Lubbock, TX - "It is very important to recognize what OT's do. You don't really know we are important until something is wrong."
Alison Chapa, a Pediatric Occupational Therapist at Covenant, works with children of all ages through games and other fun activities to help improve their motor skills.
"In my area, I am going to see diagnosis for cerebral palsy, down syndrome, autism, all the way up to poor handwriting skills, learning disabilities. So things that might affect their ability to learn their everyday skills. For kids, everyday skills are being able to get up, get dressed, being able to focus in school, being able to take a test without test anxiety...so just the things they do every day that become problematic when there is something wrong with your motor skills, your thinking skills."
One of her patients, Emma, was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, a brain disorder that impacts certain movements and coordination on one side of her body.
"She has one side of her body that doesn't work as well as the other. And so my job now with her is to help her learn how to do her self care skills, how to incorporate her hand that doesn't work as well into those daily living activities, and as well as developing the motor skills in that hand."
Alison works with Emma among many other patients every week to try to improve their general quality of life.
"Therapy has really helped because it helps her motor skills, helps her get around, helps her do for herself, so she's pretty much been doing OT since she was itsy bitsy until now and still continue to do it."
While the work Emma and Alison do is an ongoing process, Emma seems to love coming to therapy, stating that it is her favorite part of the week.
"What's your favorite part of therapy? Pinching. And what's your second favorite part? Laughing".
April is National Occupational Therapy Month and the OT profession is also reaching another milestone this year, celebrating 100 years since the start of its' practice. For more information on how Occupational Therapy can help you and your family, log on to http://www.aota.org/About-Occu
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