When your child has medical complexities, it can sometimes feel like you are walking the path alone. Many other parents can’t really understand where you’re coming from, and misconceptions about physical, sensory, and cognitive disabilities run rampant in our society. You might feel like there is no one who can help you, your family, and your child to thrive. At Evergreen Home Healthcare, we understand where you’re coming from, and want you to know that you’re not alone. We are passionate about helping the children with disabilities and severe conditions in our area to live their best lives. That’s why we connect residents of Fort Collins with the healthcare professionals they need for their medically fragile children. One type of medical professional your child may need on their team is an occupational therapist.

If you are not familiar with occupational therapy, you may have a lot of questions. Allow us to enlighten you!

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy is a form of treatment that helps people with disabilities to be as independent as they can be. Depending on your child’s specific needs, an occupational therapist can help your child with their visual, physical, cognitive, sensory, and motor skills while helping with developing greater self-esteem through their accomplishments.

When you hear the term “occupational therapy,” you probably don’t think of children; after all, they don’t have occupations! However, an occupational therapist can work with a child by meeting them at their level, assessing their performance with play, learning, and daily functioning in comparison to their peers. From there, they can help your child address the physical, psychological, social, and environmental factors that impact their ability to function. Depending on your child’s specific condition, occupational therapy may play a more significant role in their treatment than other healthcare professionals on their team.

Who Needs an Occupational Therapist?

There is a wide range of conditions that can be improved through occupational therapy. Some of these include:

  • Spina bifida
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Developmental delays
  • Autism and other developmental disorders
  • Behavioral issues
  • Learning disabilities
  • Sensory processing disorders
  • Birth defects
  • Traumatic injuries
  • Traumatic amputations
  • Cancer

What Can An Occupational Therapist Do?

There are a range of ways an occupational therapist can help your child. For example, your child’s occupational therapist might:

  • Work with them on their fine motor skills, helping them to grasp toys and write
  • Improve hand-eye coordination (i.e. battling a ball)
  • Teach children with developmental delays daily tasks such as bathing, getting dressed, and feeding themselves
  • Aid children with behavioral issues in learning positive behaviors at home and at school (i.e. teaching them not to hit others and to constructively work with their anger)
  • Teach children coordination skills necessary to perform a variety of tasks from learning how to use a computer to feeding themselves
  • Evaluate whether or not your child needs assisted devices such as splints, wheelchairs, or communication aids
  • Improve social and concentration skills for kids with sensory issues

The Difference Between Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy

At Evergreen Home Healthcare, we help families connect with both occupational and physical therapists, both of whom can help children. However, these two kinds of healthcare professionals are often mistaken for one another, and are not the same. Physical therapy focuses on pain, strength, range of motion, and gross motor function, while occupational therapy deals with fine motor skills, visual-perceptual skills, sensory-processing deficits, and cognitive issues.

Finding an Occupational Therapist for Your Child

If you believe your child needs an occupational therapist, we can help you at Evergreen Home Healthcare. We can refer you to a qualified professional who can join your child’s care team to ensure they have the best advantages in life. Contact us today to get started!