Juggling a family’s busy schedule is tricky for all parents, and especially so for parents of children with special needs. In addition to life’s typical demands, families within the disability community often devote hours to doctor’s appointments, physical rehabilitation, speech therapy and other disability-related priorities. Is there enough time in the day to do it all? Well, an occupational therapist turned entrepreneur is lending a helping hand to time-strapped parents with Hands On Fun OT, a kit pairing at-home occupational therapy with fun family bonding time.
What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapy (OT), as defined by the American Occupational Therapy Association, enables people of all ages to participate in daily living. Occupational therapists help people improve their quality of life by focusing on skills pertaining to one’s work, schooling, hobby, household duties, self-care and other independent tasks.
At-home occupational therapy can be a great supplement – or, in some instances, alternative – to clinic-based OT sessions. A senior-aged person may benefit from practicing activities to help them age in place. Whereas at-home OT may help young children with special needs build gross motor skills and fine motor skills.
Based in New York, Kim Cunningham has worked as an occupational therapist for three decades. Noticing that parents and teachers wanted to take an active role in supporting their children and students through early intervention, Cunningham developed the Hands On Fun OT Kit, which consists of play-based learning tools designed to empower children with disabilities to overcome challenges, discover strengths and flourish in all areas of day-to-day life. And that’s achieved while spending quality time with mom, dad or a trusted caregiver.
“I developed Hands On Fun OT kits to bridge the gap in services provided in the school environment and activities at home to strengthen a child’s fine motor skills,” Cunningham tells AmeriDisability. “Additionally, I wanted to provide classrooms the opportunity to carry over skills I’m working on in OT every day — so children get therapy every day, even the days I’m not working with them.”
Implementing At-Home Occupational Therapy
Designed for pre-school aged children, Cunningham describes Hands On Fun as a new, innovative program that includes everything one needs to make at-home occupational therapy easy, fun and entertaining for both parent/caregiver and child.
Each kit features a manual that provides a written and pictorial explanation of the six areas that contribute to fine motor skill development, a suggested implementation schedule, and various toys, manipulatives and a DVD.
Because a parent’s time is limited, each of these play sessions takes just 30 minutes, with children remaining engaged and entertained. The Hands On Fun OT Kit for preschoolers is priced at $79.99. If you’re eager to access Cunningham’s expert advice before your kit arrives, start by downloading Hands on Fun OT instructional videos, typically priced at $7.99.