Occupational Therapy

What is it and what does it address?

What is it and what does it address? 

Occupational therapy helps decrease barriers that affect a child’s emotional, social, sensory, and physical needs in many ways. Our occupational therapy team focuses on improving the quality of a child’s life by facilitating the development of the skills required for participation in daily tasks in a fun and playful environment. 

Occupational therapists (OTs) work on increasing competency with:

  • fine motor skills to grasp and release toys as well as manipulate tools such as a crayon, marker, or scissors.
  • visual perceptual skills needed for handwriting, written expression, and reading.
  • self-care skills such as dressing, using utensils, toileting, bathing, and grooming.
  • social and emotional regulation skills to support participation with family, peers, and the community.
  • motor and coordination skills like riding a bike, tying shoelaces, or making letters
  • improving play skills when a child has difficulty engaging and interacting with others. 

In addition, OTs address sensory processing. OTs closely observe how children organize the information they receive through their senses when playing or working to develop strategies to improve their regulation. When regulated, children have increased success with their daily occupations, such as school work, playing with others, or doing things they find challenging without having meltdowns or shutting down. OTs can also address delays in feeding skills and oral sensitivities or help picky eaters expand their food choices.