As an Occupational Therapist specializing in Pediatrics for many years, I have probably heard at least a thousand times, “Why would a child need Occupational Therapy? Children don’t have jobs.” Many people hear the word, “Occupation,” and immediately think, “Job.” The word, “job,” is actually not the definition of, “Occupation,” at all. The word, “Occupation,” is actually defined as, “That which occupies the majority of one’s time,” or, “The activities done for the majority of one’s day that give one’s life meaning.” The occupation of a middle-aged person might be a job, but the occupation of a college student would be school, the occupation of a retired person might be volunteer work or a hobby, and the occupation of a child is his or her play and activities of daily living; the acquisition of both being necessary to help a child to develop the skills necessary to live an independent and fulfilling life as an adult.
As Pediatric Occupational Therapists at My Left Foot Children’s Therapy, we facilitate the acquisition of self-help, play, and learning skills for infants and children by improving their motor, sensory, behavioral and cognitive skills.
Pediatric Occupational Therapy helps children who:
- Experience difficulty with the performance of self-care activities including: brushing teeth, combing hair, buttoning a shirt, tying shoes, using utensils such as a spoon or fork, etc.:
- Have difficulty with fine motor activities such as handwriting or using scissors.
- Have difficulty with oral motor skills such as sucking from a bottle, chewing food, or using the tongue to move food to the back of the mouth to swallow it.
- Have trouble initiating or completing tasks such as doing a puzzle or finishing home work.
- Experience problems in school with visual motor or visual perceptual activities such as copying from the board or completing assignments accurately.
- Exhibit an aversion to sensory input demonstrated by not wanting to participate in messy activities, not wanting to be hugged or touched, becoming very upset by loud noises, etc.:
- Having difficulty maintaining balance during motor activities including climbing stairs, running, jumping or skipping.
- Have difficulty with cognitive tasks such as following instructions, problem solving and organization.
- Have difficulty in social situations including interacting and playing appropriately with other children.