You may wonder why your child is being recommended for pediatric occupational therapy when they are too young to have a job. But children do have jobs – their job is to play and learn, and an occupational therapist (OT) helps them to do this as independently and effectively as possible. PediaPlex has a large therapy gym and individual therapy rooms where children work on a wide range of daily activities and skills. Families are encouraged to participate so that you can carry over activities to home and support your child in being even more successful.
What is a Pediatric Occupational Therapist?
Pediatric occupational therapists work with children with a variety of disorders including autism, ADD/ADHD, Down syndrome, sensory integration problems, handwriting difficulties, feeding disorders and visual processing disorders. All of these conditions can affect a child’s ability to do daily tasks such as getting dressed, going to the bathroom, eating, coloring, writing and interacting appropriately with others.
Occupational therapists work on cognitive, physical and motor skills to help children become more independent and self-sufficient. When children can do things on their own, they feel pride and confidence in their abilities. They do not have to rely on others as much because they can adapt to do things themselves. OTs also address social skills such taking turns, transitioning between activities and making eye contact. Whether your child gets upset when they cannot stack blocks, has trouble writing their name or bristles when touching something squishy, pediatric occupational therapy at PediaPlex can help.
Occupational Therapy Activities for Children Provided at PediaPlex
PediaPlex provides a wide range of occupational therapy activities for children that geared toward their individual needs and goals. An OT might work with your child to break down complex tasks into smaller parts and then link activities together. They may give them a small fidget toy to help them focus when someone is speaking, or teach them appropriate social behaviors such as sharing, asking for more, taking turns or indicating that they are all done with an activity.
Some children dislike different textures or too much noise. Working with the OT can help them adjust to different sensory experiences without feeling as anxious or distressed. Your child can learn ways to soothe and calm themselves throughout the day as well. Another way that pediatric occupational therapy can help is by creating routines and making it easier for children to transition between activities. Children with autism in particular may have a difficult time with change and coping when things do not go as planned. Occupational therapy can support children in all aspects of their life, from self-care to accessing their education.
Occupational Therapy Evaluation and Services
There are a variety of tools used to evaluate your child’s occupational therapy needs. The therapist will engage them in play and ask them to do different tasks to assess their strengths and difficulties. They may ask your child to respond verbally to questions or to trace or copy different shapes, letters or sentences depending on their age. Your input and observations as a parent will also be taken into consideration as part of the evaluation process.
There is a great deal of coordination that goes into writing, and occupational therapy can help children to coordinate their eyes, hands, arms, grip and posture to form letters more clearly.
Sensory integration services help children process, interpret, and respond to what they see, hear, smell, taste and touch throughout the day in appropriate ways.
Other Services Also Available
PediaPlex’s pediatric occupational therapists can evaluate and treat a wide range of issues including:
- Fine motor
- Sensory integration
- Motor planning
- Self-help skills
- Autism spectrum disorders
- Visual perceptual
- Visual motor
If you have noticed that your child is struggling with daily activities, does not respond well to change, or has trouble completing multi-step tasks, take a moment to fill out our patient intake form and we will be happy to discuss your concerns and our evaluation process. Pediatric occupational therapy for children at PediaPlex is fun and engaging to help your child maximize their potential.