Pediatric Occupational Therapy (OT)
A child’s life consists of “occupations” or daily activities. These activities include playing, learning, socializing, and tasks of daily living such as eating and dressing. Occupational therapists help children to become more independent and improving these skills using structured activities and play. Some activities can be learning to hold feeding utensils, to catching a ball, climbing a ladder, zipponing or buttoning a shirt, handwriting, cutting, or jumping. All of these skills help children be more independent at school, play, and in the community.
Our Occupational Therapists (OT) team design goals to enhance attention, self-regulation, academic skills, social and behavior skills, and to promote positive and safe play skills with children while creating an effective carry-over plan from the center to home. For some this children this might be increasing:
- Teaching tools to self-regulate facilitating easier transitions within activities
- Improve ability of gross motor function (throwing ball, jumping, climbing)
- Improve ability of fine motor function (zipping, handwriting, cutting)
- Improved attention to task and feel comfortable with stimuli (auditory, tactile, touch)
- Improved strength, endurance, range of motion of body to improve play (playground equipment, academic activities)
- Improved tolerance of sensory processing issues (tactile, auditory)
- Improving attention during school or at home
- Ability to complete daily living tasks (brushing hair and teeth, dressing, toiling, bathing)
- Ability to eat and accept a variety of foods (taste and texture)
- Improve eye- hand and whole body coordination and sensory processing (tactile, auditory) in reading, writing, and in playing
Who Can Benefit from Occupational Therapy?
- Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
- Children with Developmental Delays, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
- Children who might be having gross or fine motor difficulties affecting participation in play or daily living activities.
- Children who are “sensory seeking” or low arousal or have sensory avoidant behaviors
- Children who are having difficulty regulating (e.g. tactile, auditory)
- Premature children who are having difficulty meeting motor milestones in play, feeding, or sensory input regulation.
- Picky eaters, oral aversions, difficulty chewing or tolerating variety of textures of food during mealtimes.
- Children experiencing learning disabilities (dyslexia, non-verbal learning disability affecting attention, visual perception, memory, executive function and writing skills
- Children with neurological issues affecting weight bearing, strength and muscle coordination activities.
- Children having difficulty with dyspraxia affecting coordination and balance in fine and gross motor activities
- Children having regulation or emotional disorders (panic disorders, emotional disturbance, OCD, oppositional defiant disorder)
Our pediatric Occupational therapists create play-based learning activities while in our sensory motor gyms where children utilize therapy equipment such as swings, slides, stairs, climbing walls, balls, scooter boards and more. Our kids “learn” without really knowing they are “learning” as we target improved vestibular and proprioceptive skills, improve coordination, strength, endurance, balance, and improved sensory responses allowing them to be creative and helping them meet their individual goals. Our kids LOVE OT!
What Are Some Of Our Occupational Therapy Programs?
- Zones of Regulation and the Alert Program (How does your Engine Run)
- Handwriting Without Tears
- Therapeutic Listening Program
- Neurodevelopmental Therapy Techniques
- Brain Gym
- SOS approach to feeding/ Beckman Oral Motor Techniques
- Constraint Induced therapy
- Kinesio Taping
- Stretch What Matters (yoga for children with special needs