Pediatric Occupational Therapy (OT)
The idea of Occupational Therapy for kids at times is confusing because the word “occupation” suggests a “job.” You may think infants, toddlers and young children don’t have jobs, but they do – playing and learning.
Sage Care’s pediatric Occupational Therapists evaluate and treat children and young adults in their homes for:
- Fine motor skills – movements of the hands and fingers
- Hand-eye coordination
- Self-care activities such as dressing and grooming
- Upper body movement and strength
- Sensory/motor impairments – sensory system problems that affect function
Each child is different and each treatment plan is different. The goal, however, is always the same – to help each child achieve as much independence as possible in all areas of life – home, school, and community.
Which children may need pediatric Occupational Therapy?
Children with a wide range of physical, emotional and cognitive conditions benefit from pediatric Occupational Therapy. The underlying condition can be known at birth, become more apparent as the child grows, be the result of an accident or be associated with a chronic illness. Such conditions include:
- Sensory processing disorders
- Sensory-based feeding problems
- Learning or cognitive deficiencies
- Developmental delays and Down Syndrome
- Autism/pervasive developmental disorders
- Birth injuries or birth defects
- Spina Bifida
- Mental health, behavioral issues or ADHD
- Traumatic injuries (brain or spinal cord)
- Broken bones or other orthopedic injuries
- Traumatic amputations or severe hand injuries
- Post-surgical recovery
- Chronic illness such as cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy, and Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
Our goal for each child is to achieve the greatest possible level of independence and success during play, everyday life and work.
How will occupational therapists work with my child?
Depending on the child, therapy sessions may cover all or some of the following areas:
- Fine motor skills so children can grasp and release toys, develop good handwriting skills, copy from a blackboard and use a computer
- Hand-eye coordination to improve kids’ play skills, such as fitting puzzle pieces together, stacking blocks, hitting a target, batting a ball and dressing a doll
- Basic self-care to help children become more independent and learn to bathe themselves, get dressed, brush their teeth and feed themselves
- Attention and focus to improve both social skills as well as learning and study skills
- Behavioral coaching to address anger-management issues and provide positive options for dealing with anger, such as writing or exercise
- Need for and use of specialized equipment, such as wheelchairs, splints, bathing equipment, dressing devices, or communication aids
OT improves children’s cognitive and motor skills. Early intervention is the most successful intervention.