Occupational Therapy

Self-Care Tasks

Self-care is a part of our daily-living and includes any intentional actions you take to care for your mental, emotional and physical health. When children practice self-care, they learn to develop the skills and abilities required to take care of themselves and attend to their own basic needs. A few examples of self-care tasks include getting dressed, eating, toileting, sleeping or personal hygiene. Practicing self-care at a young age allows children to build a foundation and develop healthy habits that will benefit them in their adulthood. However, when these tasks become difficult, this limits their life experiences (e.g., eating at a restaurant, using public bathrooms, getting dressed to go outside in the snow).

What are signs your child could benefit from an occupational therapist?

  • Require more assistance than others of their age to get dressed or undressed
  • Difficulty feeding themselves independently
  • Difficulty tolerating certain clothing material
  • Difficulty using utensils
  • Require assistance opening food packaging in their lunch box
  • Refuse to eat certain foods
  • Difficulty coordinating movements to brush teeth
  • Difficulty falling asleep or getting ready for bed
  • Require assistance with toileting (i.e., wiping, reminders to empty bladder or void, fear of toilet)
  • Limited motivation to participate in self-care activities independently (rely on adults to do it for them)

In a nutshell

Here are a few ways an occupational therapist can help:

  • Introduce routine
  • Assess sensory processing differences
  • Assess fine and gross motor skills
  • Breaking the tasks into smaller steps
  • Adapt/modify tasks
  • Build body awareness