Occupational therapy services at Epworth include assessment and therapy for children living at Epworth village as well as for those children aged between 0-11 years of age in the community. Our services are offered for persons who are not on medical aid or whose medical funds have been depleted and who are unable to afford these services privately. We also run workshops for parents and teachers or any other interested parties.
Occupational Therapists Assess And Treat Children’s
- gross motor skills (which are the skills acquired by using the large muscles in the body)
fine motor skills (which are the skills acquired by the use of our hands in fine detailed work)
perceptual skills (which includes a child’s ability to see differences between objects, the ability to relate objects spatially to each other, the ability to discriminate the foreground from the background etc)
concentration and a child’s ability to match and identify colours, shapes, letters and numbers.
Taking into account any emotional or social difficulties the child may be experiencing. Through play and fun activities we then assist in treating the problems that were identified in the assessment.
Therapy is most successful the more frequently that it is carried out, generally it is carried out once a week for a maximum of 45 minutes depending on the child’s age. It is important to remember that a child’s age always needs to be taken into consideration and his/her abilities in relation to children of the same age. It is also important to remember that an area is a problem if it is causing dysfunction.
Here are some key pointers to assist you to see possible warning signs that your child may need the assistance of an Occupational therapist:
Possible Signs Of:
- Muscle Tone Difficulties: slouching at the desk, struggling to maintain positions, struggling to hold a pencil correctly, hand and body muscles tiring easily, hooking feet around legs of chair, resting head on hand with the elbow on the table, difficulty to endure through activities, tends to lean against furniture and walls a large majority of the time.
- Balance And Gross Motor Difficulties: Child appears clumsy, falls a lot, always holding on when needing to balance, avoids games requiring balance, child is fearful in activities requiring balance. Child struggles to hop on one leg, or perform star jumps. Child struggles to catch a ball.
- Fine Motor Difficulties: Not holding their pencil correctly, difficulty in isolating finger movements, shakiness (tremors), avoidance of fine motor tasks (not wanting to play with play dough for eg.), struggling to pick up small objects, difficulties to cut out pictures, fingers tiring when writing, poor control of fine motor movements.
- Perceptual Difficulties: Reversing of letters and numbers, difficulty spacing and sizing letters and numbers, difficulty to copy designs and pictures,difficulty to orientate shapes to fit in board, difficulty to match and/or confusing colours, shapes, sizes, numbers, difficulty to build puzzles, difficulty to see differences between the orientation of objects.
- Concentration Difficulties: (struggling to sit still, doesn’t sit to complete a meal/task, very talkative, distracted by external environment, doesn’t listen or follow instructions, appears to be day dreaming, inconsistency in quality of work, impulsive, does not check work.)
- Sensory Difficulties: Children with sensory modulation difficulties either filter out too much of the sensory information from the environment. Therefore they seek the sensory input – Sensory dormant. Or they allow too much through to the brain which results in them being avoidant of sensory input- Sensory defensive.
Sensory areas to consider
- tactile (doesn’t like chalk and/or paint on hands, doesn’t like wearing socks, or walking on grass, doesn’t like brushing teeth, fussy with textures of objects and/or food)
- auditory (doesn’t seem to hear or holds hands over ears for noises)
- vestibular (keeps rocking in chair or dislikes any swaying movement of the body)
- olfactory (smell) (finds general smells offensive)
- visual ( light too bright)
- proprioceptive (keeps thumping body against the floor, thumps feet into floor when walking)
For more information or if you feel your child may need an assessment please do not hesitate to contact Deirdre on 011 827 5732 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to join one of our workshops feel free to book with us as well.