I recently had a woman call, stating that she greatly appreciates Occupational Therapy (OT), that she considers it to be the most holistic profession and to have assisted her child the most. She proceeded to ask whether I give courses to Moms on OT. She does not want to work with everyone, just with children.
My answer to her is the same as it is to other women who call with the same request. OT does have a role to play in education. OT does offer various workshops or talks or courses to assist parents to improve their role as parent. This includes:
- Parenting Skills
- Improving understanding of the development from birth through babyhood or also through childhood as it relates to parents and the information and knowledge they need in order to be better parents
- Education regarding games that can assist with the different stages of development
- Education regarding handling skills especially when there is a special needs child
- Education regarding sensory stimulation and the sensory diet.
- In short, those aspect of the therapeutic process where the parent has a role to play and that will enhance prevention of accidents and disabilities, promotion of health and where indicated rehabilitation.
However, in order to work with children or any other population, a person needs to study at university. Occupational Therapy is a University Degree of a minimum of 3 - 4 years. Upon completion of the degree in Occupational Therapy, an OT also needs to become certified by the Ministry of Health in the country where they practise. OT is not something one can do a few weeks course on and then begin to work helping children and calling one's self a therapist of any kind. It is a recognized profession usually through a Medical Faculty.
Should you be interested in exploring the process to study to become an Occupational Therapist, I would recommend contacting the nearest University that has a Medical Faculty and asking if they offer Occupational Therapy and what the criteria are for acceptance onto the course, how long the course is, any other course requirements.
All the major countries also have an Occupational Therapy Association. There is also a World Federation of Occupational Therapist. If you do not find a university near you, you can contact the OT Association or World Federation of OT's and ask further advice or guidance.