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What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational Therapy is a regulated health profession.  Occupational therapists (OTs) at Grandview are licensed practitioners with the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario. Grandview also employs therapy assistants who may address portions of a child’s intervention plan under the supervision of an OT.  All of our staff receive ongoing training specific to working with children and youth with a variety of needs to ensure quality services for our clients, and their families.

Occupations are any activities that people need or want to engage in during their daily lives.  For children, occupations can fall into the categories of productivity (work, play, participating at school), self care (feeding, dressing, toileting, personal hygiene), and leisure activities (joining in with family and community events, playing on a sports team, etc).

At Grandview Children’s Centre, OTs use a variety of methods to help enable occupation.  Enabling occupation means helping children and families improve their ability to participate in and enjoy the day to day activities that are important to them.

Assessment

The OT will conduct an interview with parents and children about what occupations are important to them, and if they are having difficulty engaging in any occupations.  The OT will work to determine why that child and family is having difficulty engaging in those occupations, through the use of various assessment methods.

Assessments might include formal or informal testing of the child’s skills such as fine and gross motor skills, visual perceptual skills, cognitive, sensory processing, and self-regulation skills.  It might include informal observation of the child engaging in occupations such as dressing, feeding, playing with toys, etc.  It might include a visit to the client’s home or preschool to observe the child engaging in occupations in those environments.   The OT will put all of this information together and come up with an intervention plan collaboratively with the child and family.

Intervention

Occupational therapy intervention can take on many different forms.  The OT might work directly with the child to help him or her build motor, visual perceptual, cognitive, sensory processing, or self regulation skills.   This might be done individually, or in a group with other children.  The OT might refer to a therapy assistant to work directly with the child as well.  The OT might consult with parents and caregivers to teach them strategies for working with the child on a daily basis to help enable occupation.  This might be done individually, or in the form of caregiver workshops or education sessions.

Additionally, if needed, the OT might recommend specialized equipment to help the child better participate in their daily occupations.  Specialized equipment might include mobility aids, toileting, bathing, or feeding aids, ramps, grab bars, lifting equipment, adaptive school furniture or tools such as specialized pencils or scissors, etc.

How to access Occupational Therapy

If you are not currently accessing services at Grandview a medical referral will be required to access Occupational Therapy.  We also accept referrals from Infant and Child Development Services.  If your child is already accessing another service at Grandview the clinician may be able to complete an internal referral for your child.

How long is the wait?

Depending on your child’s age and needs the waiting time can vary.  Once a referral  is received,  a letter will be sent letting  you know the approximate waiting time for service.

Additional Information:

For more information about Occupational Therapy, or to find a private practitioner in your area, you can refer to the following websites:

The College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario

The Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists

The Ontario Society of Occupational Therapists 


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