Occupational therapy, usually abbreviated as “OT”, promotes health by enabling people to perform meaningful and purposeful occupations. These comprise work, leisure, self care, and domestic and community activities.
Occupational therapists work with individuals, families, groups and communities in order to facilitate health and well-being through engagement or re-engagement in occupation. Occupational therapists are becoming increasingly committed in addressing the impact of social, political and environmental factors that contribute to exclusion and occupational deprivation.
The World Federation of Occupational Therapists gives the following definition of Occupational Therapy: “Occupational therapy is as a profession concerned with promoting health and well being through occupation. The primary goal of occupational therapy is to enable people to take part in the activities of everyday life. Occupational therapists generally achieve this outcome by enabling people to do things that will enhance their ability to participate or by modifying the environment to better support participation.” Occupational therapists use careful analysis of physical, environmental, psychosocial, mental, spiritual, political and cultural factors to find out barriers to occupation.
Developmental Delay is when your child does not attain their developmental milestones at the expected times. It is an ongoing major or minor lag in the process of development. If your child is temporarily lagging behind that is not referred developmental delay. Delay can occur in various areas—for example, gross or fine motor, language, social, or thinking skills.
In physical appearance they are no specific different from normal children and therefore likely to get admission into schools for normal children where the curriculum is drawn up to meet the needs of average children. So they usually find it extremely difficult to cope with the education imparted in these schools, unless special provision is made for them and the curriculum is oriented towards practical and real life activities.
Intellectual disability is a disability generally characterized by significant limitations both in intellectual functioning and in adaptive behavior, which covers many everyday social and practical skills. This disability begins before the age of 18.
Intellectual functioning also referred as intelligence—refers to general mental capacity, such as learning, reasoning, problem solving, and so on.
One such criterion to measure intellectual functioning is an IQ test. Generally, an IQ test score of around 70 or as high as 75 indicates a limitation in intellectual functioning.
Learning disability is a classification including several disorders in which a person has difficulty learning in a typical manner, usually caused by an unknown factor or factors. The unknown factor is usually the disorder that affects the brain’s ability to receive and process information.
Autism is a disorder of neural development which is characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior. These signs will begin before a child is three years old. Autism affects information being processed in the brain by altering how nerve cells and their synapses connect and organize; how this occurs is not well understood.
Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD or AD/HD) is a neurobehavioral developmental disorder, primarily characterized by “the co-existence of attentional problems and hyperactivity, with each behavior occurring often together.”
ADHD is estimated to affect 3 to 5% of children. It is the most commonly studied and diagnosed psychiatric disorder occurring in childhood. It is considered to be a chronic condition with 30 to 50% of individuals diagnosed in childhood continuing to have symptoms into adulthood, affecting approximately 4.7 percent of American adults.
Cerebral palsy (CP) is an umbrella term encompassing a group of non-progressive, non-contagious motor conditions that leads to physical disability in human development, chiefly in the various areas of body movement.
Down syndrome or Down’s syndrome is a chromosomal disorder generally caused by the presence of all or part of an extra 21st chromosome. It is named after John Langdon Down, the British physician who first described the syndrome in 1866.
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