Essay on The Importance Of Occupational Therapy

In life there are many aspects that are a part of everyday life. Each day everyone grows and experiences new things which aid in their development both at a young age and in the older ages as well. One topic that seems to be an important stepping stone when it comes to development is fine-motor skills. These skills are ones that we come to use in everyday life and are important in helping us develop cognitively. The reason I chose this topic is because this topic is a very crucial part of developing and when kids are lacking in this area, they seem to have difficulties in other areas of life as they grow.

This is something that I believe | will be seeing in my field of work, occupational therapy quite frequently. I want to work with kids and I think that this will be one of the most common issues I will have to face when working with them. In order to discuss how fine-motor skills will be an aspect of my work it is first important to note what my career entails. Occupational Therapy is a field that most people associate with Physical Therapy. However, these are two different fields. Physical therapy deals with helping a client to rehabilitate an injury like a torn ACL or a broken arm.

Occupational therapy, on the other hand, is a form of treatment that facilitates the use of everyday activities. In most cases, occupational therapists work with people who have physical disabilities as well as some who have mental disabilities. “Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes (About Occupational Therapy).

These tasks that these professionals do may also be used to help a client to learn a new way of living if they are in a life changing situation. They also help clients to be able to participate in learning situations as well as social. Therefore, as an occupational therapist, I will be working with kids using and working on their fine-motor development in order to help them succeed in the classroom as well as other aspects of their daily life. Fine-motor skills are an essential aspect of everyday life and are mastered from a very young age.

In most cases “children master the motor skills of early childhood during everyday play” (Berk 2010, p. 173). Most of this can be through make believe or imitation of their parents. Typically these skills start with control of hand movements. “As control of the hands and fingers improves, young children put puzzles together, build with small blocks, cut and paste, and improve in self-help skillsdressing and undressing using a fork adeptly and cutting food with a knife and tying shoes” (Berk 2010, p. 171-172).

From this experience, their motor skills then continue to expand as kids learn to do more activities like sports and music. However, not everyone develops their motor skills as easily as others and this can lead to problems in learning down the road. According to an article, “in the USA, the prevalence of fine motor difficulties has been estimated to be as high as 20% in the primary school-age children. This is a concern given that students may spend as much as 60% of their school day carrying out fine motor tasks” (Jackman 2007, p. 168)

Based on this, it is easy to see why fine motor skills are important. These skills are developed and used to do everyday activities and when these skills are not developed, it makes doing these tasks very difficult. That is why it is important to note that “fine motor skills are the strongest predictor of special education referral and the second strongest predictor of kindergarten retention controlling for vocabulary, auditory and visual skills, and sociodemographic factors.

Motor difficulties have also been widely documented in clinical samples in a range f diagnoses including autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and externalizing behavior disorders” (Cameron 2012, p. 1230). Therefore, in order to help kids succeed it is important to get them the aid they need so that they can experience and do the activities they want to do. It is also important to note that even though it is the child who is learning and developing their motor skills, an adult also helps influence these factors. The best example of this is with school aged children.

While kids are in school they are starting to learn new things which they will use in everyday life, the most common one being how to write. This skill is not acquired from birth but learned and mimicked from watching someone else. In most cases a parent and a teacher help the child in learning how to do this particular skill which can be very stressful for the child. Therefore, it is important to remember that “adults involved in young children’s motor activities should focus on fun” (Berk 2010, p. 173).

If kids find it more stressful to learn these kinds of activities it will lead them to be disinterested in their tasks which can harm them in the future. This is why it can be best to have an occupational therapist that can work in these schools to provide a setting that is comfortable and enjoyable for the kids who need help. When it comes to working with school aged children, “occupational therapists are often called on to assist students with handwriting and with other fine motor difficulties” (Jackman 2007, p. 69). By doing this, occupational therapists are helping students to learn activities that they will be utilizing almost daily. In most cases this can help kids to succeed in school, where they may have had difficulties before.

When working with kids, most of their therapy is typically “directed toward furthering educational goals considering all aspects of the students’ function or occupational performance” while with older generations, it is more about maintaining or relearning the skills they have had (Reid 2006, p. 15). There are many things to learn when it comes to fine motor development. Fine-motor skills are something we use every day and when these skills are not developed, people tend to have disabilities that can be motor as well as cognitively. This is a major factor that plays a role in children being able to learn since these skills are utilized for majority of the activities that teachers use in learning activities.

It is amazing to think that fine-motor skills are a part of a almost all the necessary tasks we perform throughout our days from getting dressed to feeding ourselves to writing and drawing, as well as other activities utilized in school. Therefore, it is important to have occupational therapists that work in schools. Therefore, as I start down the path of my career it is important for me to note that these skills have a major impact on a child’s ability to learn and play as well as interact.

Therefore, as I approach the different learning disabilities I may come to work with it will be crucial for me to know how fine-motor skills are involved and how I can help them improve these skills. It is also important for me to remember to make the interactions that I have fun and enjoyable. I do not want to push these exercises on the kids because it can lead the interactions we have to be very stressful and dreaded. Rather, I need to make the activities we do fun and entertaining in order to keep their interests peaked while also helping them to improve the skills we are working to improve.