Occupational therapy is a great way to help your child overcome some setbacks. It can help them learn more effectively, manage their emotions, and more. However, it does not always carry over when you go home after a session. As a parent, there are things you can do when you go home to reinforce what your child got out of their session. Here are a few ideas that may help.
Remember the Point of Occupational Therapy
The best way to carry the lessons of occupational therapy at home is to remember what the point of the therapy is in the first place – coping with daily life. This means that you can take what your child struggles with, and help them learn to overcome it in their natural environment. You know what your child does and does not like better than anyone, since you spend all day with them. Use that knowledge to come up with ways of adding increased therapy into their day.
Ways of Increasing Tactile Therapy from Home
If your child likes to clean, make that a part of their day. Set up cloths of different tactile cloths with cleaners that are safe to use, and allow that to be a regular part of the daily routine. Just make sure to give your child different options if tactile sensations are one area he or she may get overwhelmed with at times.
When children struggle with dirt, or getting dirty, one way of helping them with that is by planting a garden together. It can be a large garden if you have space, or even a single pot that is their responsibility to tend. It gives them access to water, soil, the plant itself, and the reward at the end for their hard work.
Arts and crafts are great for many sensory lessons. You can have them create a necklace or bracelet with beads. They can use play dough or putty if they want to use their hands to mash and mold something. You can have them create a personal puzzle to put together. All of the things you can think of to create, can be scaled down to become a lesson for your child.
For more information on what options you have for occupational therapy at home, ask us at your next appointment. We encourage parents and children to come up with new and innovative ideas that can bring the lessons we offer in-office, to the child’s daily life.