What is Occupational Therapy?
The term “occupation” is defined as our everyday activities that we need and want to do. In our pediatric-centered practice, children are expected to engage in tasks that define them as a son or daughter, a sibling, a student, or a peer. Activities include being able to explore their environment in a functional manner, learning how to engage and interact with those around them and, of course, PLAY! Children learn through play. Occupational therapists seek to enable children who are experiencing needs in any of these areas so that they can reach their optimal potential and fulfill these occupational roles. Occupational therapists hold state licenses and have undergone rigorous education and training in order to serve the pediatric population. They also attend continuing education workshops to obtain the latest strategies or research for best practices to help advance skill levels.
Occupational therapists help children of all ages in a variety of areas. OT can help an infant who may not have well developed play skills to learn how to bang blocks together or build with them, and how to insert pegs into a peg board. A toddler might experience needs in learning how to properly hold a crayon, how to imitate crayon strokes, or how to string beads. A preschooler may struggle with participating in multi-step crafts, using problem solving to replicate a structure from a diagram, or drawing a stick figure. School age children can experience challenges with not being able to hold their pencil correctly, how to form their letters the right way, or how to structure sentences or paragraphs. Also, children across a variety of ages and developmental levels can display feeding difficulties which could be oral motor or sensory based. Another area of prevalence is children who exhibit sensory processing difficulties. They may shut down when challenged, avoid contact with particular textures, not like to climb jungle gyms, fidget or seek out movement to such an extent that it negatively impacts attention to task or causes withdrawal from social situations, etc. For children facing these types of challenges, occupational therapy can be helpful and create betterment in one’s daily routine and lifestyle.
Pediatric occupational therapy focuses on the “occupations” or “jobs” of childhood such as play, socialization, self-care and school performance. At Oceanside Therapy Group, our pediatric occupational therapists help children develop the skills needed for functional independence in these important developmental areas.
Pediatric occupational therapy is aimed at the unique needs of each individual child and is provided through meaningful activity, so as to keep the child motivated and invested in the therapeutic process. While pediatric therapy is designed to feel like play to the child, our expertly trained occupational therapists draw from strategies in many specialty areas to build upon your child’s progress.
Pediatric occupational therapy focuses on the progression of developmental skills, the use of compensation techniques and/or adaptive equipment as needed, and adapting to the environment. The goal for your child is to promote the greatest level of independence and success during work or play.
We place great importance on working closely with parents and other caregivers for carryover into the home. Our pediatric occupational therapists focus on the following areas:
- Sensory Processing
- Fine Motor/Hand Skill Development
- Adaptive Equipment
- Environmental Modifications
More important than the things we use during pediatric therapy with your child is the building of a relationship. We focus not just on skill development, but also on play, socialization, language, and teamwork. We strive to help your child learn that we are partners in this process and that he/she is able to achieve the extraordinary. Request an evaluation today at Oceanside, CA to see how your child can benefit from the occupational therapy services at Oceanside Therapy Group.