Occupational Therapy: Prevention And Treatment Of Developmental Disorders In Kids


In this modern time where a lot of health problems are affecting people, even kids are at risk from a lot of health conditions especially development disorders affecting them at a very young age. Although these developmental problems are not that dangerous, they can affect a kid’s physical, mental, and behavioral condition and may affect their life permanently until they grow up.

For the past years, cases of common developmental problems in kids like autism and ADHD or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder have been increasing causing alarm to a lot of parents to watch out for the early signs so they can immediately ask for help in case their children experience developmental issues. However, new developmental problems are now also being studied which may affect kids’ growth and learning.

Common Behaviors As Sign Of Developmental Disorder

Occupational TherapySpecialists are now focusing on common behaviors that were actually considered normal before but are now starting to capture specialists’ attention like clumsiness, poor self-dressing, poor coordination, and weak communication skills. These behaviors are now being studied as a possible sign or symptoms of developmental disorders in kids.

Determining these common behaviors as signs or effects of a developmental disorder is quite difficult but doctors are advising parents to have their children checked in case their kids show these kinds of behavior to prevent the problem from getting worse. These behavioral patterns that are now being studied by specialists are said to make kids’ life difficult especially at school and even when making friends.

A lot of health institutions and healthcare professionals specializing in child development are now focusing their research and services on young children’s development due to the growing cases of kids with autism and ADHD. According to a recent study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in every 88 kids in the US has autism. Early detection is very important for this kind of development problem since according to specialists, the condition can still be reduced or treated if detected early on.

Specialists For Developmental Disorders

When it comes to children developmental problems, some of the most common specialists that handle these kinds of cases are occupational therapists, speech therapists, physical therapists and psychiatrists. According to the latest diagnostic bible which will be released by the psychiatrists through their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders or the DSM-5, a lot of new childhood disorders were recently diagnosed such as new learning disorders, global developmental delay, and communication disorders.

If you think that your kid might be suffering from a learning or communication disorder, or simply shows behavioral patterns that are not normal for development, then you should have your kid checked by visiting an occupational therapist or a speech therapist for early detection and to prevent the condition from worsening.

Visiting an occupational therapist just for a check even if the kid is not diagnosed of any development disorder will provide great benefits since OT can also advise specific techniques in handling your kids and environmental modifications to prevent possible disorders that your kid might be highly at risk of. Prevention methods are definitely important and improving the surrounding of your kids at home or even at school is very essential in preventing developmental problems.

Before, parents would take a little time observing their kids behavior to determine if their kids are really suffering from developmental delays or disorders. However, because of the growing concern about children developmental disorders and increasing number of kids with developmental delays, more parents are now reporting and sending kids to occupational therapist offices or speech therapist offices for therapies and treatments.

Occupational Therapy Treatment For Kids With Pervasive Developmental Disorders

Occupational Therapy Treatment A recent study has been conducted by Ohio State University studying the effectiveness of occupational therapy in treating kids with PDD or pervasive developmental disorders. Children with pervasive developmental disorders have been increasing for years now but there are no empirical data or studies about the role and function of occupational therapists in treating developmental disorders in kids. This is why the university conducted a study in order to fully understand and investigate how occupational therapists handle children with PDD.

According to the study, a lot of occupational therapists have already been in schools and have handled a lot of children with pervasive developmental disorders. These occupational therapists provide direct occupational therapy care and service using a holistic approach which means that the parents and the school are all involved in the holistic treatment. Occupational therapists working in this work setting usually provide direct care to the kids then also recommend environmental modifications to make adjustment and life healthier and easier for them as well sensory integrations to effectively help the kids with developmental disorders.

Based on the study, occupational therapists revealed that a lot of kids with PDD showed positive results after the holistic approach especially after the sensory integration approach. Children with PDD who received direct treatment from occupational therapists showed improvements in terms of sensory integration, basic learning, and play skills.

Becoming An Occupational Therapist

A lot of people are now pursuing a career in occupational therapy not only because of the growing number of children with development problems but also because of the growing number of people from kids to adults with disabilities and other health conditions that need the help of occupational therapists.

Job outlook for occupational therapists is expected to increase 33% in the coming years plus this profession is also one of the highest paid in the healthcare industry making it a good career to pursue. To become an occupational therapist, a bachelor’s degree is essential in order to get admitted into an occupational graduate degree program which is equivalent to a master’s or doctorate degree depending on the kind of degree program the person choose.

Pursuing a graduate degree in occupational therapy through online education may be a good decision since online occupational therapy degree programs are usually more flexible compared to the conventional programs. Professionals who are already working or even moms who are staying at home and want to continue their education can now earn a master or doctorate degree in occupational therapy through these online programs.

With the great demand for occupational therapists plus the stable job and good pay, pursuing a career in occupational therapy will be a very good decision.


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