During this time, every student and family’s situation is different. Some Occupational Therapy (OT) programs are continuing through distance learning, and some are modified or temporarily paused. At Banyan Tree, we are working tirelessly to offer all of the support and resources we can during this time. As we navigate what teletherapy looks like and speak with our therapists and partners, here are a few strategies and ways to continue occupational therapy at home.
What Occupational Therapy Covers:
1. Executive Functioning skills
2. Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor skills
3. Bilateral Coordination Skills
4. Fine-motor skills
5. Upper Body/Arm Strengthening
6. Sensory Integration skills
Fine Motor Resources
One of the easiest ways to continue occupational therapy at home is through fine motor practice, and particularly, typing. Typing has become not only a way for students to increase endurance and support their fingers, but it is also a life skill!
The lessons range from 1-2 minutes to as long as five minutes. Many schools use a program during the school day for breaks or after students have completed assigned work. Talk to your child’s teacher to see if there’s a program that’s used. That way, your child can use an existing login rather than start completely over.
Tip for Parents/Guardians: Encourage typing as a fun activity, rather than a punishment or another assignment. If your goal is to continue OT at home, perhaps connect with your child’s therapist to see if there are manageable ways to measure and keep goals during distance learning.
Proprioception is the body’s way of sensing movements and actions (in other words, where you are in space). It relates directly to kinesthesia and involves more whole-body activities and exercises.
Here is a great video that includes ideas to continue OT at home. As parents/guardians, you can do these activities alongside your child, too, to encourage and increase engagement!
The vestibular system involves the inner ear and brain. This system controls both balance and eye movements to help the child align and feel centered. This video shares quite a few activities that can easily be done at home (even with little equipment).
For children with sensory challenges, this video gives great examples of activities that can easily be done at home. Some of the activities are as simple as walking barefoot to feel different parts of the ground. Other activities involve wrapping the body or applying pressure to help regulate.
Other Ways to Support Your Child’s Programs: Distance learning has changed the educational landscape! At Banyan Tree, we are operating normally, but through a virtual learning model. Regardless of whether your child attends one of our campuses, we are here to help.
If you are worried about what your child’s school experience looks like, or how he or she will be able to access OT or other programs, send us an email or give us a call at (858) 367-5428! We are here to help.
For other home learning ideas, click here.