Frustration tolerance is the ability to successfully manage feelings of frustration. It’s a tough skill to master, and it’s something with which a lot of kids struggle. As our Cleveland occupational therapists can explain, having low frustration tolerance can make completing even the most basic tasks an uphill battle.
Frustration is an emotional response occurring when something goes wrong or what we desire doesn’t come to fruition. Teaching kids to cope with frustration is essential to helping them become adults who are patient, decisive and capable.
Kids with low frustration may:
- Get easily upset.
- Have difficulty accepting or moving on from defeat/not winning at a game.
- Have trouble solving things easily or right away.
- Give up easily.
- Have trouble concentrating (unable to listen to a full story/focus on their school work).
- Struggle with reduced social skills, uninterested in playing with other kids (which becomes cyclical in other kids’ response to them).
Of course, ups and downs are a normal part of childhood – and of life! Children may experience stress and discomfort when faced with new situations or environments (and the beginning of a new school year is a good time to talk about this!). But parents, caregivers, and occupational therapists can respond with care and understanding, while still teaching them how to appropriately respond to frustrating situations.
April is Occupational Therapy Month. Children who need the assistance of an Akron occupational therapist may be diagnosed with any number of conditions, from down syndrome to autism spectrum disorder to traumatic injury. The goal of a pediatric occupational therapist is to help kids who struggle with everyday tasks due to poor motor skills. This can include tasks that are a part of learning and functioning well at school, home and recreation – anything from handwriting to walking to zipping their coats to staying on task.
As providers of occupational therapy to children in Akron, Cleveland, Brecksville and Broadview Heights, we are occasionally asked what is the difference between an “OTR” and a “COTA.” These are two different titles you may see after the names of your Akron occupational therapist.
Essentially, it comes down to education and training, though there are also differences in responsibilities too. OT(R) stands for Registered Occupational Therapist. Registration only happens after an occupational therapist passes the state boards following graduate school. It requires at least a 2.5-3-year Master’s or Doctorate degree in occupational therapy.