Pediatric Occupational Therapy

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy practitioners work with children, youth, and their families, caregivers, and teachers to promote active participation in activities or occupations that are meaningful to them. The primary occupations (activities that support the health, well-being, and development) of infants, toddlers, and young children are playing, learning, and interacting with caregivers and, eventually, their peers.

Occupational Therapists can...

  • help kids work on fine motor skills so they can grasp and release toys and develop good handwriting skills

  • address hand–eye coordination to improve kids' play and school skills 

  • help kids with severe developmental delays learn basic tasks (such as bathing, getting dressed, brushing their teeth, and feeding themselves)

  • help children develop the ability to cope with challenges, and to use calming strategies to deal with frustration, diffuse anger, and manage impulsivity

  • teach kids with physical disabilities the coordination skills needed to feed themselves, use a computer, or increase the speed and legibility of their handwriting

  • evaluate a child's need for adaptive equipment such as wheelchairs, splints, bathing equipment, dressing devices, or communication aids

  • work with kids who have sensory and attentional issues to improve focus and social skills

Who may benefit from OT?

If your child...

  • appears clumsy or uncoordinated

  • has difficulty with the concept of right and left

  • poor ball skills

  • is not reaching developmental milestones of sitting, crawling, and walking

  • is not learning at an age appropriate level

  • is not developing age appropriate play and social skills

  • has difficulty with manipulating toys and puzzles

  • has difficulty with pencil grasp

  • has difficulty using feeding utensils at an age appropriate time

  • has poor handwriting, letter/number formation

  • has difficulty using scissors

  • has difficulty with clothing fasteners: zippers, buttons, shoelaces

  • has difficulty with coloring, drawing, tracing, prewriting shapes​​

  • has difficulty with the spacing and sizes of letters

  • has difficultyy with recognizing letters

  • has difficulty with copying shapes or letters

  • has difficulty with visual tracking and crossing midline

  • has difficulty finding objects among other objects

  • has difficulty with copying from the board or another paper

  • has difficulty with the concept of right and left

  • has difficulty using a cup at an age-appropriate time

  • has difficulty with drinking from a straw at an age-appropriate time

  • loses excessive liquid or food from his or her mouth when drinking or chewing

  • appears to be excessively picky when eating, only eating certain types or textures of food