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What is Occupational Therapy for Kids?

A child’s life is made up of “occupations,” or daily activities and tasks including playing, learning, and socializing. The professional therapy practitioners at Kids Therapy 4 Success work with children and their families to help them succeed in these occupations throughout the day. Success is achieved through an individualized therapy treatment plan tailored for your child’s specific needs. 

Our team also help with basic challenges faced by most families, from creating morning routines to choosing appropriate toys. Families as a whole often benefit from the services provided by our highly qualified staff.

Occupational therapy (OT) helps kids who struggle to do everyday tasks because of poor motor skills or who struggle with self-regulation and sensory processing. That includes tasks that are part of independence, learning, self-confidence, and functioning well at school.

Being able to do basic tasks can also help increase a kids’ self-esteem and confidence, which can be low when they are struggling, especially in front of their peers. Kids who struggle with motor skills tend to be uncoordinated and are often seen as “different” which can put them at risk of being bullied, socially withdrawn, and make them feel like victims.

Before therapy begins, an occupational therapist (an OT) looks at a child’s strengths and challenges, and the tasks that child has trouble performing. A comprehensive review of the information gathered is completed. The OT will then create a customized program of activities for the child including activities and exercises to be done during therapy sessions and at home.

OT consists of exercises and activities to build specific skills that are weak. For example, if a child has very messy handwriting, therapy may include multisensory techniques to help with handwriting. If a child struggles with focus, the therapist might have that child do full-body exercises before sitting down to do homework.

boy with clay working on fine motor skills
child sensory therapy

Here are examples of the tasks and skills Occupational Therapy may improve for your child.

  • Self-care routines like getting dressed (fine motor skills and motor planning)
  • Writing and copying notes (fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination)
  • Holding and controlling a pencil, using scissors (fine motor skills, motor planning)
  • Throwing and catching (gross motor skills)
  • Organizing a backpack (motor planning, organization skills)
  • Reacting to sensory input (self-regulation skills)

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