As Occupational Therapists, we strive to support children to meaningfully engage and participate in everyday life. We can do this through many different intervention services to meet each child’s specific goals and needs. One way is through offering both individual Occupational Therapy Services and group Occupational Therapy services.
Individual Occupational Therapy
Individual Occupational Therapy refers to sessions in which you and your child are one on one with an Occupational Therapist. Individual occupational therapy is great for working on goals relating to building and developing specific skills such as self-care, emotional regulation and sensory processing. There are many benefits to individual intervention, some of which include:
- Building Rapport: The individual therapy environment can offer space and time for your child to develop rapport with their therapist. This can be extremely beneficial especially if your child requires time to settle into a new environment and trust a new person. Rapport building is a crucial part of the OT process and will set your child up for success in intervention!
- Developing specific skills: Individual intervention can support your child to develop skills that are specific to them and which may require individual instruction and support. For example, if supporting your child’s handwriting, individual sessions will allow a therapist to understand and target the specific skills that may be contributing to your child’s performance.
- Addressing personal goals: Individual intervention can offer a small and safe place to address goals which may be personal or require sensitive conversations. For example, emotional regulation goals can bring up sharing of feelings and specific experiences which may be more appropriate for an individual intervention environment
- Parent Coaching and Education: During individual intervention, Occupational Therapists will be able to support you with any challenges you are perceiving at home or in the community and suggest specific strategies to trial to support your child. This education and coaching can be crucial to your child’s success in intervention
Group Occupational Therapy
Group Occupational Therapy refers to sessions in which an Occupational Therapist works with more than one child in the same session. This could include a dyad of just 2 children or a group (3+ children). At Occupational Therapy Helping Children, we offer a range of group intervention programs during the school term and school holidays. Group sessions can offer many opportunities for your child including:
- Social Interaction and Engagement: Group environments offer great opportunities to facilitate social connections. Social skills are an area of development that can often be best supported in safe and small group environments where children can have opportunity to create positive interactions with the support of Occupational Therapists who can model and problem solve in the moment.
- Transferring skills: Once children have developed their skills in their individual intervention, they may benefit from joining a group to practice transferring these skills. Additionally, engaging in group environments can better prepare and support children to transfer these skills into like environments such as school and in the community.
- Supporting Attention and Regulation: Group environments create more challenges when trying to maintain attention and regulation and again, this is more similar to a child’s natural environments. Engaging in group sessions may better support your child to develop and trial strategies to support their attention and regulation in way that is applicable and practical to their everyday life.
It is important to consider the goals of your child to determine whether group or individual intervention (or both) is best for your child. If you would like more information regarding the most appropriate Occupational Therapy services for your child, please feel free to contact us.