Top 10 occupational therapy tips for your school-aged child
One of our wonderful occupational therapists, Keltie Morrison, shares tips to help your child in school.
- Positioning: when in class or at home, make sure kids’ feet are supported when seated. Poor posture and balance can happen when feet are dangling.
- Establish organization and routine: plan ahead to choose outfits, breakfast, and packing lists for backpacks according to school schedule. Establishing a consistent routine means less rush in the morning.
- Task completion: A visual schedule or checklist can help children participate in and complete tasks more independently. Example: visual schedule on the steps for hand washing.
- Make time for practice: If your child is learning to do up fasteners (zippers, buttons, snaps), give extra time for them to practice independently. Start practicing on weekends and progress to weekdays.
- Clothing confidence: encourage easy on/off clothing such as pullovers, sweatpants/leggings, and slip on or Velcro shoes especially when at school to increase your child’s independence.
- Multi-sensory learning: when helping with homework, remember that we all have different styles of learning, and often learn best when multiple sensory systems are involved. For example: practicing printing letters are much more meaningful when using fingers to print in foam or using chalk to practice.
- School organization: support your child in keeping an organized agenda to have a routine to write down and check off homework. Establish consistency in keeping the agenda at the same place at school and home.
- Encourage play: promote playfulness in activities that are motivating or meaningful to your child. If kids are struggling with play, it can be adapted to make safe toys within reach, or simplify the activity. Try to introduce a new activity on an individual basis before doing it in a group setting.
- School success: connect with the teacher to review class rules and routines (example: recess, lunch, etc.) so that your child is prepared and knows classroom expectations.
- Sleep: Establish a consistent routine for wake and sleep times, and limit “screen time” (television, smart phone, computer) before bed.
It’s difficult to see your child struggle, especially when trying to find how to help your child. With Children’s Support Solutions, your child’s team can include many different providers who can offer their expertise to help. If you enjoyed this post and think it could help other families, our team would be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter or Facebook. Thank you!
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