Three things your child’s occupational therapist wants you to know

In my experience as a pediatric therapist, I’ve noticed many parents have similar expectations about their child’s therapy, which often lead to miscommunication. While I can’t list them all, there are three major things that most OTs want you to know as a parent.

1. Please, please, please follow through at home.

Ask your therapist for a home exercise program or sensory diet. Most children only have occupational therapy for 30-60 minutes a week! That’s a very small percentage of time, so it’s important for families to follow through, otherwise it will take even longer to see any signs of progress.

2. Motor skills are acquired from proximal to distal.

This means if you want your child to learn how to tie their shoes, or improve their handwriting, then they need to have a strong core first. You can learn more about the Proximal-Distal Principle here.

3. We are all on the same team, and we want your child to succeed just as much as you do.

Our goal isn’t to “fix” your child. Our goal is to support them in becoming the best and most independent version of themselves that they can be.

Equipped with the knowledge of these three things, you can join forces with your child’s occupational therapist (and other service providers). You can then create a plan that works best for your child in their own uniquely individual context.