provide family centered services working closely with other family members to educate and maximize the level of functionality in the child.  This may also involve the prescription of special assistive equipment such as wheelchairs and splints.


If you think your child might benefit from Occupational Therapy, please contact the Rising Sun Centre on 09 222 4004 or at


Sana Hassan

Occupational Therapist

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