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Does My Child need Occupational Therapy?

Updated: Mar 22

Parenting is an extraordinary journey filled with joy, milestones, and the occasional challenge. As our little ones grow and navigate the world around them, it's only natural for us to wonder about their development, especially when certain aspects seem to present unique challenges. One such consideration that may cross the minds of parents is the question: "Does my child need occupational therapy?"

In this post, we embark on a journey of exploration, shedding light on the world of occupational therapy for children. We aim to provide insights, answer common questions, and empower parents with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their child's well-being. Whether your child is exhibiting difficulties in daily tasks, struggles with coordination, or faces sensory challenges, understanding the role of occupational therapy could be a crucial step in unlocking their full potential.

Join us as we delve into the realm of occupational therapy, demystifying its purpose and exploring the ways in which it can contribute to your child's development. Together, let's navigate the path toward ensuring every child has the opportunity to thrive, flourish, and embrace the world with confidence.

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational Therapy can improve a variety of functional daily tasks, such as getting

dressed, playground/social skills, attention to tasks, and hitting appropriate developmental

milestones. Occupational Therapy is also often used in tandem with Speech Language Therapy as it helps children become more aware of their bodies and use them to produce sound. OTs and SLPs work closely together to focus on maximizing functional progress during therapy, with goals to carry over new skills into the home, community or school setting.

In therapy, your child will be guided through activities that challenge his or her ability to

respond appropriately to sensory input by making a successful, organized response. Activities will provide vestibular, proprioceptive and tactile stimulation and are designed to meet your child’s developmental needs.

Areas of Concern:

Play skills/Social Interaction

  • Difficulty interacting socially and engaging with family and peers

  • Difficulty adapting to new environments and activities

  • Difficulty with transitioning away from preferred family members

  • Does not understand concepts of sharing and turn taking

  • Difficulty with purposeful or functional play (e.g., lines toys up, does not show

Fine Motor Skills

  • Manipulating toys and puzzles

  • Coloring, drawing, tracing, prewriting shapes

  • Poor handwriting, letter/number formation

  • Not developing a hand dominance at an age-appropriate time

Sensory Processing

  • Overly sensitive or heightened reactivity to sound, touch, or movement

  • Under-responsive to certain sensations (e.g., high pain tolerance, doesn't notice

  • Constantly moving, jumping, crashing, bumping

Movement, Strength, & Balance Development (Gross Motor Skills)

  • Poor balance

  • Going up and down stairs at an age appropriate time

  • Coordinating both sides of the body

Visual Processing

  • Difficulty with the spacing and sizes of letters

  • Difficulty with recognizing letters

  • Difficulty with copying shapes or letters

It’s important to remember that all children are different and develop skill sets at their

own pace. However, if you think your child may be struggling with some of the skill areas

above, you can contact our office to schedule an appointment with the occupational therapist to see if OT is right for you!


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