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Occupational Therapy?

(9 Posts)
hollysmam Thu 25-Aug-11 15:13:13

Hi all, my dd is 3.6yrs and has severe speech and language delay. We are having SALT and have seen paed. twice and we dont have any official dx of anything yet, but have now been referred for occupational therapy. My question is - has anybody any idea what they do? The lady on the phone told me they help if the child has difficulty with 'function' but have no idea what that means nor how they would go about helping dd. She has difficulty with many things which we put down (mostly) to lack of speech and potential autism. However, with this in mind how will this OT help? Any light people can shed would be most welcome!!

grumpypants Thu 25-Aug-11 15:16:14

our ot checked for fine and gross motor skills, and sensory issues such as sensitivity/ lack of to touch, objects, sounds etc.

hollysmam Thu 25-Aug-11 15:18:04

Do you mind me asking what help she offered (if it was needed of course?)

grumpypants Thu 25-Aug-11 15:27:30

hi - triangular pencil grips, suggestions for activities to reduce sensitivity/ fulfil sensory seeking needs, and some practical stuff like a slope board. best was 'squashing' with a ball to make him calm down! (Don't try that at home!)

LIZS Thu 25-Aug-11 15:36:54

"Function" is how they manage physically with every day tasks ie dressing, drawing, sitting, walking, eating, both in terms of whether they can do it and how well they think a process through (ie. can they work out how to put a coat on and can they actually execute each step involved). OT can take the form of exercises to strengthen weak joints or muscles, help cross lateral movement,thought processing and coordination and training movements by repetition and/or suggestions for equipment to improve positioning and movement (move 'n' sit cushion, supportive chairs, writing slopes) and practical aids such as pencil grips, wrist supports, exercise balls.

IndigoBell Thu 25-Aug-11 16:32:19

Yes, OT is brilliant, and you probably aren't aware yet of her fine and gross motor skills problems......

Of course the NHS OT probably won't do very much.... But take everything they will give you for free.

They will probably assess her fine and gross motor skills and give you exercises to do (theraputty for example). Then they also do classes on getting dressed, using cutlery, things like that. Not sure for a 3yr old what they'll offer.....

madwomanintheattic Thu 25-Aug-11 16:40:37

at 3 with dd2 they were very busy! starting to work on self help skills such as getting dressed and cutlery use etc, but still mostly concentrating on fine motor working towards developing grip (they will be having a look to see if dd has developed a pincer grip yet, whether she is able to pick up little things - raisins or whatever, how she holds a crayon, whether she still uses a dagger grip for mark making, working towards correct grip etc) and lots and lots of games to strengthen and help develop fine motor. theraputty or play doh, peg games, threading games, posting things through slots, at three the sessions are never long enough tbh!

they might also look at seating position etc, but at three we had joint physio and ot appts, so the ot concentrated on all things fine motor whilst the physio looked at position and tinkered with seating.

our nhs ots have all been completely brilliant grin dd cries whenever we move as she will miss the ot so much!

Eveiebaby Thu 25-Aug-11 23:40:55

Like the above posters have said they will assess fine and gross motor skills plus things like balance and co-ordination. DD was about a year older than your DD when she was assessed and after the assessment they went to her school and gave suggestions as to how the school could help her eg things like theraputty to improve her fine motor skills and bouncing on a space hopper to improve attention levels smile. They also gave us a list of general exercises DD could do at home again mostly to improve her strength and low muscle tone and attention levels.

I must admit I didn't have a clue about OT or what the benefits were until DD's school suggested I go to the GP and ask for a referral sad and what made it really shocking was that DD had already been diagnosed with ASD and was under a peadiatrician but he never ever mentioned her motor skills to us or gave her a physical examination angry which meant we lost a whole year of intervention for her at the optimum time of her development - so it seems that your Paed is being very thorough which is wonderful!

Eveiebaby Thu 25-Aug-11 23:45:40

"we lost a whole year of OT intervention" that should read

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