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Children Playing

All children have a
very important job to do.

They have to grow, learn,
socialise and play.

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"All children have a very important job to do. They have to grow, learn, socialise and play. Children do this every day by exploring the boundaries of their abilities. When they are successful, children develop and thrive and this sense of achievement makes them happy."


"However, if children have learning, emotional, psychological or physical difficulties, this can hinder their ability to grow, learn, socialise and play, resulting in them not coping with basic activities such as getting dressed or brushing their teeth. Equally at school, children may have difficulty concentrating in class or lack the confidence to take part in playground games such as playing catch. This will affect their ability to learn, participate in school activities and make friends, which can be difficult, because ‘fitting in’ is so important to a child’s self-esteem and happiness. Occupational therapists work with the child, parents and teachers to find solutions to minimise the difficulties children face, helping them get the most from life." - College of Occupational Therapy

"Using purposeful activity and play, the children's occupational therapist works with the child to help him or her attain the highest possible quality of life. The occupational therapist assesses the child and uses therapeutic techniques and activities to help maximise the child's abilities and independence. The assessments and techniques vary according to the needs of the child." - National Association of Paediatric Occupational Therapists

Occupational Therapists are concerned with everything a child has to do throughout their day. They will look at all the activities that a child is involved in and establish areas of difficulty. Using their skills of observation and analysis they identify the root cause of the difficulties and try to establish ways to overcome this difficulty. They may:-

  • Devise activities or a programme of activities to improve the skills required to participate in the activity.
  • Provide direct treatment using a variety of approaches to improve the child's ability to participate in the activity.
  • Recommend or advise on equipment, changes to the environment or strategies to help the child to participate.
  • Advise and train carers on how to assist the child with the activity or improve their abilities.