April is Occupational Therapy Month and our Melissa Petcu is reflecting on her profession. She shares:
Occupational therapists help their clients live a meaningful life, usually as independently as possible. Goals and treatment can look quite different depending on the stage of life a client is in. As a pediatric occupational therapist, play and skill acquisition are critical components of every session as children develop by exploring their environment. One area of importance to all occupational therapists no matter the clientele is the area of Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). ADLs address self-care skills like functional mobility, feeding, dressing, bathing and toileting.
Looking specifically at the areas of feeding and dressing, skills develop in a progression as follows:
|DEVELOPMENTAL MILESTONES FOR FEEDING|
|by 12 months||Pincer grasp for finger feeding; Dips spoon in food|
|by 15 months||Holds cup with both hands; Scoops with spoon|
|by 18 months||Drinks from cup without spilling|
|by 24 months||Use of utensils is mastered; Pieces food with fork|
|DEVELOPMENTAL MILESTONES FOR DRESSING|
|by 12 months||Begin to assist with dressing by pushing an arm through sleeve or picking up a foot to step in/out of pants|
|by 24 months||Undressing of coat develops and continues to help removing pants|
|by 30 months||Putting on t-shirts, shoes, socks with minimal assistance; Zips jackets (engaged)|
|by 3 years||Buttons buttons|
|by 3 1/2 years||Dressing with supervision|
|by 4 years||Independent with zippers and other fasteners including shoe buckles and belts|
Read more about Child and Family Development occuupational therapy services here.