The need for occupational therapy in children begins at an early age. Whether your child is showing signs of developmental delays early on with or without a clear diagnosis, it can be proactive to enlist the help of an occupational therapist to further their learning process.
With the right interaction, toys, behaviors, and routines, you can establish a pronounced improvement in your child’s development early on. From the time a child is born until they are three years old is significant in their development of cognitive, behavioral, and social growth.
In some children, learning needs a more countered measure and can be assisted with occupational therapy activities for children. Starting early with your occupational therapy can help a child develop while they are in the early stages of learning. This will occur during the time that their brain really takes shape and learns from their experiences and surroundings around them.
What Is Early Intervention?
Early intervention of a child’s development begins as soon as possible as a child is constantly learning. Degradation in this process can stunt the developmental process. By incorporating occupational therapy for children early on, you can ensure you child progresses at the time that they are most susceptible to learning and will benefit early on from this additional assistance.
Through occupational therapy for children, you will help your child learn everyday functions, from visual learning to developing routine sleep habits and social interactions. Early intervention promotes physical development along with cognitive, emotional, communication, and adaptive learning.
What Are the Advantages of Early Intervention?
By incorporating techniques used by occupational therapists, your child can progress their learning early on and help reduce the effects of developmental delays. With the right occupational therapy activities for children you can help your infant learn the necessary tools to thrive in society.
An occupational therapist will help your child develop in a natural setting that ensures that they will be able to use the techniques they learn in the same areas where they live and play. Starting development early can provide the most impact for their development and get them on a path to success into the future.
Tips For Development Through Playtime
With occupational therapies for children, your child will begin to use and hone the skills they need to further their development and help progress the learning delays that are occurring. Through playtime, your child can learn physical coordination as well as important social skills while gaining independence and confidence.
Try these tips when selecting toys:
- Sensory: Playtime is an essential part of your child’s development and picking the right toys to further their development can help increase their achievements. Toys should provide the right amount of sensory impact without overloading a child. Choosing a toy that allows a child to learn and still enjoy themselves is key. You can encourage your child’s senses using toys that evoke touch, such as finger paints and balls. Toys that require hand-eye coordination are good for teaching a child to problem-solve. Try Incorporating puzzles, LEGOS, and board games into their playtime.
- Sharing: You will also want to encourage a child to take turns with others as a way to develop their social skills. Problem solving can also be encouraged through playtime with the right toys. An occupational therapist will encourage family members to become involved in a child’s playtime so they will get the interaction they need and further their occupational therapy when at home.
- Imagination: Imagination should also be encouraged and using dolls, trucks or stuffed animals to help your child use their imagination can improve their ability to relate to the world around them.
Occupational Therapy in Early Intervention: Helping Children Succeed
Children thrive on routine. It is easier for them to function and creates independence in your child. As they get older, setting a schedule will allow children to continue their development and do many tasks themselves.
Try setting these routines:
- Wake-up times: As early as the age of one you can set a wake-up time for your child. The environment they are sleeping in can affect their development and their sleep patterns. Factors such as diet, temperature and the amount of light can influence sleep patterns and make the difference in their developmental progress. Through occupational therapy for children, you can ensure your child has a balanced sleep habit that will help them progress throughout the day without being tired.
- Mealtimes: Encouraging your child to feed themselves promotes independence in a child. They are also able to incorporate dexterity when handling food and utensils. Trying new foods also opens your child up to new textures, smells, and tastes, helping to further their brain development.
- Bath times: This can be a time that your child engrosses their senses and learns functions such as sitting up on their own. Water can be fun for children and allow them time to play while also learning about safety. This is a sensory experience for your child and is a daily routine that can increase development in a child.
- Social interactions: Your child’s emotions will become more developed through social interactions with the family. This is a part of the occupational therapy activities for children that will allow them to progress when interacting with others. They will be able to learn to manage their emotions as well as be more independent and self-aware. This can also help to increase the bond you have with your child and ensure they learning in a comfortable way.
By creating a routine and regular play for your child through occupational therapy for children, you will help improve your child’s learning skills and make sure their developmental delays won’t progress. Early intervention is key to these delays and can work to improve the development in your infant early on. To have your child work with an occupational therapist, contact Early Developmental Therapy Consultants. We will be able to evaluate your child and work with you to develop techniques that can improve developmental skills early on.