Pediatric Occupational Therapy
Parents who have children with disabilities, injuries, or illnesses understand how difficult daily life can be for both their children and themselves.
If your child has difficulty with self-care routines such as dressing and feeding themselves, self-soothing, avoiding eye contact, or developing fine motor skills, pediatric occupational therapy might help.
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What is Pediatric Occupational Therapy
Pediatric occupational therapy focuses on everyday tasks important to the child, assisting children with cognitive, motor, physical, and speech delays in developing their skills and improving their capacity to engage in daily activities.
Who Can Benefit from Pediatric Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapy (OT) is beneficial for children who:
- Have motor skills delays
- Experience coordination and balance issues
- Need help developing visual-motor skills
- Have learning difficulties like dyslexia and dyspraxia
- Experience cognitive delays (such as problems with memory, learning, attention, and problem-solving)
- Have sensory avoidance issues (e.g., avoid certain textures or tastes)
- Experience delays in social and emotional development
- Need help with basic self-care activities such as dressing, brushing teeth, or feeding themselves.
What to Expect
Pediatric occupational therapy aims to help children with disabilities, illnesses, or injuries build essential life skills, raise resilience, and help them actively engage in daily life.
Pediatric occupational therapy interventions are customized to each child and their specific needs. During the initial meeting, your child’s therapist will conduct a comprehensive assessment to identify the areas of concern, your child’s needs, and strengths. Based on this assessment, they will develop a customized treatment plan to ensure that your child reaches therapeutic goals at their pace.
Play and Sensory Integration
Play takes an essential place in pediatric occupational therapy and is used to achieve developmental goals. Even though it can seem like typical playtime, play therapy is much more.
Because play is a natural and enjoyable activity for children, it is used as a therapy strategy when working with children and their families in OT.
Your child’s occupational therapist will create a therapeutic environment in which your child may learn and develop their skills while having fun. A trained occupational therapist uses playtime to observe the child’s behavior, better understand their problems, help the child explore and express their emotions, and teach them helpful coping strategies.
Sensory integration is processing, integrating, and organizing sensory information from our bodies and the environment. Children use their senses to learn about the world around them. Some kids, however, struggle with processing sensory information, which can lead to challenges in their daily lives. For instance, your child may struggle to attend group daycare settings if they find noisy environments overwhelming.
Occupational therapists use sensory integration strategies to help kids process sensory information more effectively and increase their capacity to respond appropriately to various stimuli. As a result, self-control, focus, and general functioning improve.
Pediatric occupational therapists work together with families and caregivers to help them incorporate therapy techniques into the child’s everyday life.
By helping children develop essential life skills, occupational therapists help them become more independent and resilient, overcome challenges, and actively engage in everyday activities.
Looking for a therapist? Get matched with a therapist today.