Occupational therapy, particularly with children, is often unfamiliar. Some people confuse it with physical therapy and others think it is only used to help an adult get back to work. Even those that realize that occupational therapy can be done with children, may think it is just about playing games. Let’s clear up the misunderstandings and learn about five things you should know about occupational therapy for children.
1. Occupational therapy can be an important part of a child’s success
Occupational therapy for children is often the connecting piece in a child’s life for success. The occupational therapist’s overall goal is to allow children to perform their activities of daily life successfully. Occupational therapists will work on strengthening and range of motion, feeding or eating challenges, sensory processing challenges, attention challenges, behavior challenges, autism spectrum disorders and more. Occupational therapists bring the knowledge and skills together to achieve the daily life activity goals of the child.
2. Occupational therapists have an educational background that is uniquely qualified to help your child be successful.
Occupational therapists have a college degree or higher. They take courses on subjects such as anatomy, mental health, development, assistive technology, therapy practices with children, disability, life skills, and more. They have experience with hands-on practice both in and out of the classroom and have passed state licensing exams.
3. Pediatric occupational therapists utilize a variety of equipment and modalities during therapy sessions.
An occupational therapist working on fine motor skills may have at their disposal various games, peg boards,pencil grips, paperclips, cotton balls, coins or other manipulatives. Gross motor activity may incorporate the use of swings, balance boards, balls, trampolines, or obstacle courses. Exercise bands lead the way to strengthening. Various textures could be introduced and used for sensory integration. Assistive devices may also assist with function. There are a myriad of possibilities during a child’s therapy session.
4. Occupational therapy sessions will be as unique as the child is themselves.
Sessions are personalized to meet the needs of the individual child. Activities may include any of the following:
- Feeding skills
- Self-care skills
- Fine and gross motor activity
- Socialization work
- Regulation of emotion
- Sensory processing
- Visual work
- Skills for daily living
5. A child needing occupational therapy doesn’t mean that there is a failure on the part of their parents.
Many parents can be hesitant to reach out for services for their children. They may feel judged or inadequate in some way to meet the needs of the child. That is not the case at all. The parent that is able to give their child the gift of pediatric occupational therapy has opened the door to the world for their child. It is the gift of independence, learning, friendships, satisfaction, self-esteem, and success.
Milestone Therapy Group is there for those looking for a children’s occupational therapist in the Philadelphia area. Their team of occupational and speech therapists is here to work in collaboration with parents to reach the developmental milestones and goals each child requires. So, whether the need is for speech therapy in the Mainline area, speech therapy services in Philadelphia, or occupational therapy in either of the mentioned, there is no time to lose in seeing children succeed.
We are Milestone Therapy Group – a growing family of licensed and certified therapists driven by the sole purpose of helping children with various types of challenges find their path to healthy childhoods. Call us at 610-753-5695 to book a consultation with us and let’s get started helping your child take those first steps towards living their greatest life.