Occupational Therapy Role in Working with Infants and Toddlers
Here at Therapy Alliance Group we have many questions in regards to how Occupational Therapists work with infants and toddlers. The following answers some of the frequently asked questions we are asked at TAG.
How can an OT help an infant or toddler?
Occupational therapists assess and work with infants and toddlers for delays in their fine motor, gross motor and cognitive milestones. An Occupational Therapist can assess and provide intervention for the following skills (although is not limited to):
Fine Motor Skills
Occupational Therapists can help children practice fine motor skills such as grasp and in-hand manipulation which are important skills for dressing, toileting, brushing teeth and early learning skills.
Occupational Therapists use play as a medium to promote skill development and to work on social skills. They can also assist in developing play skills in individual one-on-one sessions, or in group sessions with other children
Occupational Therapists can help gather further information using assessment and observations to determine if your child may have a unique sensory processing pattern.
An Occupational Therapist can help you identify the following ‘flags’:
- Limited eye contact
- Limited affection (e.g. smiling) towards others
- Does not show interest in group activities
- Has difficulty searching for objects in their environment
- Limited gesturing when interacting
- Limited pointing when interacting
- Has difficulty following one step simple instructions
- Has difficulty copying actions from peers or adults
When does a ‘flag’ become concern?
Although these delays can be apparent, it is important to understand that all people develop uniquely, and the range for achievement of developmental milestones is broad. Open communication with all people involved in the child’s life (i.e kindergarten teachers, parents and health care professionals) is important to ensure a holistic picture of the child’s development is gathered.
If you have any concerns regarding your infant or toddler’s development, it may be beneficial to book in with an Occupational Therapist to gather some further information. There is a team of Occupational Therapists at Therapy Alliance Group who can assist your family!
We have Occupational Therapy appointments available in Beenleigh, Chinchilla, and Toowoomba. We also do consults via video conference with TeleTAG. Book a phone consult now to discuss your specific therapy needs!
Alicia is a qualified Occupational Therapist who has experience working in schools, hospitals and an overseas community development setting in Vanuatu which have all provided a great foundation for her career with Therapy Alliance Group. Alicia graduated from The Australian Catholic University with an honours research degree and has a special interest in working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Alicia is very passionate about being an evidence-based occupational therapist who advocates for, and works collaboratively with children and their families to equip them with the strategies they need to participate in meaningful life activities. Things I like: Spending time with family and friends, food, binge watching TV series, exercise, dogs and travel. Things I don’t like: Rocket lettuce and not seeing my family and friends for a long time. Favourite colour: Pink.
“The cold never bothered me anyway” – Elsa