Occupational Therapy

white rectangleWhat is Occupational Therapy?

A child has many ‘occupations’ or meaningful activities that they participate in daily: playing, learning and socializing.  For children, the goal of Occupational Therapy is focused on ensuring that a child is able to functionally participate in and succeed in these activities throughout their day.

Teachers teach children. Occupational Therapists facilitate the ability to learn. Pediatric Occupational Therapy gives children the opportunity to engage in activities that are fun, meaningful and most importantly, provide them with the foundations of development that are necessary to excel in their lives, both academically and socially.

 

What will my child be working on in Occupational Therapy?

As every child is unique, every OT session is tailored to address your child’s specific needs.  These needs may include:

  • Handwriting

    • Letter Formation
    • Letter Sizing
    • Letter Spacing / Margin Adherence / Line Adherence
    • Pencil Grasp & Endurance
  • Fine Motor

    • Difficulties opening and closing containers, buttons, zippers, etc.
    • Self – Care (e.g. dressing, feeding / utensil use, hygiene)
    • Decreased hand strength
    • Dexterity / Bilateral Coordination (using both hands together)
  • Visual Perception

    • Difficulties processing and organizing visual information from the environment
    • Difficulties sizing, spacing and / or copying written words
    • Difficulties with hand-eye coordination
  • Sensory Processing

    • Motor Planning & Motor Coordination
    • Tactile Defensiveness
    • Seeking / Avoiding Behaviors
    • Difficulties with Self-Regulation
    • Safety /  Body Awareness
  • Executive Functioning / Attention to Task

    • Difficulties with organizing, planning and sequencing
    • Difficulties sustaining attention
    • Difficulties with flexibility and transitions

Why Occupational Therapy vs. Physical Therapy?

Both are important, however, depending on the type of problem, Occupational Therapy may be more appropriate. Simply put, PTs deal with muscles and the way they function. Often, treatment involves stretching, rote exercises and repetition of movement.

OTs help kids participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). A child’s occupation ranges from play to school-work. OTs are also concerned with a child’s participation in movement however rather than using massage and stretching, treatments focus on encouraging movement through play. OTs take a holistic perspective, in which the focus is on living the best possible life.