Occupational Therapy for Children

The main goal of Occupational Therapy for children is to enable those with a disability or injury to participate and function successfully in daily living activities. Occupational Therapists (OT’s) are trained professionals who help develop skills in such areas as:

  • Eating
  • Toileting
  • Playing
  • Writing
  • Running
  • Hopping
  • Dressing
  • Learning
  • Drawing
  • Showering
  • Jumping
  • Cutting

At your initial consultation the OT will assess your child’s fine and gross motor skills, cognitive abilities and sensory needs. They will then be able to identify any areas of concern and organise treatment and therapy to suit your child’s individual needs.

Occupational Therapy for children is often fun and play based so children get enjoyment out of it while learning important skills. Some of the methods and treatments OT’s use for child may include:


This therapy approach is based on joining the child in doing activities that they enjoy while engaging communication, connection and emotion. The child is encouraged to take the lead and to be creative and spontaneous. By following the child’s lead they feel comfortable and safe while sharing their interest and can then be helped and guided toward further development.

Sensory Integration Therapy

An individualised plan is made up by an OT which includes specific sensory, fine and gross motor skill exercises to help the child learn appropriate responses to sensations in an active, fun and meaningful way. Parents play a big part in this therapy and are often given a “Sensory Diet” for their child which is a personalised activity plan that provides the necessary sensory input to help keep the child calm, organised and focused throughout the day.

If your child is overwhelmed by touch then they might also benefit from sensory brushing which helps to reduce tactile or sensory defensiveness.

Visual Aids

Visual aids play a huge role in Occupational Therapy for a lot of children. Things like cue cards, time tables, posters, social stories, timers etc can go a long way in helping children to remember and understand what is expected of them in various situations.

Some of the areas Occupational Therapy might work on are:

  • Teaching self-care activities like toilet training, bathing and feeding themselves.
  • Working on developing play skills such as taking turns and sharing.
  • Teaching social interaction and appropriate behaviour around peers.
  • Helping to develop the child’s fine motor skills and gross motor skills.
  • Addressing and assisting with sensory issues.
  • Teaching parents, carers and teachers strategies to engage and help the child.
  • Working to reduce the child’s stress levels and teach self-regulation.
  • Visit the kinder or school to help modify the environment to assist the child to be able to participate in activities.
  • Building all of these skills and helping the child to maintain them and build on them further.


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