occupationa- therapy | Sunrise Hospital

Neutral Warmth – Will not harm the kid, but may help him.

I have used the neutral warm technique on children I have worked with over the years and have had varying results. A couple of children really showed improvement in their ability to sit and focus on an activity. A couple of other children showed no improvement at all. I know the cases where neutral warmth technique worked. The children were originally all over the place – jumping up on furniture and running back and forth in the house and public places.

It took a couple of days for the parents to share that the child was slowing down a little. Then in a couple more days, they shared that child was able to set for few minutes and focus on a play activity (puzzle or shape sorting etc)

I am a believer as an OT that we should be open to trying a variety of things with the children we work with, as long as there is no risk of harm and should be evidence-based too. Neutral warmth technique won’t hurt a child but may help him. It may not work for every child, but if it works on even one and helps that child and family cope better during the day, then I am willing to give at least a try. If it works, great! If it doesn’t, no harm was done, we move on to another option.

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