Pediatric Occupational Therapy Services at TPI
Pediatric Occupational therapists assist children in gaining independence in the home, community, and school settings. An OT incorporates a holistic approach to address a child’s functional needs through their primary “occupation,” which is to play and learn. Play is serious business to a child!
What is a holistic approach? OTs who embrace this approach when treating children are dedicated to treating “the whole person.” This means that we address the entirety of your child’s needs, whether they be physical, emotional, social, cognitive, or perceptual. For example, the highly skilled pediatric OTs at TPI fully recognize that cognitive needs overlap with social needs. This is why, in a school setting, a child’s ability to interact successfully with classmates is just as important as being able to master math or reading tasks at grade-level.
Pediatric occupational therapists use their expertise to promote a wide array of abilities to help your child succeed. Just a few of the skills that we help your child to develop and improve include:
- Sensory-motor skills
- Fine motor skills
- Social skills
- Academic skills
These skills are key factors in the ability of your child to grow into a high-functioning, happy, and independent adult. At TPI, we are fully prepared to support and facilitate your child’s progress throughout this exciting journey. Furthermore, we are here for you, the parents, as trusted mentors and guides.
Occupational Therapy services focus on enhancing participation in and performance of:
- Activities of Daily Living ADL) – such as feeding, dressing, playing
- Attention Skills
- Organizational Skills
- Body Positioning
- Balance and Coordination
- Play Skills
- Handwriting Skills
- Body Strength
- Following Directions
- Vestibular Processing
- Low Vision Skills
- Hand Function, Fine Motor Skills
- Academic Skills
- Assistive Technology Devices and Supports
- Adaptive Equipment
- Organizational Skills
- Safety Issues in the Community
- Sensory Processing Skills
- Behavior Modulation
- Sensory Processing Skills
- Active Range of Motion
- Problem Solving
- Social Skills
- Visual-Perceptual Skills
How Can My Child Benefit from Pediatric Occupational Therapy?
At TPI, your child’s therapy program begins with a thorough evaluation. Because we know that parents and guardians are a key factor in a child’s success, you are completely informed with regards to clinical testing, assessments, and treatment plans. We want to know first-hand what is important to your child. We listen to your concerns regarding your child’s needs as well as his/her goals and dreams for the future. Occupational therapy is patient centered, always placing the goals of the child first. The occupational therapist will then design a plan to help your child succeed in home, school, and community activities. At TPI, all therapists embrace an interdisciplinary approach. Therefore, evaluation includes collaboration and consultation with everyone on the care team, including physicians, surgeons, and other therapists. OTs also communicate with your child’s teachers and psychologists as needed.
With pediatric occupational therapy, interventions are meant to be fun, exciting, as well as beneficial. It’s really the best way to engage a child. Pediatric OTs have extensive knowledge in the developmental stages as children progress from infancy to adolescence. Therefore, we can determine which activities are developmentally appropriate, and thus more engaging. Your child may be functioning at a high level in some areas, such as balance and coordination. Whereas, in other areas, he or she may be lagging behind in problem-solving or social skills. We all have our own strengths and challenges, and it is the OT philosophy to utilize strengths while compensating for and improving challenges.
Children often benefit from the use of adaptive equipment. Such equipment can make many ADLs, which can be frustrating for young children, much easier. For example, built-up spoons and writing tools can help children become much more independent. The feeling of independence is extremely important for young children and can be a major boost to self-esteem.
How do I Know if My Child Needs Occupational Therapy?
Schools and preschools often perform regular formal and informal assessments to determine if children are meeting all developmental milestones. The need for therapy may be noted by informal observations from a teacher. He or she may express concern that your child is lagging behind in certain areas or not functioning at grade level. If your child has already been diagnosed with a disorder such as autism or ADHD (Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), you may wish to consult with your child’s pediatrician to see if therapy services might be warranted.
Still, the best observations about whether your child needs therapy comes from parents. If you sense that your child is struggling or anxious, it’s always OK to mention your concerns to a pediatrician or other trusted professional.