Occupational Therapy

What is Pediatric Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy at Kids OT to Play is a child-centered therapy that uses meaningful activities to assist children with upper body/core strengthening, fine motor coordination, self-help skills, and sensory processing (sensory integration).

Occupational Therapy and Sensory Integration

Sensory Integration therapy is a discipline with occupational therapy that focuses on the way children process their environment. Sensory Integration therapy develops behavioral awareness, allows children to learn about their individual sensory needs, and helps them feel confident. It is used in the treatment of Sensory Processing Disorder (spdfoundation.net). Our pediatric therapy clinic provides a sensory integration approach to treating children. Using movement, tactile, heavy work, push/pull, obstacle courses, swings, and coordinating activities, a child explores his ability to interact with his environment.

We use the Alert Program, “How does your engine run” (Williams & Shellenberger: alertprogram.com) to teach children about when their “engines” are running too high or too low. When a child’s engine is running too high then he or she may be experiencing hyperactivity, hypersensitivity, hyper-reactivity, anxiety, or stress. When a child’s engine is too low, then he or she may be experiencing low energy levels and inattentiveness.

The goal of Sensory Integration therapy, which is incorporated in our Occupational Therapy sessions, is that the child explore activities that help them feel “just right,” so they can function optimally at home, play, and school. This translates to independence, better attention and organization for fine motor activities, self care activities such as dressing, learning skills, and socializing with friends.

Click here for more information about Sensory Integration.

Who can benefit from Occupational Therapy?

Pediatric OT is appropriate for:

  • Children who demonstrate Attention Deficit Disorder/ Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD).
  • Children with Sensory Issues.
  • Children on the autism spectrum including PDD, Asperger Syndrome, and Autism.

We work with children ranging in age from 18 months to 15 years old. Our Occupational therapy staff believes strongly in working with both the parent and child on developing goals and treatme

Specific diagnoses we work with include:

  • PDD/Autism
  • Ehler’s Danlos
  • Muscle Dystrophy
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Fine Motor Coordination Deficit
  • Sensory Processing Disorder
  • Visual Motor or Visual Perceptual Deficits
  • Gross Motor Coordination/Balance/Safety deficits
  • Apraxia

When should I seek an OT evaluation?

You should seek an evaluation by a licensed by a licensed Pediatric Occupational Therapist if your child:

  • Experiences delays in self-care independence
  • Has difficulties with fine motor coordination
  • Is easily distracted
  • Seems impulsive or lacking self-control
  • Has an unusually high or low level of activity
  • Seems physically clumsy or careless
  • Has difficulty making transitions from one situation to another
  • Has a poor self concept
  • Has delays in speech, language, or motor skills
  • Has delays in academic achievement
  • Is hypersensitive or under-reactive to touch, movement, sights, or sounds
  • Has difficulties with social skills
  • Can’t “unwind,” or calm down

What happens in a Kids OT to Play pediatric occupational therapy session?

Sessions include a variety of activities that encourage sensory integration. Sessions vary according to each child’s needs and may include:

  • The Listening Program skills link to Listening info
  • Astronaut program link to Astronaut info
  • Brushing program link to Brushing info
  • How does your engine run? link to engine info
  • Brain gym link to Brain Gym info
  • Yoga
  • Drive-thru menus link to Drive thru menus
  • Activities of Daily Living (ADL) skills link to ADL info
  • Coordination skills

How will my child benefit from Pediatric Occupational Therapy?

Pediatric OT can help your child in many ways. These include:

  • Increased ability to learn
  • Improved sensory integration skills
  • Improved coordination
  • Greater self-confidence
  • Realizing that nothing is “wrong” with him or her
  • Less frustration—for children and their parents!

Some areas we address include:

  • Fine motor coordination
  • Muscle weakness; core, arms, and hands
  • Gross motor coordination, balance, and motor planning
  • Self-care skills and independence
  • Visual motor and visual perceptual skills
  • Eye-hand coordination
  • Sensory processing and attention