Evaluation and treatment of delays and disorders involving fine motor control needed for picking up small objects; feeding and oral motor development; hand-eye coordination; copying and tracing designs and letters; and sensory integration dysfunction.
Occupational therapy is a method of helping to strengthen skills necessary for daily living. Occupational therapy for children and teens addresses concerns with things such as self-care skills, including feeding, bathing, and dressing; fine motor skills, including writing, tying shoes, and picking up small objects; neuromotor development; and sensory integration.
Daily living and self-care skills are developed in a safe and fun environment.
The need for occupational therapy often arises as a result of a physical disability or a sensory processing disorder. If you notice that your child has trouble doing age-appropriate tasks such as buttoning his shirt, tracing letters, picking up bite-sized pieces of food, or tying his shoes, an evaluation might be necessary. A visit to an occupational therapist might also be in order if you notice such sensory issues as sensitivity to sounds, smells, tastes, or textures; seeming to be easily distracted or over- or under-stimulated; or social anxiety and an inability to connect with his peers in an age-appropriate way.
A child’s occupation is play, and occupational therapy relies a lot upon fun, enjoyable activities that help your child strengthen and develop fine motor skills, social skills, and tolerance to sensory stimuli. After an initial evaluation, the occupational therapist will create a specialized program of skill-building games and activities for your child. The occupational therapist may visit your child at home or at school, so that she can create a treatment plan that best addresses his real-life needs and abilities.