The Spirit Community Foundation Support for the League of Friends of the Blind (LOFOB) Occupational Therapy – supporting the early childhood needs of the blind child.
The Spirit Community Foundation is a proud supporter of LOFOB, but perhaps more should be known about the League and indeed the wonderful occupational therapists who perform such remarkable work.
Occupational Therapy is a discipline that studies the development and activities of human beings from birth to old age. Paediatric Occupational Therapists analyse and focus on behaviours that support a child’s play, daily living skills, and other ‘occupations’ of childhood. With a keen interest in paediatric Occupational Therapy, working with blind and visually impaired babies, children, and teenagers is both a calling and highlight for the Occupational Therapist serving LOFOB’s early childhood development programme.
The Spirit Community Foundation plays a crucial role in supporting this function at LOFOB. Being able to identify the best possible ways to help each child, including some with additional impairments, understand their various environments and learn how to communicate this understanding to others, is a gift and absolute privilege. Through the support received from Spirit Community Foundation, LOFOB is able to engage in a one-to-one setting and have a hands-on impact that is truly rewarding. In addition, having the opportunity to empower parents to understand and embrace their roles and responsibilities as active participants; teachers, supporters, and advocates is critical for the future of the blind and visually impaired child.
“With an expert understanding of child development and paediatric conditions as an Occupational Therapist, I am as the occupational therapist able to assess and evaluate the blind and visually impaired child’s needs and then, together with the parent, devise a specialised, individualised intervention plan to address those needs and support the child.” The key principles incorporated during therapy include building on the child’s strengths by maximising existing skills and providing alternate ways, strategies, and techniques of doing things within their home, school, and community environments. The child’s preferences are respected throughout, however, working towards him/her becoming more comfortable with a variety of experiences is very important for learning.