Many children struggle with different areas that pertain to homework. If your child is one of these children, an Occupational Therapist may be able to help! How? We're glad you asked :).
Occupational therapists are able to comprehend and identify the strengths and weaknesses that a student has when doing their homework. They are able to help students with coordination, focus and organizational skills. Children need a safe, consistent and organized place to do their homework. Occupational Therapist are able to evaluate children’s skills for performance in school and for homework. They then recommend and implement strategies for long term solutions. The main problems that children typically have regarding their homework is working alone, not being able to understand instructions, and turning in their finished product.
An Occupational Therapist can observe a child’s classroom routines and determine their homework barriers. For example if a child is having problems listening to instructions because their desk height is not suitable, they could be using their time trying to balance which makes it hard to understand what is being said.
Occupational Therapists can also assist teachers in making their expectations clearer. For some children, homework assignments may be too difficult to understand. Occupational Therapist can assist educators in outlining sequences in a simple manner that the child understands.
Finally, Occupational Therapists work directly with students that have individualized Education Programs (IEPs). If the student is having trouble completing their homework, Occupational Therapist can identify the reasons and work with the students, educators, and parents to make the necessary changes. For example, a student may not have the necessary tools to complete their homework. If they have poor handwriting, their therapist can determine if it is due to their posture or pencil grasp when doing their work. In some cases, the therapist may recommend using a computer to type their work. Occupational Therapists can also help students sustain their attention in class, build strength, enhance motor skills, etc.
All in all, an Occupational Therapist’s involvement can serve as a sense of help for children with the necessary tools to excel in their role as a student.
Hofmann, A. (n.d.). Homework Help From Occupational Therapy. Retrieved January 26, 2018, from https://www.aota.org/