This Occupational Therapy Month, we are celebrating the efforts of occupational therapists, who are central in the effort to help children with disabilities participate more fully in the activities of daily living (ADLs)!

Occupational Therapists: What Do They Do to Help Children with Disabilities?

Children with disabilities and cerebral palsy often benefit from occupational therapy, which has a goal of helping the child adapt to their environment and allow them to achieve maximal functionality on both the physical and cognitive levels. The skills that children learn often include feeding themselves, getting dressed and undressed, toileting, self-care and transfers (when necessary). Other skills occupational therapists can assist with include creating routines, social interactions and emotional regulation, developing critical thinking skills and pursuing personal interests and hobbies.

Occupational therapists specialize in determining the best method a child can use to complete a particular task, and then help the child break the tasks down into more manageable parts. This is done in conjunction with helping the child to feel like part of their given community and stresses positive accomplishments, pride and independence.

Occupational therapists also can provide specialized intensive services to children with spastic cerebral palsy, helping them regain the use of their arms, hands, and thumbs, allowing them to be more fully independent. This can take on the form of modified constraint-induced movement therapy (mCIMT) or bimanual intensive rehabilitation training (IRP) though there are numerous types of occupational therapy methods that a therapist may use.

What Kind of Disabilities Can An Occupational Therapist Help With?

Occupational therapists are trained to handle many disabilities, though they may specialize in a particular practice area or in helping particular populations. These disabilities can be physical or cognitive in nature. While ‘disabilities’ encompass a wide variety of conditions, the ones most commonly seen with birth injuries include cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, and cognitive and intellectual disabilities. These disabilities are caused by a wide variety of underlying conditions and events, including (but not limited to):

Given the wide variety of conditions an occupational therapist must handle, it is of paramount importance that they have a versatile and deep knowledge of therapeutic techniques and methods.

Celebrating the Accomplishments of Occupational Therapists

This Occupational Therapy Month, we celebrate the occupational therapy professionals who help children with disabilities. They work in a variety of settings, including schools, hospitals, daycare facilities and community centers. Their services are critical to ensuring that students with disabilities are developing measurable academic skills in their Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), social integration skills within their classrooms and recreational activities, and emotional regulation skills that will serve them within a peer and possible eventual workplace context.

Legal Help for Children Who Need Occupational Therapy Due to Birth Injuries

It is often the case that occupational therapy services can often be quite expensive, and often not covered or limited by insurance.  This can place much needed occupational therapy out of reach of the populations that benefit from these services most. Children who require occupational therapy deserve to get it – especially when it is caused by a preventable medical error.

The focused birth injury lawyers at Michigan Cerebral Palsy Attorneys can help you obtain the care and support you and your child deserve. Take the first step in securing your child’s future care by calling us for a free case evaluation at (888) 592-1857, via email, or via our live chat (button to the left of your screen). We keep your information strictly confidential, and will never charge any fees until there is a recovery in your case.

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