Parents always want the best for their kids and can feel the pressure for their children to succeed in a wide variety of activities. Finding the balance between family time and activities can make for a harmonious family life, especially when children face challenges and need extra help to overcome mild or significant barriers. As different individuals have different needs, setting up a family routine that supports the slow to get started child and the always on the go child will increase family harmony. The activities that families choose for their children need to reflect both a child’s interests and their skills. For example, a child who is clumsy will enjoy an activity that is broken into steps and is not competitive, but an athletic child needs a challenge to increase their skill and may work well on a team. When a child is unable to keep up to his peers due to a missing skill set, he may avoid a planned activity. This is true in school, afterschool activities and in activities at home. We all have watched a child avoid homework they perceive is too hard! Children who have difficulties with everyday activities struggle to keep up to their siblings and peers. This struggle can be related to motor skills, interpreting information around us, his/her thought process or environment factors. If as adults we focus on the outcome we may not always see the cause of the struggle. This can cause conflict in the home, at school and with peers. When a child struggles in school or at home it impacts the entire family. Occupational Therapists are registered health professionals that support the child in addressing skills that are missing for productive lives. This includes addressing motor skills for printing, attention and focus for learning, eating and self-care skills and educating families and caregivers in how to increase family peace. Occupational Therapy provides an evaluation of skills and challenges and builds a plan of intervention to address goals set out by the circle of care around a child. Playful Strides Therapy Inc. is now providing expanded services in Milton to support busy families. The Occupational Therapists will provide individual and group support for children of all ages and skill levels.
Cathy O’Leary, OT Reg. (Ont) is the owner and operator of Playful Strides Therapy Inc. She is passionate about the needs and development of children through top quality occupational therapy services.