Could Your Kid Benefit From Occupational Therapy Groups?
Whether your child has been receiving occupational therapy services for a while or they’re brand new to OT, parents may be wondering how they can reinforce the skills their kids are learning. Our Brecksville occupational therapy groups are a great solution.
Occupational therapy groups are opportunities for kids to connect with peers while working on key skills with a dedicated, qualified therapist through the entire session. Kids may not have the exact same deficits or therapy goals, but they can still all engage in activities that reinforce what they’re working on in 1:1 therapy under the guidance of a therapist.
It’s also beneficial because so many of our patients are working on social-emotional skills along with activities of daily living. It can be difficult for them to make friends on their own. Occupational therapy groups give them a chance to practice those skills, make new friends, and have a lot of fun too.
With individual occupational therapy sessions, kids are getting the benefit of 1:1 attention that’s tailored solely to their skillsets and carefully tracked. This kind of therapy and meticulous monitoring helps ensure each child is meeting their goals and getting additional help where they need it.
With occupational therapy groups, the goals involve more generalized standards, typically once we’ve identified common areas of difficulty (such as social communication deficits).
OT groups are safe, supportive environments for kids to share their skills, encourage each other, and work together to develop new skills. It’s a structured setting to start practicing generalization of the skills we’re working on in our 1:1 occupational therapy sessions.
At Therapy & Wellness Connection, our Brecksville OT Group focuses on sensory tools, emotional regulation skills, and life skills, such as cooking. We routinely plan fun community outings, games, projects, etc. Our therapists let the kids take the lead; whatever they’re into, that’s where we’ll focus our energies and efforts.
Kids who participate in OT therapy groups in addition to receiving private services tend to have better outcomes and improved generalization of skills when tested in outside settings.
Key Advantages of Occupational Therapy Groups
Some of the benefits of our occupational therapy groups at Therapy & Wellness Connection include:
- Peer modeling and learning. Kids get the opportunity to observe from their peers, which accelerates their acquisition of new skills. Peer modeling can be a powerful motivator for learning and engagement.
- Emotional regulation. Group therapy gives kids a chance to express and manage those big feelings in an environment that is controlled and safe – but still realistic. Therapists are right there to offer support and reinforcement for emotional regulation strategies.
- Building self-esteem and confidence. When kids succeed in 1:1 therapy, it’s a confidence-booster. When they’re successful in a group setting, the benefits are even bigger – because they’re getting positive feedback from not only their therapist, but their peers too. It contributes to a greater sense of accomplishment.
- Social skills development. What better way to practice social skills than by interacting with peers? Working on things like communication, cooperation, and teamwork in an occupational therapy group can help kids carry over these same skills in real-life situations.
- Greater independence. OT groups often include activities that encourage kids to act independently.
- Promoting inclusion. Some of our OT group sessions (and our summer camps too) include kids of ALL abilities. Some have significant needs, others just need a bit of support, and a few are neurotypical. This helps foster a positive, more accepting environment all-around.
- Behavioral and social problem-solving. Occupational therapy groups provide opportunities for kids to work together to navigate tricky social situations and develop conflict resolution skills.
If you’re interested in enrolling your child in one of our OT groups, contact our OT or front office staff to get details on the schedule, cost, etc.
For more information about Cleveland pediatric occupational therapy groups at Therapy and Wellness Connection, Contact Us Online or call our office (330) 748-4807. Our services and multidisciplinary therapy are available in Brecksville, Broadview Heights, Cleveland, Akron and surrounding communities.
Current Practice and Perceptions of Group Work in Occupational Therapy, Winter 2014, Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society
More Blog Entries:
Akron Occupational Therapy for Kids Is an Evidence-Based Practice, Aug. 9, 2023, Akron Occupational Therapy Blog