Is OT Right for My Child?
In this issue: Rising Kindergartener
Did you know: Kindergarten readiness is about much more than academic knowledge? In fact 5 other factors are considered to be just as important: 1. social and emotional development, 2. approaches to learning, 3. language and literacy, 4. cognition and general knowledge, 5. physical development and health.
Occupational Therapy and Kindergarten Readiness – Occupational therapy can help young children develop the social and emotional skills they need to interact with others and their environment. OTs can also help children develop the gross and fine motor skills (physical development) they need to sit during circle time; to put jackets on and tie shoes; to cut, draw, color, and write; and to hold their pencil properly to avoid painful fatiguing pencil grasp patterns.
Social-Emotional Skills –
These skills refer to how a child interacts with others and how he or she expresses and manages his/her emotions. Occupational therapists (OTs) help children learn important social skills such as turn taking, sharing, complimenting others, sharing their ideas, being able to go along with another person’s ideas, and having back and forth social interactions. OTs can also help children develop an understanding of their emotional states, how to manage their emotions, and how to respond to the emotions of others. Having these skills allows children to feel comfortable and confident around others and to reap all the benefits of social interactions.
Physical Development –
Kindergarten is often a big leap from Pre-K. The class size is usually larger and the way that children express their knowledge is often tied to tasks that require motor development. For example, children often demonstrate their knowledge through completing worksheets that require drawing, coloring, cutting and gluing, and writing. Children must also be able to “sit-up” during seat work and group lessons on the floor. This can be fatiguing for a child with limited trunk strength. Although children will receive help opening lunch containers and operating fasteners on their clothing, being able to do it by themselves is the goal. Although school for this upcoming year will likely be different than previous years, these motor skills will still be important skills for your child to acquire.
Teletherapy: While we don’t yet know what school will be like this fall, it will still be an advantage for your child to have these skills. If you have any concerns about your child’s kindergarten readiness – call us. Our therapists can provide evaluations and engaging therapy sessions via teletherapy.
If you think your child would benefit from occupational therapy, please call the Pediatric Development Center to set up a teletherapy evaluation: (301) 869-7505.