What exactly is Occupational Therapy (OT)???
This is a common question that I get asked when discussing the services and therapy that Hazel receives regularly. It is a common assumption that those with t21 need only physical therapy to increase their muscle tone. They actually need OT as well.
The definition according to the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapy is as follows:
"Occupational therapy is the art and science of enabling engagement in everyday living, through occupation; of enabling people to perform the occupations that foster health and well-being; and of enabling a just and inclusive society so that all people may participate to their potential in the daily occupations of life."
I see it as a way to help make Hazel more independent. At the moment, her OT is working with us on how to master everyday skills, such as, feeding herself, fine motor skills, and skills that will lay the foundation for more complex actions as she grows.
Here is an example of Hazel doing her Physio Therapy (PT) and OT. The reaching to grab a toy is her OT at work. The fact that she is weight baring on one arm and knees is a PT skill (I will post a more specific post for the PT that we are doing soon).
Now that she is 8 months old, we are also working on how to self feed, how to chew dis-solvable solids and how to drink from a cup. Hazel is doing very well adjusting and working hard to be successful at these skills. As we have seen, she is always up for a challenge.
It is very important to remember that every baby is different, and will reach these milestones when it is right for them.
Here is a great video, which was put together by some university students to explain what OT is. I love it...they came up with a very creative way to get the message across.
Hope this helps!!!