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Child Occupational Therapy Information

How can my child benefit from occupational therapy?

Sensory Integration: Sensory integration therapy aims to help those with sensory discrimination and sensory modulation challenges or poor integration of sensation. This results from difficulties in how the nervous system receives, organizes and uses sensory information from the body and the physical environment for self-regulation, motor planning, and skill development. Difficulty integrating sensory systems impact our ability to perform self-care tasks, achieve emotional regulation, attention, problem-solving, behavior control, skill performance, social skills.

Self-care and play skills: Strengthen skills necessary for daily living such as play, dressing, tying shoes, toileting, bathing, and feeding.

Self-Regulation and Coping: Emotional regulation is the ability to self-calm during emotional and stressful situations. Children with emotional regulation issues often tantrum more frequently and for a longer time than their peers and become easily upset without a clear cause. Occupational therapy helps assist by teaching self-calming abilities by working on sensory-based issues underlying emotional dysregulation, and providing parents with strategies to handle and prevent excessive emotional outbursts.

Motor Coordination: Helping children reach developmental milestones and develop foundational motor movement patterns for successful participation in more complex motor tasks and age-appropriate play.

Play: Occupational therapists use their creativity to turn everyday objects into new games or toys to encourage engagement and motivation, and make learning everyday tasks fun.

Ocular-Motor Skills: A variety of eye movements that help us fixate on a target, track slow moving objects, and sudden quick change in our gaze from one object/target to another.

Visual-Motor and Perception Skills: Visual-Motor integration is the ability to use both our hands and eyes for a variety of tasks such as drawing, writing, coloring, matching, copying, throwing and catching a ball.

Attention: There are several different types of attention, and all can impact a child’s ability to successfully participate in their daily routines.

Executive Functioning: Executive functioning skills are a combination of skills that help a person plan, organize, set goals, initiate, transition between tasks, self-monitor, shift mindsets, connect information, set priorities, perceive information. These skills are necessary to navigate our day-to-day habits and routines based on the many roles that we each carry (i.e., student, sibling, friend, etc.) Occupational therapists are trained to adapt the environment using a variety of resources/strategies to help children and youth develop executive functioning skills.