- 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
Occupational therapy strengthens skills necessary for daily living such as play, dressing, tying shoes, toileting, bathing, and feeding. We do so by addressing fine and gross motor skills required to perform typical tasks routinely performed across all settings.
- 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
- Social Interaction
Social interactions are “organized patterns of behavior that are characteristic and expected of an individual of a given position within a social system that occur in the community, family, and with peers and how children connect with others in their daily lives (OTPF). Interactions can vary based on setting and the people involved. Children learn how to be and learn how to see the world through perspectives outside of themselves when interacting with others.
Play is “any spontaneous or organized activity that provides enjoyment, entertainment, amusement, or diversion. Children learn how to navigate the world through play (OTPF)”. Occupational therapists use their creativity to turn everyday objects into new games or toys to encourage engagement/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.
There are several types of attention, and all can impact a child’s ability to successfully participate in their daily routines:
- Sustained Attention: one’s ability to maintain their attention on one thing for an extended period of time
- Selective attention: one’s ability to select certain input to attend to while blocking out other stimuli
- Divided attention: one’s ability to attend to two or more things simultaneously
- Alternating attention: one’s ability to switch their attention from one activity to another.
- 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.
At what age does a child need speech or occupational therapy?
This is child-dependent. We see children as young as newborn age for feeding and motor issues. Many of our clients that are two and under, come to us because of difficulties with play skills and babbling/talking. We encourage you to seek early intervention to get an early started on talking and learning.