If a child has a phobia they are likely to present with an overwhelming and debilitating fear of a particular object, place, or situation.
Children’s occupational therapy can help with the identification and treatment of phobias. You may notice that your child will go to great lengths to avoid certain situations or display physical symptoms such as:-
- Unsteadiness, dizziness and light-headedness
- Increased heart rate or palpitations
- Shortness of breath
- Trembling or shaking
- An upset stomach
In addition to this they might experience frightening thoughts or beliefs which exacerbate their symptoms. These thoughts and beliefs may seem to be irrational i.e. a child believes they are in great danger when in fact they are not or their response to a situation is exaggerated and out of proportion to the actual threat. These thoughts, fears and physical symptoms may affect a child’s ability to participate in day to day activities or attend or concentrate on activities at home or at school. It may even cause them to start avoiding certain situations, even school. Children’s occupational therapy can help the child, their parents and teachers to gain a greater understanding of the phobia and how it can be overcome.
How can Kate Meads Associates help?
If your child is experiencing a phobia, an assessment from KMA will focus on how their symptoms are affecting their life and preventing them from living life as they wish. This could include something specific such as attending school, travelling on public transport or avoiding activities that they used to enjoy.
At the start of an assessment our therapist will need to have a detailed, but sensitive conversation with your child, focusing on both their strengths and the areas where they are experiencing problems. To assist this process, our therapist may utilise a variety of tools and strategies dependent on their needs.
As our focus at Kate Meads Associates is on helping people improve what they are able to do each day, our assessment will pay particular attention to your child’s daily routine. This will enable us to understand the impact their symptoms are having on their life and work with them and you to identify realistic and achievable goals to increase their functional performance and overall quality of life.
Kate Meads Associates will produce a detailed, yet accessible report within 10 working days of your assessment. The report will provide a summary of the barriers that get in the way of you fulfilling your roles and routines as you wish and make a number of recommendations that might help.
Therapies and treatment
Our Occupational Therapists are experienced in providing children’s occupational therapy intervention and passionate about providing evidence-based interventions to improve people’s functional performance. Each treatment plan will be individual, underpinned by occupational therapy philosophy, taking a person-centred and strengths-based approach. Our ultimate aim is to help your child achieve their goals and improve their functional performance.
Your occupational therapist will work with your child to understand triggers, barriers and established strategies they currently use, some of which may not be that helpful in the longer term. Children’s occupational therapy will also help them to learn and put into practice techniques that help control their symptoms as well as allow them to focus on their roles and routines. These may include:-
Anxiety management techniques
Personal goal setting
Does your child have difficulty…
Dealing with a fear or phobia?
Engaging in day to day tasks or activities due to fears or worries?
Have difficulty focusing on tasks or activities?
Managing or performing day to day roles/responsibilities either at home or school?