This type of therapy is a health profession that helps patients improve the way their nervous system functions. We help clients develop skills that will lead to success in everyday life including: motor, social, personal, academic and vocational pursuits. Pediatrics is a specialty field of occupational therapy. We specialize in sensory processing and praxis (coordinated movement). This type of therapy focuses on what a child needs to be able to master so they can complete activities of daily living including self-care and play. A child’s main occupation is play and they play in order to develop life skills. These skills include:
- Fine motor coordination
- Visual motor integration
- Upper limb strength and coordination
- Right and left sides of body integration including midline crossing
- Upper and lower body integration and coordination
Self-Regulation and Sensory Processing
Processing and modulating sensory input to be able to control one’ s body to participate in daily activity and learn new tasks.
- Inhibition- stopping one’s own behavioral responses despite distractibilit y or boredom. Ability to stop, think, plan, and then act.
- Sustaining attention
- Organization of materials
- Emotional control-the ability to modulate an emotional response
- Initiating activity
- Working memory
- Time management
What can this Type of Therapy do for Pediatric Patients?
Occupational therapy helps children to develop the underlying skills necessary for learning and performing specific tasks, but it also addresses social and behavioral skills. It can help with the child’s self-concept and confidence. Pediatric occupational therapy helps children develop the basic sensory awareness and motor skills needed for motor development, learning and healthy behavior. Occupational therapists not only work directly with the child, but also with the family, parents, caregivers and teachers in order to educate and reinforce specific skills and behaviors which will be used to improve and facilitate the child’s performance and functioning. These include the following:
- body awareness (proprioceptive sense)
- coordination of movements between the two sides of the body (“crossing the mid line” )
- fine motor control and organization
- motor planning
- motor movements and coordination
- gross mot or coordination
- visual motor skills
- visual perceptual skills
- self-regulation/sensorymodulation (reaction to stimulus)
Parents’ roles in their Child’s therapy
Parents play a critical role in their child’ s therapy . It is essential that they participate and understand what the therapist is doing and why, so they can carry over things at home. This is especially true with sensory integration. The most important way a parent or teacher can facilitate sensory processing and sensory integration is by recognizing that it exists and that it plays an important role in the development of a child. While parents and teachers provide an enriched environment that will foster healthy growth and maturation, they also want to take into account the specific needs of each individual child. Parents work together with the therapist to reach the goals to improve each child’s function and life.