What is OT?
Pediatric occupational therapy helps children gain independence while also strengthening the development of fine motor skills, sensory motor skills, and visual motor skills that they need to function and socialize.
Why choose OT?
A child’s role in life is to play and interact with other children. A pediatric occupational therapist will evaluate a child’s current skills for playing, school performance, and daily activities and compare them with what is developmentally appropriate for that age group. OTs help children perform daily activities they may find challenging by addressing sensory, social, behavioral, motor, and environmental issues.
Who may benefit from OT?
Kids with certain medical conditions may benefit. Some conditions are as follows:
- birth injuries or birth defects
- sensory processing disorders
- traumatic injuries (brain or spinal cord)
- learning problems
- autism/pervasive developmental disorders
- juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
- mental health or behavioral problems
- broken bones or other orthopedic injuries
- developmental delays
- post-surgical conditions
- spina bifida
- multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and other chronic illnesses
What can parents hope to see accomplished through OT?
Occupational therapist work with children to achieve the following results:
- help kids work on fine motor skills so they can grasp and release toys and develop good handwriting skills
- address hand-eye coordination to improve kids’ play and school skills (hitting a target, batting a ball, copying from a blackboard, etc.)
- help kids with severe developmental delays learn basic tasks (such as bathing, getting dressed, brushing their teeth, and feeding themselves)
- help kids with behavioral disorders maintain positive behaviors in all environments (e.g., instead of hitting others or acting out, using positive ways to deal with anger, such as writing about feelings or participating in a physical activity)
- teach kids with physical disabilities the coordination skills needed to feed themselves, use a computer, or increase the speed and legibility of their handwriting
- evaluate a child’s need for specialized equipment, such as wheelchairs, splints, bathing equipment, dressing devices, or communication aids
- work with kids who have sensory and attention issues to improve focus and social skills