Occupational Therapy Activities For Children | A Comprehensive Free Guide
February 07, 2024
You may have heard of occupational therapy activities for children and how they benefit kids of varying abilities, including those with Autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and Auditory Processing Disorder (APD). Occupational therapy activities are used in occupational therapy.
Here, we will give you an introduction to what occupational therapies activities are and why they are important for children with Autism, ADHD, SPD and APD. In addition, we will share our groundbreaking auditory program Soundsory®, which comes with three different levels of fun, home-based exercises to engage each of your child’s senses. These activities can be used to complement the Soundsory® program or even on their own.
How do occupational therapists (OTs) help patients?
OTs help kids by helping them participate in activities in everyday life that they “need to, want to, and are expected to do” . OTs use a wide range of activities to help children participate in their desired or expected occupations, which can include dressing independently, socializing with peers, and going to school.
Key Take-Away Messages
|What are occupational therapy activities for kids?
|Occupational therapy (OT) activities are specially designed to help kids boost or learn a variety of skills. The goal of these activities is to get kids more involved and independent in their everyday activities. Many kids face challenges in learning skills that they need to handle their environment well. OT supports these kids by offering activities that are just right for their specific needs. This helps them get better at things like understanding and responding to sensory information, moving and coordinating their bodies, paying attention, and interacting with others.
Here are some fun occupational therapy activities to try with your child:
Rock, paper, scissors
Hopping in place
Puff your cheeks out
Try Soundsory®, a unique blend of music and movement therapy, to enhance your child’s neurodevelopment.
What are occupational therapy activities?
In simple terms, occupational therapy activities are special activities chosen and crafted to help kids get better at doing everyday things. These activities are all about helping kids learn the skills they need to be more independent in their day-to-day lives. Whether it’s getting dressed, playing games, or going to school.
For instance, occupational therapists might use activities like pinching clothespins to help strengthen a child’s grip. This can make it easier for them to hold a pencil and improve their handwriting. Or, they might have kids play catch with a ball, which is a fun way to work on their balance and coordination. This can be really helpful for them, especially when they play sports at school.
What skills do OT activities work on?
As mentioned above, OT activities are strategically handpicked, designed, and adapted for each child to help them develop or improve skills necessary for them to participate better in important daily life activities. These activities are not one-size-fits-all; they’re adjusted to fit the unique needs and abilities of each child.
Here are some of the skills OT activities can help your children develop or improve:
- Primitive reflex integration
- Fine motor
- Oral motor and taste
- Ocular motor
What are the benefits of occupational therapy activities for kids?
Children love doing OT activities because they’re fun and engaging. But the best part is, while they’re having fun, they’re also learning and developing all kinds of important skills. These activities are a big help in getting kids to their developmental milestones, making sure they can do things on their own and be as independent as possible. It’s a win-win – they enjoy themselves and grow at the same time!
OT activities for kids can help children:
– improve academic performance and become successful in school
– enhance fine motor skills (important for drawing, writing, cutting and sticking)
– improve gross motor skills (important for running, playground skills, and sports)
– address sensory processing difficulties
– increase independence in activities of daily living (e.g. dressing, grooming, feeding)
– learn to self-regulate their emotions
– enhance social and communication skills
– problem-solve and plan by themselves
– understand how their actions impact the world around them
If you think your child could benefit from improvement in one of these areas, it may be worth trying out some OT activities at home. If you’re not sure which activities and exercises are suitable for your child or why they’re struggling in a particular area, you can speak to an occupational therapist for advice before getting started.
We’ve created a summary table of all our exercise guides that can help your child gain the necessary skills they need to participate in daily life activities. This includes the benefits of each exercise, the materials required, the number of exercises we have provided and the best time and place to do the exercises. Here’s the list:
|Type of exercise
|Number of exercises available
|Where/when exercises can be done
|Primitive reflex integration
|Can improve attention, posture, hand-eye coordination, balance, handwriting, math and reading, spatial awareness and motor skills.
|No equipment required.
|At home, any time.
|Can improve handwriting, using scissors, learning to tie shoelaces and other activities involving skilled movements with hands and fingers.
|No equipment required.
|At home, any time.
|Can improve overly rough or timid physical behavior, anxiety about crowded places and ability to control force and pressure of movements
|No equipment required.
|At home, any time.
|Can improve tolerance to physical contact, certain textures and sensations. Improve accidental rough play and touch-seeking behavior.
|No equipment required.
|At home, any time.
|Oral motor and taste
|Can improve speech skills, eating skills, brushing teeth and tolerance to new foods.
|No equipment for oral motor exercises, a variety of foods for taste sensory activities.
|8 oral motor exercises and inspiration for taste sensory activities.
|At home, around meal times and snack times.
|Can improve attention, reading, spelling, following directions, identifying tone changes, remembering what’s been said.
|Some are equipment-free. Optional chairs, pencil and paper, and a game that can be purchased.
|At home, any time.
|Can improve balance, memory, attention, anxiousness and hyperactivity.
|No equipment required.
|At home, any time.
|Can improve balance and stability, posture 7, dizziness or nausea during movement, headaches and sensitivity to rocking, spinning or swinging movements.
|No equipment required.
|At home, any time.
|Can improve reading and writing, copying from a board, navigating different environments.
|No equipment required.
|At home, any time.
How do OT activities benefit kids with autism, ADHD, SPD and APD?
Occupational Therapy (OT) activities provide tailored benefits for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), and Auditory Processing Disorder (APD).
For children with ASD, OT activities can help improve their social interaction, communication skills, and sensory integration, addressing their unique sensory sensitivities and social communication challenges.
Children with ADHD who often struggle to pay attention and control their impulses. This can be demonstrated by their difficulty to listen attentively to instructions and attending to details, and tendency to avoid tasks that require sustained attention . OT can create activities that help build up their attention span, concentration, and teach them how to manage their behavior, improve their attention, and help them organize their tasks.
Children with SPD can be either under-responsive or over-responsive to sensory input . OT activities can provide opportunities for controlled sensory exposure to help these children learn to process and respond to sensory information in a more adaptive way.
Lastly, since children with APD struggle with processing auditory information, OT activities can be used to improve auditory processing and related skills. APD can sometimes affect visual processing . Altered sensory processing is also commonly seen in children with autism and ADHD . OT activities can also target visual processing skills, which are necessary for everyday activities like dressing, reading, and writing.
Best practices for doing OT activities at home
There are a few things to remember that can make OT activities as effective as possible.
Make it fun
If your child enjoys the activities and feels like they are playing a fun game, they are much more likely to enjoy it and be willing to do it again.
Keep it easy
Make it easy for both you and your child. This doesn’t mean that you make the activities so easy that your child isn’t challenged – it means picking those that are suitable for your child and can be done at home, with minimal equipment, at a time that works well for you and your child.
Practice, practice, practice
The more often your child can practice these activities, the quicker they will grow neural connections and gain new skills. If you’re looking for inspiration to help with building a sensory play practice, try Soundsory®, a 40-day program that can help your child gain the sensory skills they need.
Plan activities well
Even if you’re not a trained occupational therapist, it’s nice to know a bit about how they do things. This can help you come up with your own little OT activities at home. For example, before starting an activity, you might do something to help get your child ready. This could be as simple as having them sit in a special chair that helps them focus, moving to a quieter room, or using a special tool to help them hold their pencils better.
OTs use activities to equip children with the skills they need to participate in daily life activities. For example, learning how to button clothes is a big step in dressing themselves, and practicing kissing lips is really important for developing the mouth skills they need to drink from a straw. So when planning your activities, think of activities you can use to develop the skills your child needs as a stepping stone for their goals!
“Getting kids to learn the skills necessary to do things like wearing their clothes or brushing their teeth on their own, despite the challenges, makes me feel like I am making a real difference in their lives.“
Ramon, pediatric OT in Australia
After getting your child ready with purposeful activities, you can then move on to real-life, occupation-based activities. These are the actual daily activities that a child needs or wants to do, or is expected to do. It could be anything from playing with friends at the playground to their morning routine like brushing teeth and getting dressed.
Adapt activities as necessary
Before starting an activity with your child, it’s a good idea to think about what the task involves and tweak it to match their current skills and what they like. Let’s say you’re teaching your child to button a shirt. A smart way to adapt this task is to start with large buttons, which are easier to handle.
As they get the hang of it, you can adjust the difficulty of the activity, making it easier or more challenging based on how they’re doing. The main aim is to gradually help them get better at the skill. For the buttoning example, you could keep practicing with big buttons on a shirt they’re holding. Later, as they improve, you might ask them to actually wear the shirt and try buttoning it up. It’s all about taking small steps to build up their abilities!
Fun and simple occupational therapy activities to try
In this guide, we’ll present what we consider to be the best occupational therapy activities that you can try at home. For most of these exercises we’ve included three different versions of the exercises. These include:
- A standard version which is ideally how the exercises should be completed.
- A modified version for children who find motor skills a bit more challenging.
- A simplified version for children who struggle with more complex motor skills and directions.
The standard and modified versions go through instructions for you to guide your child through the exercise, and the simplified version has instructions for you to follow so you can support your child. We’ve broken these down into categories so you can see exactly which skills they will help your child to improve.
Primitive reflex integration exercises
Primitive reflex integration exercises are important for any child who has retained primitive reflexes. See our full guide to primitive reflex integration exercises for more information.
1. Moro reflex exercise (open/close)
Original: For the moro reflex exercise, sit down, tilt your head slightly back and open your arms and legs out. Then lean forward, cross your right arm and leg over your left arm and leg and look down. Repeat, but put the left arm and left leg on top of the right arm and leg this time.
Modified: Sitting down, tilt your head slightly back and open your arms out. Then look down and cross your arms. Repeat with the opposite arm crossed on top. Then lean back on your arms, open your legs wide, cross the right leg over the left, then switch.
Simplified: Stand behind your child and get them to stand with their back to you. Guide them through opening and closing their arms.
2. Marching in place (ATNR)
Original: Stand in one spot with your arms straight out in front of you and your fingers extended. Turn your head to the left while keeping your arms out straight, then march in place for 10 steps. Have a rest then repeat with your head turned to the right.
Modified: Stand in place with your arms out in front. Keep your head straight and march in place for 10 steps. Pause, then repeat for another 10 steps.
Simplified: Hold your child’s hands and encourage them to march in place, while supporting their hands in front.
3. Baby cobra
Original: Lie on your belly with your elbows bent and hands on the floor by your shoulders. Slowly lift your head and push up, lifting your chest off the floor but not straightening your arms all the way. Hold for a count of 10, then return to lying on the floor.
Modified: Lie face down with your elbows bent and hands by your shoulders. Lift your head and push up slightly, holding for 5 seconds before relaxing.
Simplified: From the same starting position, encourage your child to simply lift and lower their head.
Fine motor activities
Fine motor activities can help to improve your child’s fine motor skills, like drawing, writing, moving small objects and cutting with scissors. See our full guide to fine motor activities for more information.
1. Rock, paper, scissors
Original: Like the kids’ game, move through the movements of rock, paper, scissors with your dominant hand and then your non-dominant hand. Repeat 5 times each side at a relatively brisk pace, then try with both hands. ‘Rock’ is a fist, ‘paper’ is your hand extended straight out, and ‘scissors’ is your thumb folded along your pinky and ring finger, with your index and middle finger in the shape of scissors.
Modified: Move just through rock, paper, rock, paper with their dominant hand, non-dominant hand, then both.
Simplified: Your child practices rock, paper with one hand, guided by you if necessary. Guide your child to make a fist then guide them to make a flat palm with their fingers out.
2. Piano exercises (finger lift)
Original: With one hand on the floor, wall or table, lift each finger individually and then place it back down. Follow this order: pointer, middle, ring, pinky. Then repeat the same thing with the other hand.
Modified: With one hand on the floor, use your opposite hand to help lift each finger in the same order, then repeat with the opposite hand.
Simplified: Using hand over hand assistance, help your child gently lift each individual finger in this order: pointer, middle, ring, and pinky. Then repeat on the opposite side.
3. Finger wiggles
Original: Hold your thumb and pointer finger in an ok sign for a count of 20. Maintain this position and wiggle the other three fingers on your hand. Start with your right hand, then the left hand, then both hands.
Modified: Hold your thumb and pointer finger in an ok sign for a count of 10 with your left hand. Then take your right hand to help wiggle the remaining 3 fingers while sustaining the ok sign. Repeat with the opposite hand and fingers as above.
Simplified Hold your thumb and pointer finger in an ok sign for a count of 10, then release.
Proprioception means body awareness, and the ability to control the force and pressure of movements. See our full guide to proprioceptive activities for more information.
1. Crab walk
Original: Sit on your bottom, then raise your bottom up so you’re balancing on your hands and feet, trying to lift your stomach to the sky. In this position, move backward across the room and then move forward to return to your starting position. Try this 6 times.
Modified: Sit on your bottom, then raise your bottom up so you’re balancing on your hands and feet, trying to lift your stomach to the sky. In this position, move backward across the room and then turn and move backward to return to your starting position. Try this 6 times.
Simplified: Hold the crab position for 10 seconds.
2. Hopping in place
Original: Hop 10 times on your right foot, take a break, then hop on your left foot 10 times.
Modified: Stand on your right foot and lift your left leg up and hop, then touch it back down, then repeat, keeping the pause between hops. Do this 10 times. Then repeat standing on your left foot, lifting your right foot up to hop as you just did on the opposite side.
Simplified: Standing up, lift left leg up to 90 degrees then place back down, then repeat. Do this 10 times, then repeat on the right side. Remember to pause between leg lifts.
3. Jumping jacks
Original: Stand up, raise your hands over your head to clap, while simultaneously jumping your legs open and out slightly wider than your hips. You then jump, and while jumping move your hands down to the side and legs together. Repeat 10 times.
Modified: Standing up tall, jump your legs out and arms up about 90 degrees, then jump legs together and arms down and pause. Take your time, and remember to pause between tries. Do this 10 times.
Simplified: Stand with your legs apart, slightly wider than hips, and then raise and lower your arms slightly, bending at the elbows. Repeat this 10 times.
Tactile activities can help your child with processing touch stimuli. Some children are under-responsive or over-responsive to touch stimuli, and these children can particularly benefit from these exercises. See our full guide to tactile activities for more information.
1. Body rubs
Original: Stand up, take your right arm over to your left arm and rub it everywhere on your left arm for a count of 10. Then repeat on the opposite arm, taking the left arm and rubbing everywhere on your right arm for a count of 10. They then bend over, take both hands and rub to a count of 10 on your left leg. Stand up, count to 10, then bend and rub your right leg to a count of 10 and stand up.
Modified: Continue to stand or sit in a chair, take your right arm over to your left arm and rub everywhere on your left arm for a count of 10. Then repeat on the opposite arm, taking the left arm and rubbing everywhere on the right arm for a count of 10.
Simplified: Your child can sit in a chair, stand or sit on the ground. You can take your child’s hand and guide them through the exercise. If this is too complicated, you can do the exercise for your child.
2. Body taps
Original: Stand up, take your right arm and tap on top of the left arm, starting from your hand moving to your shoulder. Rotate the left arm to tap the bottom of the left arm starting from the shoulder to hand. Repeat on the other side. Then bend in half, and tap with both hands on the left leg, starting from the ankle moving up to the thigh and then back down. Stand up for a count of 10, then repeat on the right leg from the ankle up to the thigh, then back down to the ankle.
Modified: Stand, sit in the chair or on the ground, take your right arm and tap on top of the left arm, starting from the hand and moving to the shoulder. Rotate the left arm to tap the bottom of the left arm starting from shoulder to hand. Repeat with the left arm tapping the top of the right arm from hand to shoulder. Then repeat on the other side. For the legs, sit in a chair or skip if too challenging.
Simplified: Your child can sit in a chair, stand or sit on the ground. Take your child’s hand and guide them through the exercise. If this is too complicated, you can do the exercise for your child.
3. Snow angels
Original: Lie down on your back on the floor, with your arms at your side and legs together. Slowly open your arms out and up overhead while simultaneously opening your legs out slightly wider than your hips. Then bring both your arms and legs back in towards your body, and repeat this pattern 10 times, rhythmically and slowly.
Modified: Lie down on your back on the floor with your arms at your side and legs together. Slowly open your arms out and up overhead and repeat this rhythmic pattern 10 times. Then leave their arms at your sides and slowly and rhythmically open your legs slightly wider than your hips, then close 10 times.
Simplified: As your child lies on the floor, help them open their arms up and overhead and then move them down to their body in a rhythmic pattern. Repeat this with the legs, gently open to slightly wider than the hips and then close.
Oral motor exercises
Oral motor exercises (exercises for the mouth, lips, jaw and tongue) can help your child with their speaking skills, eating skills, brushing their teeth and more. See our full guide to oral motor exercises for more information. This guide also includes inspiration for taste sensory activities that your child can take part in during snack times and meal times.
1. Open and close mouth
Original: Open and close your mouth. Repeat this five times, pausing in between each one.
Modified: Use gentle tactile cues to guide your child’s jaw open and closed.
Simplified: Use a mirror, tactile cues and parent modeling to encourage your child to open and close their mouth.
2. Puff your cheeks out
Original: Puff your cheeks out.
Modified: Use tactile cues to encourage your child to puff their cheeks out.
Simplified: Use a mirror, tactile cues and parent modeling to encourage your child to puff their cheeks out.
3. Kiss lips
Original: Bring your lips into a kissing shape.
Modified: Use tactile cues to encourage your child to purse their lips into a kissing shape.
Simplified: Use a mirror, tactile cues and parent modeling to encourage your child to purse their lips into a kissing shape.
Auditory processing activities
Auditory processing activities can help your child with paying attention, reading, spelling, following directions and remembering what’s been said. See our full guide to auditory processing activities for more information.
This is a game where one person whispers a short message to another person who then repeats the message to another person. By the end, hopefully, you will have the same message as the original. This is a fantastic game to practice listening and verbal skills.
2. Directed drawing
Ask your child to draw with specific instructions like “draw a house on a hill, with two red doors and windows, draw two clouds in the sky”. Make this age and skill-appropriate by using multiple steps or single steps as required. This can help your child develop their fine motor and auditory skills.
3. I spy
A great way to combine auditory and vision. You describe the thing you see in the room. “ I spy with my little eye something big, something yellow, something you can hold” etc.
Cerebellum exercises can help your child with balance, memory, attention, learning ability, anxiousness and hyperactivity. See our full guide to cerebellum exercises for more information – this guide is particularly tailored toward cerebellum exercises for ADHD.
1. Crazy claps
Original: Stand on one foot and clap your hands overhead 10 times. Switch legs and repeat.
Modified: Stand on your left foot and clap your hands overhead. Bring your foot down, repeat for a minimum of 10 times. Then stand on your right foot, clap your hands overhead and bring your foot down for a minimum of 10 times.
Simplified: If you can stand on both feet, clap your hands overhead, if you can’t stand, sit in a chair and clap your hands overhead 5-10 times.
2. Stand kicks
Original: Stand on your right foot and kick your left leg out to the front, to the side and back then place it back down on the ground. Then stand on your left foot and kick your right leg out to the front, side and back. Repeat this alternating pattern a minimum of 6 times.
Modified Use a wall or chair for support if needed. Stand on your right foot, kick your left leg to the front, to the side, and to the back a minimum of 6 times. Then turn around and kick your right leg to the front, side and to the back for a minimum of 6 times.
Simplified: Stand next to a chair or wall for balance, slightly lift your left leg and kick to the front, then kick to the back. Then turn and kick your right leg to the front and back.
3. Tightrope stand
Original: Stand with your feet together, one in front of the other, like you are balancing on a tightrope. Extend your arms out for balance, then close your eyes. Hold this position for 10 seconds, then switch feet and hold for 10 seconds.
Modified: With one hand touching the wall or chair for support, stand with your feet together one in front of the other, like you are balancing on a tightrope. Use the opposite hand for balance. Close your eyes and hold this position for 10 seconds, then switch feet and hold for 10 seconds.
Simplified: With one hand touching the wall or chair, stand with your feet slightly apart, one in front of the other like you are balancing on a tightrope. Keep your eyes open. Hold this position for 5 seconds, then switch feet and hold for 5 seconds.
Vestibular activities activate the vestibular system, which helps us to know whether we are still or moving, and which direction we are moving in. These exercises can help your child with balance and stability, dizziness or nausea during or after movement, posture, reluctance to take part in movement and more. See our full guide to vestibular activities for more information.
“These activities provide appropriate proprioceptive and vestibular input to help decrease sensory seeking behaviors or provide sensory input that the body needs to regulate to facilitate concentration and participation in games with rules, arts and crafts activities and completion of homework packets.”
Jayce de Vera, pediatric OT in Neighborhood Charter School Bronx, NY
1. Sky earth stretches
Original: Stand up tall with your arms above your head. Stretch your arms and fingers up to the ceiling. Then bend forward and fold in half. As your child stretches all the way up they also activate their proprioceptive system. This system controls awareness of where the body is in space. They use postural skills to lift their body back up to standing, and they can practice grading muscle movements by doing the exercise slowly.
Modified: Sit on a chair and lift your arms above your head, then bend forward and place your elbows on a chair.
Simplified: Help your child to lift their hands above their head, then help them to bend forward slightly to touch their knees.
2. Downward dog
Original: Get on all fours, placing your hands and feet on the ground. Extend your legs and try to get them as straight as possible. Keep your head between your arms while looking down toward your feet. This works your child’s vestibular system because their head is inverted. It also works their proprioception skills and core muscles as they hold their body in position.
Modified: Get on all fours, placing your arms out in front of you. Keep your head between your arms and leave your knees bent on the ground, then push back like you’re going to sit while keeping your arms outstretched in front of you.
Simplified: Encourage your child to kneel on all fours and look down toward their knees.
3. X stretch
Original: Stand like an ‘X’ with your arms out above your head, and legs slightly over hip-width apart. Then fold over, keeping both arms extended and reach your left arm to your right foot. Stand up, and repeat with your right arm reaching to your left foot. This exercise works the vestibular system as your child bends forward and crosses their midline. By encouraging your child to look at their hand and foot during the exercise, they can also work on their visual skills.
Modified: Stand like an ‘X’ with your arms overhead. Take your right arm to your left knee, looking down but not fully bending over. Repeat to the other side.
Simplified: Demonstrate hands overhead to your child and encourage them to copy, or use stickers to match.
Ocular motor activities
Ocular motor activities can help your child improve their ocular motor skills. These are important for activities like reading and writing, copying text, throwing and catching a ball, and navigating their environment. See our full guide to ocular motor activities for more information.
1. Eyes up/down
Original: Stand up with your head in neutral, looking forward. Move just your eyes up to look up for a count of 3, and then look down for a count of 3 then pause. Repeat 4 times.
Modified: Sit down in a chair with your back supported and your head in neutral looking forward. Move just your eyes to look up for count of 3, then down for a count of 3 then pause.
Simplified: Lie on the ground looking up at the ceiling. Move your eyes up as far as possible, then down as far as possible.
2. Converge and diverge
Original: Stand up and hold your pointer finger up in front of your nose about 10 inches away. Slowly move your finger towards your nose so that your eyes come together, then slowly move your finger away from your nose so your eyes move apart. Pause for 10 seconds, then repeat 2 more times.
Modified: Sit down and hold your pointer finger up in front of your nose about 10 inches away. Slowly move your finger towards your nose so that your eyes come together, then slowly move your finger away from your nose so your eyes move apart. Pause for 10 seconds, then repeat 2 more times.
Simplified: Sit down with your back supported and hold your pointer finger up in front of your nose about 10 inches away. Slowly move your finger towards your nose so that your eyes come together, then slowly move your finger away from your nose so your eyes move apart. Pause for 10 seconds, then repeat 2 more times.
3. Eye 8s
Original: Stand up and look down at the ground. Trace a lazy 8 shape with just your eyes, don’t move your head. Trace starting in the middle of the 8 and up to the left, then start in the middle and up to the right.
Modified: Sit down and look down at the ground. Trace a lazy 8 shape with just your eyes, don’t move your head. Trace starting in the middle of the 8 and up to the left, then start in the middle and up to the right.
Simplified: Sit down with your back supported and look down at the ground. Trace a lazy 8 shape with just your eyes, don’t move your head. Trace starting in the middle of the 8 and up to the left, then start in the middle and up to the right.
Occupational therapy activities can help your child develop the skills they need to reach their developmental milestones and engage in daily life activities that are important to them, including play, participating in school, and taking care of themselves. These exercises are a great complementary treatment to the Soundsory® program, a 40-day program of movement to music.
Soundsory® is specifically designed to boost the neurodevelopment of children with ADHD, Autism and sensory processing disorders. It includes a wide range of home-based activities to target multiple aspects of neurodevelopment.
What is the role of OT in daily living?
OTs develop an intervention plan unique to a person’s needs that will help them regain or develop the skills they need to participate in daily living activities that they find meaningful and important.
What is an activity in occupational therapy?
In occupational therapy, activities have a specific goal in mind – they aim to help people get better at skills they need for their day-to-day life. These activities are actually key parts of everyday tasks.
What are the goals of OT for autistic children?
OT enables individuals with autism to become more independent and engage in and participate in a wide range of activities. Typically OT programs for kids with autism involve helping them manage sensory difficulties, develop appropriate communication and social skills, and promoting self-care skills.
What activities can I do for children with ADHD?
Children with ADHD typically have difficulties with emotional regulation, executive functions, and sensory processing difficulties. Sensory activities, including tactile, proprioceptive, and vestibular activities can calm and boost their mood. These are mostly physical activities like obstacle courses and active games. Structured activities with clear, easy to follow instructions can also help improve their attention and concentration.
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- Buffone, F. R. R. C., & Schochat, E. (2022). Sensory profile of children with Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD). CoDAS, 34(1). https://doi.org/10.1590/2317-1782/20212019282
- Cheung, P. P. P., & Lau, B. W. M. (2020). Neurobiology of sensory processing in autism spectrum disorder. Progress in Molecular Biology and Translational Science, 173, 161–181. https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.pmbts.2020.04.02
- Dellapiazza, F., Michelon, C., Vernhet, C., Muratori, F., Blanc, N., Picot, M.-C., & Baghdadli, A. (2020). Sensory processing related to attention in children with ASD, ADHD, or typical development: results from the ELENA cohort. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 30(2). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00787-020-01516-5