Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Top 10 Things Your Occupational Therapist Wishes You Knew About SB

“ What should a parent or patient know?”
Submitted by an Occupational Therapist at Rady Children's Hospital, San Diego

Occupational Therapy Top 10 List

1. Occupational Therapists encourage and teach children to be independent in their activities of daily (ADL’s) living ie. Dressing, bathing and toileting.

2. It’s important for parents of a child with spina bifida to motivate the child to perform ADL’s as independently as possible.

3. Provide children with Occupational Therapy early on in life assisting in early education in development, upper extremity strength, and parent education for increased Independence.

4. Occupational Therapists will evaluate the family’s home and make recommendations for home equipment and any adaptations needed to enable the child to be more successful in their daily activities.

5. Skin breakdown is highly common in the spina bifida population. Patent and parent education is valuable in preventing skin issues. It’s important for a patient to perform frequent weight shifts throughout the day and perform thorough skin checks daily.

6. Pressure care is important given these risk factors: reduced lower limb sensation, reduced mobility, incontinence, and possible reduced lower limb circulation.

7. Children in school may need an Occupational Therapist to help to problem solve ways to manage their daily routine with ease or figure out news to cope with problems or to master a new skill.

8. Maintaining good arm and hand strength is important for mobility whether that is in a wheel chair or with crutches, and with transfers, and maintaining Independence in self-care skills.

9. Occupational Therapists can also assess a child’s feeding skills, hand-writing and sensory processing skills, if needed.

10. Occupational Therapists asses the child’s ability to self feed, if there are any oral aversions, signs of reflux issues, feeding preferences and assist parents in modifying feeding schedules.

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