What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy is a service that helps individuals achieve independence in their everyday life activities or “occupations”. In the pediatric setting, occupational therapists use their expertise to help children prepare for and perform important learning and developmental activities. This typically includes: muscle strengthening, range of motion of the hands and body, work on bilateral coordination (using two hands together), motor planning (planning and execution of a series of movements), visual perception skills (ability to make sense of what is seen) and visual motor skills (ability to use hands and eyes as paired tools.  It also includes direct practice of the task, often with adaptations or modifications of the fine motor and self care tasks (cutting, writing, tying shoes) that are difficult for the individual child.

Diagnoses that are often treated with occupational therapy may include:

  • Asperger’s syndrome
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Cerebral Palsy and other neurological diagnoses
  • Developmental disabilities
  • Down syndrome and other genetic diagnoses
  • Feeding difficulties
  • Sensory processing disorders
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Delays in fine motor and visual motor skills directly affecting academic performance

Our occupational therapists provide a skilled service that identifies, through evaluation, the key components that can hinder a child from functioning at his/her maximum potential. The OT also identifies the child’s strengths and builds on them to improve skills. Through specialized treatment, occupational therapists strive to improve skill sets in the below area.

  • attention difficulties
  • balance
  • coping/regulation skills
  • core strength for improved postural control
  • fine motor skills
  • following directions and problem solving
  • handwriting
  • positioning, adaptive equipment
  • self-help skills, such as feeding, dressing, and bathing
  • sensory integration disorders
  • upper body strength and coordination
  • upper body splinting to prevent poor posturing and improve functional mobility

Additional OT Programs We Offer:

Handwriting Without Tears
Sensory Integration Therapy
Therapeutic Listening
Feeding Programs

Additional Resources:

Occupational Therapy Frequently Asked Questions
Fine Motor Milestones / Sensory Processing Red Flags Checklist