Articles in have started to pop up about the increased need for occupational therapy among children. A significant amount of the rise is being pointed at the increased use of screens. Too much screen time is ruining normal children’s development of play, motor and perception skills.
Occupational therapy typically was reserved for those with special needs, people recovering from injury and those adjusting to life after significant physical change. Amazingly so many children now are so disengaged from normal childhood activities that essential skills like motor and perception functions are no longer developing properly; necessitating the need of professional intervention.
Using the whole body to play is essential for developing motor and sensory skills, it is through continual use and practice that they develop. When using a screen as the primary form of entertainment and play a child is only stimulating their auditory and visual senses.
When a child is running, pushing things and moving objects about they are stimulating many more of their senses and learning to form an understanding of the world. They learn what happens when things drop, how hard to push, pull move an object, where their body is in space and how much room they have to move.
Occupational therapists are being called upon to help children with developing their sensory and motor skills which are often presenting as the knocking into objects frequently, inability to hold and use pencils, struggling to dress and feeding themselves.
Even older children are needing to see Occupational Therapists from too much screen time. Older children who are finding that they need to write more than they are used to in school are struggling, they are experiencing pain and require an OT to help them be able to write. Writing using a pen has been found to lead to higher memory recall so it is a skill worth retaining.
When buying toys for your children aim to buy ones that promote problem solving, that have different textures, that require use of both hands, are can be assembled and disassembled by the child that encourage creative play.
To help you manage your child’s screen time try Pixel Pounds, it will make sure your child does not exceed recommended daily limits.