Sensory Integration, Dyspraxia, Autisum, Asperger Syndrome, ADHD, ADD

 Private Assessment Treatment & Therapy Service For Children With Special Needs

The Role of the Occupational Therapist

Occupational Therapists working with children observe a child’s occupations. These are the things that children need to be able to do to live their lives and fulfill their occupational roles, i.e. to be part of a family, play, look after themselves, make friends and go to school to learn !

The primary goal of the Occupational Therapist is to help children develop, restore and maintain those skills, behaviours and relationships necessary for independent living.

Occupational Therapy plays a role in helping a child and the family to adapt to the challenges impose on everyday life by a physical, psychological or learning disability.

The Occupational Therapist assesses the child’s performance and skills in activities that are meaningful to the child. When problems are identified, the Occupational therapist helps the child to gain the relevant skills, or adapts the environment or makes adjustments and compensation or functional deficits. This enables more productive and satisfying learning and growing experiences for the child.

Occupational Therapy Assessments Available to Therapy in Praxis Limited

Clinical Observations

[neurobehavioural & neuromuscular, somatosensory processing]

Movement Assessment Battery for Children

Bruinicks Osteretsky Test of Motor proficiency


Gross Motor Function Test [GMFM]

Sensory Profile [including infant & toddler and adolescent]

De-Gangi Test of Sensory

Miller Assessment of Preschoolers

First Step


Bayley Scales


Test Visual Perceptual Skills – Revised [TVPS] including Upper Level

Motor-Free Visual Perception Test – 3rd [MVPT-3]

Developmental Test of Visual Motor Integration – 5th [VMI-5th]

Including motor coordination and visual perception components

Test of Visual Motor Skills – Revised [TVMS-R]

Test of Auditory Perception – TAPS including Upper Level

Goodenough-Harris Draw a Man

Perceived Efficacy and Goal Setting System [PEGS]

School Functional Assessment

Typically, an Occupational therapist would follow a ‘process-orientated

approach’ which focuses on the identification and remediation of the

underlying difficulties and with the expectation that intervention would

result in sustained improvements in occupational performance, [Coster,


Current thinking around Occupational Therapy and in particular with

children experiencing developmental coordination disorders advocates a

‘top down’ approach to assessment and therapy intervention.

These approaches focus on how children manage everyday activities

associated with daily living and work on the assumption that children

develop skills as a consequence of the interplay between

‘child-task-environment’ [Mandich et al, 2001].

Children’s Goals !!!

Sports :             not good – other children nasty, riding bike, running,

                         always last, skipping, football, ball games,

                         going high on swing

Fastenings :        shoelaces, zips, buttons

Hand skills :       cutlery, scissors, art, opening door handles

Pencil skills :      writing a lot of words, faster, neater, tidier

Occupational Therapy Assessment                                                                                                      Naming & farming problems > what does the child need to, want to or is expected to do ?

What cannot the child do as effectively as he / she wishes ?

What priority does this have for the child ?

What is the impact of not doing the above ?


How achievable is this ?                                                                                                                   Occupational Therapy Treatment

Child client – centred


Goal orientated

Primary objective = successful function

Balance of occupation : self care, productivity, play & leisure


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