Pediatric occupational therapy helps children gain independence and promotes development of fine motor skills, sensory motor skills, and visual motor skills that children need to function and socialize in their home, school, play, and community environments. In the pediatric setting, occupational therapists use their expertise to help children prepare for and perform important learning and developmental activities. Individual and group therapy provides a unique opportunity for children to improve muscle strength and tone, motor coordination, motor planning, focus and attention and self-help skills. Occupational therapy practitioners have a holistic perspective, in which the focus is on adapting the environment to fit the individual child who is an integral part of the therapy team.
Occupational therapy services typically include: • an individualized evaluation, during which the client/family and occupational therapist
determine the person’s goals, • customized intervention to improve the person’s ability to perform daily activities and
reach the goals, and • an outcomes evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met and/or make changes
to the intervention plan.
Children may benefit from pediatric occupational therapy for: • Self-care skills including feeding, dressing, and grooming • Hand strengthening and coordination skills required for activities such as cutting with
scissors, coloring and writing, buttoning, using feeding utensils, tying shoes etc. • Sensory-motor processing and integration • Behavioral disorders/maintaining positive behaviors in all environments • Recommendation, training, and use of adaptive equipment and splinting • Neurodevelopmental treatment • Visual motor/perceptual skills • Handwriting skills • Motor planning • Range of motion • Psychosocial development • Infant and toddler early developmental milestones
How do I know if my child needs Occupational Therapy? • They seem to have weak hands and/or get tired easily while doing fine motor tasks • They are overly sensitive or emotional to sensory stimulation including touch,
textures, tastes, sound, and movement • They are under responsive with decreased reactions to movement, touch, sound, or
have unusually low emotional responses • They have trouble with writing including pushing too hard or not hard enough, not
being able to develop and maintain a good grasp on the pencil, and having
trouble with size and spacing of their letters • They have trouble learning how to dress themselves