Our Pediatric Occupational Therapists focus on achieving functional independence through therapeutic interventions addressing perceptual motor skills, fine motor skills, strength and coordination, sensory integration/ sensory processing and self-care activities.
What can occupational therapy do for pediatric patients?
Occupational therapy helps children to develop the underlying skills necessary for learning and performing specific tasks, but it also addresses social and behavioral skills. It can help with the child’s self-concept and confidence. Pediatric occupational therapy helps children develop the basic sensory awareness and motor skills needed for motor development, learning and healthy behavior. These include the following:
- body awareness (proprioceptive sense)
- coordination of movements between the two sides of the body (“crossing the midline”)
- fine motor control and organization
- motor planning
- motor movements and coordination
- gross motor coordination
- ocular motor skills
- visual perceptual skills
- sensory modulation (reaction to stimulus)
Occupational therapists not only work directly with the child, but also with the family, parents, caregivers and teachers in order to educate and reinforce specific skills and behaviors which will be used to improve and facilitate the child’s performance and functioning.
When would a family come and see you?
Any time a child is not functioning at an age appropriate level in any aspects of their life, they might see an OT for an evaluation. Children will benefit from Occupational Therapy if they have:
- Poor coordination
- Decreased balance (“clumsiness”)
- Delayed motor skill development
- Low muscle tone or strength
- Difficulty with handwriting
- Been diagnosed with a learning disability
- Difficulty completing tasks that seem easily attained by peers
- Behavioral challenges or social skill issues
- Decreased attention or ability to participate in age appropriate activities
- Decreased self-esteem and self-concept
- Decreased visual skills including visual perceptual skills and ocular motor skills
- Difficulties with feeding, is a picky eater or a messy eater