2nd blog of OT series...
Productivity refers to anything you might do to develop your skills, earn a living, manage a home or help others.
For adults this can take the form of paid/unpaid work or managing a family/home i.e. on the job skills such as conflict resolution, teamwork, time management or home tasks such as cleaning the dishes, doing laundry or caring for children.
For children and adolescents, learning through play and at school, encompasses their main productivity occupations i.e. writing/typing, taking turns, creative expression, socializing
People place a lot of value on productivity occupations as they often make up the fabric of who we are, or who we may or may not be one day in the future – their self-identity! For this reason, OT assessment and intervention for productivity type occupations can provide valuable insight. The process the OT would take is the same as described for self-care occupations.
...Let’s take a look at a more in depth example:
Let’s say you child is having difficulties paying attention in class.
An OT would start by observing the child in the environment they are experiencing the most difficulties in, which in this case is at school, to gather information on the specific challenges that child may be experiencing:
· Is there a specific subject that is more challenging?
· What is the child doing in the moment where attention is challenging?
· Are other children experiencing difficulties as well?
· What does their workspace look like?
· What is their seating arrangement like?
· Where are they positioned in relation to the teacher/other students?
· What is the environment like – lighting? Noise level? Temperature?
In addition to observation, interviews with the teacher(s) and the parent(s) as well as the child, would be necessary for the OT to gain a clear picture of the issues and potential barriers.
...As for solutions:
· Sometimes frequent movement breaks throughout the day are what a child may need
· Adaptive seating may also be required, seating that allows for more movement
· The classroom environment is just to stimulating for some children, so working collaboratively with the teacher and other school stakeholders to mitigate this stimulation is sometimes what is needed
Similar to self-care occupations, each individual presents with their own set of unique circumstances that may be hindering their performance in productivity type occupations, so each treatment plan will vary according to the individual.
If you or a loved one is experiencing challenges with PRODUCTIVITY type occupations, please contact your Occupational Therapist today for more information. Stay tuned for the final week of our OT Month Blog to learn more about the most enjoyable type of occupations yet: leisure!
Rachel Tavares, OT (Reg.) Ont., Registered Occupational Therapist, Bodiworks Institute