Occupational Therapists (OTs) work to promote independent development in children recovering from illness or injury and support ongoing development of those with physical disabilities.
Occupational Therapist’s also play a vital role in rehabilitation. If a child has a neurological condition such as a stroke or brain injury, an OT will work with families to develop a meaningful goal such as learning to get dressed independently, and then develop strategies to help achieve that goal.
This can be via ‘remediation’, which is strengthening a muscle that has been weakened by a particular condition, or by ‘compensation’, which is working with a child to find a way to get dressed using one arm.
"We work with families to ensure their child can participate in the activities that are important to them”, Michelle Grail, Acting Manager of the Occupational Therapy Department explains.
At the Sydney Children's Hospital Network, OTs work in almost every department of our Hospitals. We even have an OT in the Child Protection Unit.
To celebrate Occupational Therapy Week, patients and staff at the Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick competed in Whizzybug races. Designed specifically for toddlers with disabilities, the Whizzybug supports children with mobility limitations.
It enables them to play and explore their environments and assists with self-initiated mobility. They are just one of the many therapy tools our OTs use to give our patients independence to participate in their life roles.
“From prescribing wheelchairs, to liaising with schools and doing home assessments, to recommending toys appropriate to each child’s condition, our focus is on enabling independent participation in childhood occupations.