Suppose you have a child currently attending occupational therapy sessions or considering enrolling your child in such a program. In that case, you may wonder how you can help them get the most out of the experience. Here are five tips to help your child excel in occupational therapy:
1. Be encouraging and positive.
It’s important to remember that your child is likely feeling a bit anxious or overwhelmed by the whole process, so it’s crucial to be supportive and reassuring. Let your child know that you believe in them and that they can do it. Encourage them to take their time and not be too hard on themselves if they don’t get everything right away. Let them know that it takes time, practice, and dedication to master anything.
Consider providing your child with tools or resources to help them stay organized and on track. This could include a planner or calendar to help keep track of due dates and upcoming tests. Invest in apps that give your child extra practice on their learning topics. There are plenty of options available, so it’s essential to do your research and find the ones that will be most beneficial for your child.
2. Get involved.
One of the best ways to help your child succeed is to participate in their therapy sessions as much as possible. Not only will this make them feel more comfortable and supported, but it will also give you a better understanding of what they are working on and how you can continue those exercises at home. It may even give you a better experience of the diagnosis and treatment plan. You can also take advantage of parent education classes or groups available for families with children with special needs.
These classes will help you learn more about your child’s condition and strategies to help support them at home in their daily lives. By connecting with other families with children with similar situations, you can better understand your family’s challenges and find support from people who know what you’re going through.
3. Make time for practice.
Just like with any other skill, practice makes perfect when it comes to occupational therapy. Encourage your child to practice the exercises they learned in their session each day. This will not only help them improve their skills but also increase their confidence level and give them the motivation to continue learning. You can also ask your child’s occupational therapist for tips and tricks to best help your child practice at home. Additionally, it is essential to know that if something does not make sense or you do not understand why a particular exercise was given to your child, you must ask the therapist why that specific exercise was chosen. This can help you and your child better understands why the occupational therapy program has been designed in such a way.
4. Encourage independence.
Occupational therapy is about helping your child become more independent, so do your best to foster that attitude at home. Give them tasks they can do independently and reward them for completing them successfully. Praise them for trying hard even if they fail. Give your child choice and decision-making opportunities, like picking out their clothes or helping to plan a family outing. Showing your child that you believe in them will build confidence and independence over time.
An occupational therapist can also help you create strategies to manage problematic behaviors. This can include developing a schedule or routine to help with transitions, teaching different coping skills for stressful situations, and implementing reward systems for positive behaviors. Your child will learn the strategies to become more independent with consistent practice at home and in therapy sessions.
5. Celebrate successes.
The small wins are just as important as the big ones, so don’t forget to take a minute to celebrate each milestone your child reaches. Whether learning a new skill or completing an exercise, give your child credit for their hard work and dedication. This will help to motivate them and encourage further progress. Additionally, provide positive reinforcement whenever possible. Whenever your child does something well, instead of saying “good job” or “well done,” be specific by mentioning the skill they used to accomplish it. This way, they know that their effort has been recognized and appreciated.
These five tips will help you support your child in their occupational therapy journey and ensure that they get the most out of their or experience. With your help and encouragement, they can reach their goals and live more independently.
If you have any questions about occupational therapy or need advice on supporting your child’s progress, don’t hesitate to reach out to Kids Aboard Therapy in Davie, Florida. Our team is here to provide expert guidance and help you create the best possible plan for your child. Contact us today to start the conversation!