Occupational Therapy for Children

Thank you readers for your comments on my article on Sensory Integration published in the last month’s issue of Butterfield Stageline. I have enjoyed hearing from you.

The practice of Occupational Therapy entails therapeutic use of activities for successful participation in one’s occupations. Individual’s occupations differ based on age and the roles they play. Our practice specializes in servicing children of all ages including infants and toddlers. A child’s primary occupation is to play and learn. Children develop following a natural order and play has an integral role in enhancing the child’s capabilities and making him able to learn. The child’s sensory, motor, cognitive and perceptual abilities are the fundamental skills upon which lie his ability to participate in play and learning tasks.

The development and acquiring of sensory-motor skills is hindered following a medical condition, a physical trauma, developmental delay, pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) and sensory integrative disorders. When there is a lack in sensory-motor skills the child may have difficulty participating age-appropriately in his daily occupations of play and learning. This may reflect in his being able to make friends and develop social relationships.

The referral to Occupational Therapy is often made by a pediatric physician, neuro- or developmental psychologist or an educator in school. However it is usually the child’s primary caregiver, often his mother, who first notices or instinctively recognizes that something might be missing or ‘not quite right’ with her child. As a practitioner in the field I am often struck by how mothers are often able to ‘see’ things instinctively. They have a feel that something may be missing. The unfortunate side is that some parents end up blaming themselves or think they may be lacking parenting skills and sometimes yield to social pressures when calling upon professional help is the most warranted.

Pediatric Occupational Therapy caters to the needs of the younger population. Our focus is on helping each child attain his maximum functional potential. The child may have a known medical diagnosis or no medical diagnosis at all. But there may be concerns related to how he may be developing, being able to learn well-in school or otherwise, or building social relationships. Delays in motor development, the need for following unusual rituals and difficulty playing like other children at their age do, are often tale tell signs signaling the need for Occupational Therapy.

Pediatric Occupational Therapy offers services for Assessment, Consultation or developing home programs and Therapeutic Interventions for children. Therapist works with the child and his primary caregivers to build or restore the child’s ability ‘to do’ or function to the fullest at his occupations.

Harsha RaHarshana OTR/L, MBA is a licensed Occupational Therapist and is certified in Sensory Integration. You may contact her or Pediatric Occupational Therapy at kids_ot@yahoo.com or 888-298-0347.

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