Pediatric Occupational Therapy

Locations Offering This Specialty

Pediatric therapy is offered in a variety of settings, including: inpatient acute care, Skilled Nursing Unit, Home Health, school systems, outpatient and on site at industries. Services are provided by registered and state licensed occupational therapists and certified assistants.

Cognitive and Perceptual Therapy

Areas a Pediatric Occupational Therapist treats:

  • Visual discrimination - finding the similarities and differences
  • Visual spatial relationships - being able to identify reversals of objects and symbols
  • Visual sequential memory - to recall a shape from four choices after four to five seconds
  • Visual memory - identifying a shape that has been memorized from the previous page
  • Visual form constancy - finding the same shape when it is resized or rotated
  • Visual figure ground - finding an object within a busy background

What to look out for in your child:

  • Inattention and distractibility to written and/or reading tasks
  • Difficulty in letter recognition and letter reproduction
  • Reversal of letters such as b for d or p for q
  • Difficulty copying from a blackboard or a whiteboard
  • Poor orientation of puzzle pieces - "gives up"
  • Difficulty following instructions

Self Care

Areas a Pediatric Occupational Therapist treats:

  • Orientate clothing, shoes and socks
  • Right and left discrimination while dressing
  • Back and front discrimination while dressing
  • Strategies, techniques and ideas for cues when dressing (visual, physical or verbal)
  • Feeding: grasp, bilateral coordination (knife and fork), strength, control
  • Bathing: includes back care techniques for parents. Sequencing body parts to wash through rhyme
  • Hygiene: toileting, grooming (hair and teeth brushing), nail care

What to look out for in your child:

  • Dressing: clothes or shoes on backwards
  • Dressing: shoes on wrong feet
  • Food is pushed off plate
  • Messy eaters

Social Skills

Areas a Pediatric Occupational Therapist treats:

  • Cooperative play/sharing skills
  • Develop self concept / self esteem
  • Attention
  • Listening skills
  • Following directions

What to look out for in your child:

  • Withdrawal from social situations
  • Lack of group interaction (avoidance)
  • Lack of confidence in oneself
  • Poor eye contact
  • Poor body language

Fine Motor

Areas a Pediatric Occupational Therapist treats:

  • Finger, hand strength, position and stability
  • Pencil grip and control
  • Wrist and/or forearm control
  • Copying shapes
  • Fluency/finger movements
  • Spatial organization (space and letter formation)
  • Quality of work
  • Visual perception skills
  • Speed and dexterity
  • Tweezers, scissors, finger isolated movements

What to look out for in your child:

  • No interest in fine motor skills
  • Gross pencil grasp
  • Poor scissor skills
  • Clumsy grasp and release skills
  • Difficulty holding small objects, manipulating tools, pencils or scissors
  • Unable to complete mazes, dot-to-dots, etc.
  • Difficulty copying text from whiteboard or blackboard

Gross Motor

Areas a Pediatric Occupational Therapist treats:

  • Ball skills - throwing and catching, hitting ball
  • Balance: hopping, balancing on one leg, walking on a balance beam, walking heel-toe
  • Clumsiness
  • Awkward running or jumping
  • Coordination of body sides: difficulty skipping, doing star jumps
  • Difficulty with dancing, Simon Say

What to look out for in your child:

  • Flinching or other responses when catching a ball
  • Fear response to gross motor activities
  • Level of avoidance or motivation to gross motor activities
  • Unable to hop, skip, jump, run, etc.
  • Difficulty coordinating body sides

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