How can you tell if your child needs occupational therapy?
- They are behind in developmental milestones for their age
- They have difficulty with social interaction
- They exhibit behavioral issues
- They are struggling with motor skills
- They have sensory processing disorders
- They have trouble coping at school
Certain children have trouble mastering physical, sensory, and academic skills as they grow up. As a parent, we’re sure this would worry you and you may be wondering what you can do to help. Don’t worry though, this is one of the common struggles and concerns most parents have. With this, you should consider learning more about occupational therapy in the Philippines.
What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapy in the Philippines at the Perpetual Help Medical Center-Las Pinas successfully helps children who struggle to do their everyday tasks. It is an ongoing quality therapy that works to improve all skills from fine, gross, emotional, sensory, and motor skills.
Occupational therapists will observe your child’s strengths and struggles in order to create a perfect program for your child to work on. The therapy is personalized to your child’s specific needs.
But, how can you tell if your child really needs occupational therapy or if they’re just being kids? Observation is key. Here are some telltale signs and specific quirks to help you find out.
They Are Behind in Developmental Milestones For Their Age
As a parent, you are always excited to see your infant grow and reach all their milestones. Their first words, first crawl, first steps, and more. If your child is showing developmental delays, it doesn’t completely mean that your child needs occupational therapy right away. All children grow differently. Don’t let this put you into panic mode right away. However, this can be one possible sign that he/she may need occupational therapy if it continues to occur in the long run.
They Have Difficulty With Social Interaction
It is common for most children to be shy around people, especially if it is their first time meeting them. However, your child may be having delayed social skills and may need occupational therapy if they are showing certain traits during social interaction such as:
- Constantly avoiding eye contact
- Struggling to interact with people
- Difficulty engaging and playing with children his/her age
- Struggling to adapt to large gatherings
- Delayed communication skills
They Exhibit Behavioral Issues
Children are likely to scream and cry as a way to signal that they need something. But have you noticed more frequent and constant episodes of extreme anger and anxiety paired with hitting and meltdowns? Then this can be a sign that he/she needs to be addressed by an occupational therapist. These kinds of behavioral episodes and challenges are the result of a child who has limited speech and inadequate communication skills.
They Are Struggling With Motor Skills
There are two types of motor skills: gross motor skills and fine motor skills.
Gross motor skills are actions that require whole-body movement. These are the everyday functions such as standing, walking, and sitting. It also includes hand-eye coordination skills like throwing, catching, and kicking. While some children may just have low body tone strength and balance, there are certain signs that he/she may need occupational therapy such as:
- Not being able to roll, throw, or kick a ball age appropriately
- Cannot coordinate both sides of the body
- Poor endurance or avoiding physical games and activities
On the other hand, fine motor skills include writing, cutting, holding objects, or picking things up. If your child is struggling with fine motor skills, he/she will show some of these signs:
- Unable to use both hands
- Difficulty in holding a pen or any writing tool
- Struggles with coloring, writing, and drawing
- Avoiding any activity that requires fine motor skills
Make sure to be observant with these and have your child assessed immediately if you think he/she needs occupational therapy. If these issues are not addressed right away, they can lead to poor performance in school.
They Have Sensory Processing Disorders
Your child may benefit from occupational therapy if he/she has been showing signs of sensory processing disorders. These are difficulties in vision, sound, touch, smell, taste, body awareness, and balance.
They Have Trouble Coping at School
Children who may need occupational therapy will likely struggle to cope at school. Consult an occupational therapist if you or their teacher observes actions such as:
- Struggling to concentrate
- Easily distracted
- Difficulty in following instructions and completing tasks
- Poor impulse
- Makes letter or number reversals
- Difficulty learning new lessons
It can surely be difficult to figure out if kids are just being kids or if they need to undergo occupational therapy in the Philippines. The key to this is observation, patience, and mindfulness. Use these telltale signs and specific quirks above to help you out.
The earlier your child starts occupational therapy, the more effective it will be. If you feel like your child needs occupational therapy, feel free to visit us here at the Perpetual Help Medical Center-Las Pinas. Our experienced and world-class occupational therapists can help you. Click here to contact us today!