Pediatric Occupational Therapy
What is Pediatric Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapy addresses a child’s ability to function in the everyday tasks that someone of the same age typically encounters. For younger children, this may be learning to play with toddler toys, drinking from a bottle, and rolling over. A preschool child’s daily tasks are about learning to dress themselves, feed themselves, and play with other children. As children get older, occupational therapy ensures that they can function as independently as possible in all their self-care tasks, as well as during the school day. Occupational therapy may address a child’s needs through developmental activities, fine motor tasks, sensory integration, visual motor tasks, gross motor play, or other skill-based tasks.
Our pediatric occupational therapists (OT) work with children and infants who have problems in cognitive functions, movement, and coordination. These young patients could be living with a wide range of conditions, such as neurological complaints, orthopedic injuries, spinal cord damage, muscular dystrophy, or other motor disorders.
The work of a pediatric occupational therapist involves analyzing and treating skeletal, neuromuscular, or cognitive restrictions of their young patients and helping them in developing their interaction and communication skills, refining their motor skills and educating them in self-care abilities, especially for older children. Most of the patients are too young to understand verbal instructions, so we often incorporate games into the therapy. This will help to engage their interest and cooperation. It is imperative to have the commitment and support of the family as well.
Our hope is to set goals with the patient and family and do everything we can to help a child reach their personal best. The family is a key component in optimizing therapy outcomes. We want all of our families to feel that they are involved and knowledgeable about the therapy and care their children are receiving, because help and follow-through at home can make a world of difference in the effectiveness of therapy.