How Can Occupational Therapy Help My Child?

Updated: Feb 7, 2019

Most of the time when I ask people what they think occupational therapy is, they seem to have heard of it before, but they aren’t exactly sure what it is. They’ve maybe heard of it because their aunt had to have OT when she broke her hip, or their grandparents received OT when they were in the nursing home. So let me clear the air and educate you on what OT is and how it can help your child.

The purpose of Occupational Therapy in general is to help people of all ages develop the skills that they need to be successful in their everyday lives where they live, learn, work, and play. That means being able to dress themselves, empty the dishwasher, play on a baseball team, be apart of a special project at work, learn a new dance, etc. You would be surprised with everything that can be addressed by occupational therapy. And it’s for all ages! You can’t be too old or too young for OT. I specialize in Pediatric OT because I love children, but there are geriatric OTs, hand specialists, home health OTs, rehab OTs, you name it.

So what makes pediatric OT different? Besides a whole lot of love, pediatric OT focuses on addressing the specific needs of children and the skills they need to have success in their day to day lives. Some of these everyday skills include sleeping, eating, playing, self-regulating, communicating, and learning. Surprisingly enough, everyone can benefit from OT-wether they have a diagnosis or not! Now that you have the basics, here are some examples of what OT can help your child with.

  • Sitting still and focusing during school

  • Working independently

  • Problem solving

  • Completing homework

  • Following directions

  • Playing with classmates or friends

  • Being a good sport

  • Being flexible when things don’t go their way

  • Tying shoes

  • Packing backpack

  • Opening containers

  • Cutting paper, food, etc.

  • Using fasteners

  • Handwriting

  • Staying in control of their body & emotions

  • Balance

  • Copying information off the board or out of a book

  • Establishing peer relationships

  • Group participation

That’s just to name a few! Occupational therapy can help in ways you can't even imagine wether you have a diagnosis or not! I’m curious to hear what you thought OT was before you read this & what you are most surprised OT can help with? Leave a comment and let me know. If you are interested in finding out more about pediatric OT and how it can help your child I’m more than willing to talk with you about it so shoot me an email!

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photography by Lydia Chang