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Early Movers in Occupational Therapy

The first 5 years form the building blocks for a child’s life, making the early years crucial for influencing the long-term wellbeing of children with developmental disabilities. Occupational therapy focuses on turning disability into ability in this life stage through early intervention programming. The 24-h Movement Guidelines for the Early Years (which provide recommendations for children’s physical activity, sleep, and sedentary time) can support this development. There is a disconnect, however, in the use of this resource in early intervention, and children with disabilities are less likely to meet the guidelines than their peers. Occupational therapists could bridge this gap, by using this resource to support children with disabilities, but we first need to understand their capacity to do so. This research will investigate the appropriateness of incorporating the guidelines as a paediatric occupational therapy early intervention approach. This research will inform the future applications of the guidelines in practice, in support of the occupational skill acquisition of young children with disabilities.

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