Pediatric Occupational Therapy Services
What Is Pediatric Occupational Therapy?
What is pediatric occupational therapy? Pediatric occupational therapy helps children perform daily activities, or occupations, with success and confidence.
At Emerald City Therapies, our pediatric occupational therapy services are focused on teaching your child independence while developing their sensory motor skills, fine motor skills, and visual motor skills.
Our pediatric occupational therapists take a holistic approach to your child and their needs. Motor skills, cognitive skills, and social development are all addressed in our pediatric occupational therapy services and approach.
We determine the causes of delays and devise a strategy to help your child develop the skills needed to master daily activities and socialize with their friends and family.
Looking for professional, compassionate pediatric occupational therapy services near you? Call us anytime!
What Is an “Occupation”?
What is an occupation? An occupation can include any routine, physical activity your child might engage in. Examples include:
- Brushing their teeth
- Playing with friends
- Playing with toys
- Writing their name or other simple words/phrases
- Drawing and coloring
As you can see, an occupation can be pretty much anything. Occupational therapy is most often practiced with young children—who are learning to complete tasks for the first time—and with older adults—who may need assistance completing tasks at work or at home.
However, people of all ages may have difficulty carrying out daily occupations and may benefit from occupational therapy services.
What’s the Difference Between
Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Speech Therapy?
Occupational therapy is related to physical therapy and speech therapy. All three kinds of therapy seek to improve motor and cognitive skills and facilitate routine activities.
The main difference between them lies in which segment of the body each therapy service focuses on:
- Physical therapy treats the lower body: back, legs, sense of balance, etc.
- Occupational therapy treats the upper body: hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, etc.
- Speech therapy treats the parts of the body used in speech: the mouth, lips, throat, tongue, and so forth.
A good way to think about occupational therapy is as upper body therapy. Pediatric occupational therapy services teach children to use their hands, eyes, and understand and react effectively to sensory stimuli.
Feeding therapy is a special subset of occupational therapy for children. It is exactly what it sounds like: a trained occupational therapist or speech therapist works with your child to teach them how to eat better.
Some children have difficulty chewing. Others are picky eaters and refuse to eat during regular mealtimes. In either case, feeding therapy can do much to ease your child’s stress and help them enjoy mealtimes.
We work with your child to provide them the skills they need to make mealtime both more enjoyable and more nutritious.
Swallowing therapy is the part of feeding therapy that focuses on swallowing effectively.
This kind of occupational therapy for children treats dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) with therapeutic exercises aimed at stimulating nerves and coordinating your child’s swallowing muscles.
Our occupational therapists will help your child develop muscles in their mouth, jaw, tongue, lips, and cheeks in order to learn to swallow effectively.
Sensory Integration Therapy
Sensory integration refers to how people take the information provided by their five senses and learn to react in appropriate ways.
Some children on the autism spectrum suffer from sensory processing deficits that negatively impact their behaviors and life skills. For example, some children may be bothered by music or background noise. Others may have trouble with hand-eye coordination.
Sensory integration therapy is the branch of occupational therapy that utilizes specific sensory activities to help a child learn to respond to light, sound, touch, smells, and other kinds of sensory inputs. The goal is to enhance your child’s focus, improve their behaviors, reduce their anxiety, and build their confidence
Our sensory integration pediatric therapy services will help your child process sensory information and learn to react accordingly. Play is a huge part of sensory integration therapy: swings, slides, ball pits, and trampolines are all involved!