What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapy focuses on helping people increase independence and daily functioning. An occupation is defined as something meaningful that fills someone’s time. Children's occupations include playing, learning, and developing independence. Our occupational therapists can assist in determining what is impeding your child’s ability to fully engage in daily activities and develop a plan to address it.
How do I know if my child needs occupational therapy?
Some signs your child might need occupational therapy are:
- Unclear hand dominance by age 5
- Poor grasping pattern
- Difficulty with copying shapes, copying block designs, stringing beads, completing mazes, and completing word searches
- Core weakness
- Difficulty with climbing or fearful of gross motor equipment at playground
- Falls easily and appears clumsy
- W-sitting as preferred positioning
- Uses hand to hold up head when seated
- Needs to support self with one arm when seated on the floor
- Difficulty with clothing management
- Troubles using fasteners
- Troubles tying shoes, or shoes that keep untying because the laces are tied too loose
- Difficulty using utensils during meal time
- Selective eating habits
- Sensory processing concerns
What is involved in an occupational therapy evaluation?
Our occupational therapists make sure to look at your child’s ability to function within their environment as a whole. This means evaluating their:
- Fine motor skills
- Visual motor skills (hand-eye coordination)
- Core strength and postural control
- Self care skills
- Sensory Processing skills
Our occupational therapists use a variety of assessment tools and in depth parent report measures to complete their evaluations. These tools allow our OTs to look at your child holistically and determine if they would benefit from occupational therapy services.
If my child needs occupational therapy, what might treatment sessions include?
Treatment will likely focus on building skills through play activities. Some frequently used occupational therapy activities are:
- Obstacle courses
- Activities that include climbing, swinging, and moving the body
- Multiple step craft activities
- Tactile play such as shaving cream, kinetic sand, and sensory bins
- Basic cooking, meal preparation, and sequencing activities
- Self care activities such as clothing management and manipulating fasteners
- Hand eye coordination activities including matching, throwing and catching, tracing, and cutting
- Upper body and hand strengthening activities
- Feeding therapy