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
- Leisure Activities – joining in with family and community events, playing on a sports team, etc.
Occupational Therapy is a regulated health profession. Occupational therapists (OTs) at Grandview are licensed practitioners with the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario who have chosen to focus on paediatric therapy. Grandview also employs occupational therapy assistants (OTAs) 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.
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.
- Geographic Criteria: Children living in Durham Region.
- Age Criteria: Newborn to 19 years, dependent on the area of concern.
- Diagnostic Criteria: Impairment of occupational performance due to illness or injury, as well as developmental, sensory processing, and physical disorders. Clients may also require environmental changes with assistive devices and/or equipment in order to promote, maintain, or restore optimum occupational performance, and prevent disability
Prior to beginning any course of treatment, an OT will request further information regarding what occupations are important to the child and your family, and if the child is having difficulty engaging in these, or any additional occupations.
What does the OT assess?
The OT will use a variety of assessment methods and methodologies to determine why the child and family may be having difficulty engaging in those occupations. Assessments might include formal or informal testing of the child’s skills such as:
- fine and gross motor skills
- visual perceptual skills
- cognitive skills
- sensory processing
- self-regulation skills
How does the OT complete an assessment?
Assessment by an OT may also include informal observation of the child engaging in various occupations, including, but not limited to:
- playing with toys
What does the assessment look like?
The OT may observe the child engaging in occupations within a number of environments:
- In-centre at a Grandview location
- Client’s home
- Client’s preschool or licensed child care centre
What follows after the OT assessment? The OT will collect all of the information generated throughout the assessment and engage collaboratively with the child and family to develop an intervention plan.
Occupational Therapy intervention can take on many different forms, both from an individual perspective and group setting. At Grandview, intervention may be provided for a child by utilizing the following approaches:
- Direct support from the OT to help the child build motor, visual perceptual, cognitive, sensory processing, or self-regulation skills.
- Direct support from an OTA to work on identified skills.
- Consultation, via education sessions or workshops, with parents and caregivers to offer effective strategies for working with the child and enabling occupation.
Providing a recommendation for specialized equipment to help the child better participate in their daily occupations. This specialized equipment might include mobility aids, toileting, bathing, feeding aids, ramps, grab bars, lifting equipment, adaptive school furniture, or tools such as specialized pencils or scissors, etc.
Referral Process – How to Access Grandview Occupational Therapy Services and Supports
For all general inquiries, information on additional resources, or to speak with a team member about eligibility criteria and initiating a referral, families are able to call or email Service Navigation at Grandview Children’s Centre. Our team will be pleased to answer your questions and connect your child with the appropriate services to meet their needs.
Phone: 905-728-1673 x 2468
Toll-free: 1-800-304-6180 x 2468
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
For families looking for support with fine motor concerns, please consider the following resource:
- Durham College Fine Motor Clinic https://durhamcollege.ca/student-life/health-and-wellness/fine-motor-clinic
- This program is run by Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy assistants under the supervision of an Occupational Therapist