What areas does Occupational Therapy address and How can it help my child?
Pediatric occupational therapy focuses in addressing the developmental or functional needs of a child related to the performance of self-care skills; adaptive behavior; and sensory, motor and postural development.
Occupational therapy services include evaluation and treatment to prevent or correct physical and emotional deficits, minimize the disabling effect of these deficits, maintain a level of function, and acquire or restore a skill set. Some examples include perceptual motor activities, exercises to enhance functional performance, kinetic movement activities, guidance in the use of adaptive equipment and other techniques related to improving motor development. Through these skilled interventions, the child can learn or adapt the technique in order to be more independent.
If your child exhibits problems and if you have concerns in the following areas, your child may benefit from Occupational Therapy:
- • Delayed Gross Motor Skills: delayed developmental milestones such as rolling, sitting, crawling, walking, running, or jumping which require the use of large muscles for coordination; decreased balance (appearing clumsy, tripping easily, or unable to stand on one foot); difficulty catching, throwing or kicking a ball.
- • Delayed Fine Motor Skills: poor grasping of pencil/crayons, difficulty manipulating and holding feeding utensils, as well as manipulating small objects such as buttons/zippers or toys.
- • Delayed Self-Care Skills: these may include difficulty performing age-appropriate dressing such as putting shoes/shirt on or tying shoelaces; feeding such as drinking from an open cup or cutting food with a knife; personal hygiene/toileting such as brushing teeth or wiping.
- • Sensory Concerns: problems with sensory processing usually presents as an over-reaction or under-reaction in the response to one of the senses, for example, your child may respond too much or too little to a certain movement, be scared of heights, dislike touching or eating certain textures/foods, or being easily bothered by sounds. Additionally, some children may appear to always be “on the go” or “withdrawn”.
- • Poor Social Skills: difficulty interacting and making/keeping friends, poor play skills or sportsmanship, low self-esteem and frustration, especially when defeated in a game; difficulty following game rules, or reading/understanding social cues and other’s body language.
- • Lack of Functional Attention: difficulty maintaining functional attention to a given task in a structured environment such as in the classroom; wandering or appearing to “tune out” or “daydream”; difficulty completing a seated task, or remembering and successfully completing verbal instructions without several repetitions.
- • Hyperactive Behaviors: being impulsive by always starting an activity before full instructions are given or always rushing through a task; frequently switching between activities/toys before successfully completing/enjoying the activity or game.
- • Poor Body Awareness: appearing “clumsy”, breaking or running into things; may also not notice shoes being untied, clothing not adjusted properly or inside out, food on face or shirt. This problem may also include inability to differentiate left and right side of the body from the other.
- • Visual Perceptual-Motor Problems: these skills require the ability to judge spatial and depth distances between self and an object such as having difficulty putting together a puzzle, drawing, or copying sentences. Additionally, this can also come with visual scanning problems, which can include having difficulty copying from the board or completing a word search activity, as well as easily losing place when reading.
- • Other problems/concerns not listed include: feeding problems related to oral-motor control, decreased overall body strength/endurance, difficulty with eye-hand coordination, sequencing, memory, or bilateral integration.
- • Difficulties in communication can come from difficulties with speech, language, or pragmatics.
- • Speech refers to the ability to physically form what needs to be said: Children with difficulties in this area may have difficulty with certain sounds, difficulty with many sounds, or stutter.
- • Language refers to the content and composition: children with difficulties in this area may have trouble producing a complete sentence, finding the right vocabulary, reading, writing, or using language at all.
- • Pragmatics refers to the way language is used socially: children with difficulties in this area have trouble taking turns, meeting people, making eye-contact, or knowing the socially acceptable way to interact with another person.
- • Speech-Language therapy may consist of drills, targeted games, written work, or conversation.
- • The goal is to improve your child's communication skills so they are able to use language to communication appropriately and effectively in any situation they are in.
- • Physical therapists diagnose and treat conditions affecting the musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems. We work in collaboration with the families and caretakers to restore, maintain, and promote not only optimal physical function but optimal wellness and fitness related to movement and health.
- • Movement disorders, range of motion, posture, strength, muscle tone, balance, gross motor skills, mobility, and gait are all evaluated in infants, babies, toddlers, young children, and adolescents.
- • Physical therapy treatment plans are created to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. In addition, home programs are created for healthier, more active lifestyles, and promotion of optimal physical function.
- • Physical therapists use their expertise in movement and apply clinical reasoning in interventions to promote the child’s ability to function independently, increase participation, facilitate motor development, improve strength, endurance, and ease challenges.
How can Speech-Language Therapy help my child?
What can I expect from Physical Therapy that will help my child?
What to expect next?
At Enhanced Living Therapy, the first thing we want to know from parents/caregivers is What are your concerns and goals?
At your first visit you will meet your child's therapist and have an opportunity to talk through concerns, as well as be able to identify your child’s strengths. The therapist will then be able to further explain to you how the service can benefit your child and complete an initial evaluation. Based on the evaluation results and upon completion of the required documentation, you will be notified of when services can begin.
Preparing for the first visit
Please bring 1) Prescription from your child's physician, 2) Insurance card, 3) Copayment (if applicable)
PLEASE ARRIVE 15 MINUTES EARLY IN ORDER TO COMPLETE OTHER REQUIRED FORMS