About Occupational Therapy (OT)
What is pediatric occupational therapy?
Pediatric occupational therapy can help prepare your child for the job of living! A child’s job is to play, learn, explore, and experience. Our therapists are professionals who help children to reach an optimal level of functioning at home and school. Most importantly, we help children to succeed in everyday life tasks, and to reach their highest potential.
What does Pediatric Therapy Solutions do to help my child during OT sessions?
Our therapists use a variety of techniques and methods with children to improve their skills. Depending on your child’s needs, we may provide proprioceptive input (joint movement and awareness) and vestibular input (balance via the inner ear) with specialized equipment such as suspended swings, a trampoline, scooters and therapeutic balls. Our therapists may work on fine motor skills so that kids can master grasping and releasing and develop good handwriting skills. Therapy might also address hand-eye coordination by working on puzzles or completing a maze. Children in therapy improve play skills, such as hitting a target, batting a ball, writing on a chalkboard. We also provide direction on how you can help your child further develop skills at home.
My child has been diagnosed with a learning disability. How can OT help?
Research shows that children with learning disabilities (LD) often have sensorimotor difficulties as well. Involving both sensory and motor activity, sensorimotor deficits can affect a child’s ability to perform many common, everyday tasks that are usually taken for granted. These difficulties may include:
- oral motor (difficulty with speech and/or eating)
- motor planning/dyspraxia (inability to think through a new task requiring body movements
and then execute that movement)
- fine motor delays (trouble mastering hand-writing skills, cutting with scissors, shoe-tying)
- gross motor delays (poor coordination, balance; leading to difficulty skipping, climbing, participating in sports)
- visual-perceptual delays (lack of depth perception or peripheral vision)
- somatosensory deficits (lack of body awareness; inadequate orientation in space)
- sensory hypersensitivity (overly sensitive to sounds, tastes, textures)
- ocular motor dysfunction (inability to focus on a target or to make smooth tracking eye movements)
Occupational therapy helps your child to overcome these obstacles that accompany his or her learning disability. During OT, your child works to improve overall strength, balance, and coordination. Additionally, special attention is paid toward improving handwriting, oral control, and ocular motor skills as necessary. Strengthening these areas helps to minimize the effects of your child’s LD, along with building self-confidence and enhancing self-esteem.
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