What does an Occupational Therapist do?
Occupational Therapists (OTs) do NOT help people find jobs. OTs help people of all ages to be as independent and successful in the “occupations” of their life. Those occupations for a child may include learning in school, eating a meal, getting dressed for school, changing for a class, using the restroom, taking a bath, playing games with other children, socializing, playing at recess, riding a bike, completing their bedtime routine, etc.
What is Sensory Processing?
Sensory Processing is the process by which your body takes in the information it receives from your environment and then decides what to do with that information. For example, if you hear a fire engine drive by with the siren on, your ears send the information to the brain; which may determine the noise is too loud. The brain then sends a message to your body to cover your ears.
What is Sensory Integration?
Sensory Integration is your body’s ability to take in information from the environment and appropriately respond to that information by tuning out unnecessary information and working with the important information to determine an acceptable reaction to continue functioning.
Do a lot of people have difficulty with sensory processing?
Yes! Many people have difficulty with sensory processing at some point in their life; however, as people grow older and more aware of what their body needs, they are able to make the appropriate accommodations for their sensory differences. (For example, if someone is a sensory seeker and needs to move their body to be able to attend better; they might flick a pencil or play with a paperclip while sitting at a meeting. If someone is a sensory avoider and cannot tolerate the sound of someone tapping their foot or the hum of the radiator while they’re reading because it’s too distracting; they may choose to leave the room or put headphones on to drown out the excess noise.)
What is Dysgraphia?
Dysgraphia means difficulty with handwriting. When most people learn to write, it becomes an automatic process. For people with dysgraphia, handwriting is a very laborious and painstaking task. Difficulty may be noticed in letter formation, spelling, sizing, letter reversals, and general written thoughts and ideas.
How Can Occupational Therapy help my child with Dysgraphia?
Occupational Therapy uses sensory and gross motor activities to help a person with Dysgraphia to improve motor memory and retrain the brain to be more efficient with letter recall and formation of letters and words.