Occupational Therapy

learnplay-slide-1.jpgPediatric Occupational Therapists specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and management of infants and children with a variety of congenital, developmental, skeletal or acquired disorders. Treatment focuses on improving fine motor skills, life skills (bathing, dressing, feeding), listening skills and sensory processing integration.

Pediatric Occupational Therapists facilitate the development of hand-eye coordination, coordination of the whole body, self-care skills, fine & oral motor skills, imitation and completion of tasks, visual motor, and visual perceptive skills. Occupational Therapists assist families in enhancing the development of their child through:
  • Self-care techniques
  • Personal grooming, hygiene techniques
  • Body awareness techniques
  • Strength and range of motion exercises
  • Hand skills such as dexterity, manipulation, and handwriting
  • Sensory development skills
  • Oral skills for feeding
  • Home programs
Although each child develops in his/her own way, children with following issues could be considered as candidates for Occupational Therapy:
  • Delayed fine and gross motor skills
  • Decreased flexibility or range of motion
  • Handwriting difficulties
  • Auditory/Sound sensitivity
  • Tactile/Touch sensitivity
  • Taste/Texture sensitivity
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Autism Spectrum disorders
  • Chromosomal and genetic conditions

Age Specific Symptoms


An Occupational Evaluation may be considered if your child demonstrates the following:

  • Does not involuntarily grasp objects if placed in palm (Grasp Reflex)
  • Does not follow objects past midline
  • Does not clasp hands together at midline
  • Does not tolerate being held
  • Hands remain closed most of the time
  • Becomes upset when moved, picked up, laid down, or handed to another person

An Occupational Evaluation may be considered if your child demonstrates the following:

  • Does not follow an object with their eyes
  • Does not hold own bottle
  • Does not swipe or reach for objects
  • Does not grasp toys actively
  • Does not put hands in mouth
  • Does not demonstrate purposeful reaching
  • Becomes irritable for no apparent reason

An Occupational Evaluation may be considered if your child demonstrates the following:

  • Involuntarily drops objects after a few minutes
  • Does not transfer an object from hand to hand
  • Does not smile at own image in a mirror
  • Gets upset at leaving the home
  • Does not bang two object together
  • Does not take objects out of a container
  • Does not rake small objects to pick them up
  • Does not feed self finger foods

An Occupational Evaluation may be considered if your child demonstrates the following:

  • Does not pick up small objects
  • Does not accept a variety of food textures
  • Is excessively upset by being dressed, diapered, or bathed
  • Does not sleep through the night most of the time
  • Does not explore toys made for one-year-olds
  • Does not intentionally drop and release objects
  • Does not poke and point with index finger
  • Does not pick up small objects using thumb and fingers

An Occupational Evaluation may be considered if your child DOES NOT demonstrate the following:

  • Puts a round shape into a round shape puzzle
  • Stacks 2 cubes
  • Drinks from an open cup
  • Holds crayon with whole hand (thumb up)
  • Feeds self with a spoon
  • Removes socks

An Occupational Evaluation may be considered if your child DOES NOT demonstrate the following:

  • Stacks 4 cubes (build a tower)
  • Turns pages of a cardboard book, 2 to 3 pages at a time
  • Points to or names body parts, such as eyes, nose, mouth, etc.
  • Gives hugs and kisses
  • Throws a small ball
  • Turns a knob

An Occupational Evaluation may be considered if your child DOES NOT demonstrate the following:

  • Removes socks, untie shoes, or pull on pants without help
  • Plays with toys only by tapping, shaking, or throwing
  • Holds a crayon with thumb and all fingers (thumb down)
  • Completes simple puzzles
  • Holds pencil with tripod grasp
  • Imitates circular, vertical and horizontal strokes
  • Buttons/Unbuttons large buttons
  • Drinks from a cup

An Occupational Evaluation may be considered if your child DOES NOT demonstrates the following:

  • Pretends during play
  • Imitates the actions of adults
  • Stacks 8-10 blocks
  • Removes/pulls on clothes
  • Feeds self with little to no spilling
  • Strings small beads

A Physical Evaluation may be considered if your child DOES NOT demonstrates the following:

  • Shows hand preference
  • Draws a person with 3 parts
  • Threads 1/4 inch beads
  • Copies squares
  • Manages buttons/zippers/snaps
  • Uses scissors to follow and cut both straight and curved lines