Pediatric occupational therapy
Aims at enhancing the child’s participation and independence to perform valuable daily basic and instrumental activities and considers the child’s whole body and how it contributes to overall functioning in the various environments, such as at home or at schools. Occupational therapists (OTs) and assistants (OTAs) focus on the fine motor skills, visual motor and perceptual skills, sensory processing, gross motor and body coordination, and self-care skills of the child and how these skills can be developed or enhanced in order for the child to participate in age appropriate, meaningful play, academic and social occupations. OTs evaluate children and target their most significant areas of need through interventions in the child’s home, at school, or in a clinical setting. OT’s overall goal is to help kids participate independently right alongside their peers in any environment, regardless of their level of ability.
WHAT DO OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY SESSIONS FOCUS ON?
- FINE MOTOR SKILLS:
- grasping and controlling a crayon for coloring,
- reaching for and manipulating a spoon for feeding,
- turning the pages of a book,
- using both hands together to hook and pull up the zipper on a coat
- pinch and pull socks and putting on other clothing items
- picking up small beads, items
- tying shoes
- VISUAL MOTOR SKILLS AND VISUAL PERCEPTUAL SKILLS:
- eye-hand coordination, so that they can interact functionally with the tools and objects in their environments.
- reaching for an object,
- cutting with scissors
- understanding space, position, and orientation
- seeing and recognizing similarities and differences between objects.
- learning letters of the alphabet and recognizing numbers,
- sequencing the letters of name.
- SENSORY PROCESSING SKILLS:
- learning to understand, process, and organize sensations (touch, vision, hearing, movement, taste) in their environments and respond in appropriate ways to everyday situations.
- developing to adapt and react appropriately in sensory rich environments.
- learning to integrate these sensations, to learn coping mechanisms and strategies, and to become more tolerant of the sensations in their everyday lives
- Refining self-regulation and coping skills in the constantly changing sensory environments
- GROSS MOTOR AND BODY COORDINATION SKILLS:
- Developing bilateral upper and lower body coordination necessary for throwing and catching a ball
- Learning how to identify the location of arms and legs and speed and directions of movement, differentiate between the two sides of the body
- Enhancing the coordination between the right and left side of the body, arms, legs, hands
- Strengthening upper and lower bilateral extremities to gain increased control for walking, stair stepping, running, hopping, jumping, balancing.
- SELF CARE SKILLS:
- Refining and modifying dressing skills, including clothing orientation, putting on and taking off shoes, and managing small/medium/large clothing fasteners.
- Assisting to develop sequencing of toothbrushing, bathing skills
- feeding skills like managing utensils and oral motor functioning.
- addressing the management of daily tasks such as getting organized upon arrival at the school or being able to buy a lunch in the cafeteria.
- teaching a child learn to navigate from place to place throughout their day in an organized manner.
OTD . OTR/L