People, being occupational in nature, orient themselves around a balance of work, rest, play, and sleep. These four occupational rhythms help shape the whole of human organization. The beneficial effect of maintaining some degree of balance in these activities during illness, disability or developmental delay is the basis for the field of occupational therapy.
The occupational therapists in the Central Health group mostly deal with children, as this is the predominant demographic need of the international community.
The education system in Hong Kong can be stressful, competitive and perfectionist. As a result, children who in their own country might not be identified as having a particular difficulty are often singled out. These children are often functioning in the normal range and would over time outgrow their problem; however a child's view of himself and his competence is fixed early in life. The rationale for early intervention in these children is to help them overcome any difficulties and prevent long-term labeling or pigeonholing. This allows them a wider range of participation as they get older and protects their self-esteem. Often these children will have unique strengths as well as weaknesses. Identifying, understanding and cultivating those strengths is an important part of what we do.
Other children may have more severe problems which will persist into adult life. With early intervention, the severity of these problems can be reduced and compensatory coping strategies taught. Most importantly, we aim to achieve this in a culture which values differences and quirkiness, and celebrates hard-won achievements in a way that will nurture a child's self-esteem.