What is Occupational Therapy and how can it benefit my child?

Occupations are key to living a life of meaning and providing an individual with a sense of purpose. There is, however, a misconception of an individual’s occupations, whereby an individual is defined by the job they work. If this were the case, how do our children find meaning in their life despite not going to work?

Sensory Series #2 - Touch Seeker


Children who seek touch may appear to fidget with belongings but still be able to recall everything you have explained to them. It is important to not prevent the child from fidgeting as this is their attempt at maintaining an optimal level of focus by balancing their sensory needs.

(1) Providing opportunities for your child to access touch in a discreet way. A strip of corrugated card or sandpaper underneath the child's desk at school is a cheap but effective strategy.
(2) Incorporating the use of headbands, belts, and wristbands to your child's day. These are simple tools that provide constant feedback throughout the day, and promote early self-regulatory behaviours
(3) Choosing activities that incorporate touch. This may include tracing sight words in rice, integrating numeracy into cooking, or practicing early letter formation by writing with sandpaper underneath the page. 
(4) Experimenting with different types of pencils, as children who seek tactile feedback may press harder on the page. Some children may benefit from the use of a pacer pencil instead of a HB pencil as the lead will snap if they press too hard on the page.

NOTE: always exercise caution with the use of fidgets. Direct consultation with your Occupational Therapist is recommended to ensure these tools enhance your child's learning whilst meeting their sensory needs