What is pediatric occupational therapy?
You may think “occupation?” my child does not have a job? In the pediatric world of OT, play is the work of children. Our occupational therapist here at Kids Speak incorporates therapy in a fun and creative way through play to help your child develop necessary skills and learn. Play is a child’s main occupation in which they learn the skills to be successful at school, home, and in the community.
How do you know if your child needs Occupational Therapy services?
If your child presents with any of the difficulties included below, they may qualify for occupational therapy services.
Developmental delays is when your child is behind in skills that are typically developed within a particular age period and being behind in a combination of skills and not meeting age appropriate milestones.
When a child is unable to manage information coming through their senses. This includes over-sensitivity or under-sensitivity to sounds, smells, sights, touch, movement, taste and difficulty with the sense body awareness. Is your child constantly moving, jumping, crashing, or bumping into objects? Easily distracted, difficulty coping with change, inability to self regulate and calm when upset
Fine motor challenges:
Difficulty with coordinating small muscles with hands/fingers. Children will demonstrate difficulty with writing skills, dressing using buttons/snaps/zippers, grasping utensils or manipulating small toys/objects, coloring/drawing, or using scissors.
Activities of daily living (ADLs):
ADLs make up our self care routines; bathing, brushing teeth, dressing skills, grooming, hygiene. Occupational therapy can help target these skills and help teach your child the necessary skills to become more independent.
Movement, strength and balance development (gross motor skills):
Gross motor skills help us move and coordinate our arms, legs and other body parts. These involve large muscles to control our body movements and help us to stay coordinated and balanced. If your child is behind in strength, movement or balance they may appear clumsy or uncoordinated. They may show difficulty navigating stairs, coordinating both sides of the body, poor balance, hand eye coordination and ball skills.
Visual processing helps us to make sense of what we see and how we interpret visual information. Children can experience difficulties with recognizing shapes, letters, left/right,
copying information, spacing and orientation of letters and writing visually tracking and crossing the midline.