Occupational therapy with children addresses issues around independence skills and motor skill acquisition, it is a holistic approach which means that the individual childs needs are addressed rather than being prescriptive.
Children with the condition VACTERL association may have congenital limb deficiencies, the occupational therapist will have and active role in helping the child to gain as much functional use as possible from any affected limbs.
Bladder and bowel complications are common with children with VACTERL and the therapist may be involved with toileting routines and equipment.
Children who have had surgery on their hands e.g. syndactyly or pollicisation will require help to retrain the use of their hands using their new digits. This learning takes the form of sensory perceptual and motor input.
As the child develops, further input from the occupational therapist will involve assessment of personal daily living skills, e.g. dressing, toileting and feeding as well as fine and gross motor skills. The therapist will be involved in recommending assistive equipment to help with daily living activities such as adapted cutlery.
The therapist works with the parents, nursery staff and others involved with the childs daily life to help the child develop as holistically as possible.
[Beth Chequer - Senior Paediatric Occupational Therapist - 05.06.2006]