Occupational therapy in pediatric rehabilitation

The goal of occupational therapy (OT) in children is to stimulate the development of the functional abilities required for performing activities of daily living (ADL). ADL include self-care (feeding, dressing, grooming), productivity (playing, performing school activities) and use of free time (reading, watching TV, playing sports, socializing). OT is intended for children whose abilities to perform ADL have been threatened or damaged during development, due to physical injury, disease or their emotional and social environment. There exist various therapy approaches in children (neurodevelopmental, sensory integration, developmental, biomechanical, cognitive, learning of specific skills, or any combination of the above. The most success in children is achieved with interdisciplinary rehabilitation, which includes trained professionals and the family. The role of the family in OT has long been recognized, but it has only recently begun to assume a central role. Family values and needs are different and unique to each family. Among successful approaches are those where the family defines the goals and preferences for their child's functional abilities and the OT adjusts and applies specifically targeted activities to achieve those goals. In the world OT is widely applied, starting in neonatal intensive care units. In our healthcare system OT is mostly practiced in specialized institutions for rehabilitation.
Category: Review
Volume: Vol. 48, No 3, july - september 2004
Authors: Lj. Popović Miočinović, D. Šimunović
Reference work: