If you’re working as a school-based occupational, physical, or speech therapist, at some point, you’re likely to work with children with sensory processing disorder. Although it may vary, children on the autism spectrum often have sensory processing disorder. But the condition can also affect kids who are not on the autism spectrum.
Sensory processing disorder involves either hypersensitivity or hyposensitivity to sensory stimuli. The disorder can affect any sense including taste, touch, sound, sight, and smell. Some children may have hypersensitivity to one type of stimuli, such as touch. For other children, more than one sense may be involved. Usually, to be diagnosed with sensory processing disorder, the condition must interfere with everyday functioning. [continue reading…]
Whether you’re a new grad or have been an occupational therapist for a while, you might be considering working as an OT in a school. If you enjoy working with children and long for a schedule where you have holidays and weekends off, working as a school-based occupational therapist can be a great option. However, keep in mind that working as a school occupational therapist is different from other settings, such as hospitals or nursing homes. Before you make your move, there are several things you should consider. [continue reading…]
Whether you’re working as an occupational or speech therapist in a school setting, it can be a challenge to work with kids who can’t sit still. Some children with certain conditions, such as Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Autism Spectrum Disorder, may have sensory processing issues, which results in a decreased attention span.
In some cases, even children who don’t have a diagnosis of either condition can have trouble remaining still long enough to cooperate and get through therapy. In fact, one of the reasons some kids are referred to occupational therapy is because they have trouble sitting still in class.
Before you can develop strategies to help your students sit still, try to identify the reason behind their inability to focus. [continue reading…]
When mentioning in passing the need for occupational therapy for toddlers I often hear a variation of the joke that children don’t need occupational therapy – they don’t have an occupation! While this may at first seem slightly humorous, in fact toddlers do have an occupation. They are working to learn the rules of our adult society every day. They are trying to learn fine motor skills so they can hold a pen to write up a report one day. They are trying to learn visual perceptual skills so they are able to take unspoken cues from friends and future coworkers. These skills, and others, are essential for a child to lean on if they are going to be successful adults. This is the occupation of a toddler, learning to be a grown up. [continue reading…]