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What is Occupational Therapy?
As stated on the American Occupational Therapy Association website, occupational therapy helps people “participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations).” Pediatric occupational therapy is aimed to help infants, toddlers, children, and adolescents participate in their daily occupations, such as play, social interaction, school, community outings, and self-care activities with a focus on the individual’s ability rather than disability.
Pediatrics Plus offers an experienced staff of licensed occupational therapists who focus on helping children achieve independence in all needed areas based on their stage of life. Occupational therapy places a focus on the job of living for each child. For infants, occupational therapy may be related to the ability to eat and begin interacting with his/her caregivers. As an infant develops into a toddler, this job develops into play with a variety of toys to include reaching, grasping, and toy manipulation skills. Along with play, children are learning how to feed themselves as well as interact with other children.
As the child develops into the preschool years, their job now involves dressing, participation in grooming and hygiene activities, and playing with peers with more imagination. The preschool age child also needs pre-kindergarten skills, such as cutting, drawing, and the ability to follow multi-step directions. Within the school years, the child refines these skills while developing further within handwriting, self-care, and community activities.
Our therapists provide a comprehensive evaluation focused on current skills related to:
- Grasping patterns
- Visual motor integration
- Hand and upper body use
- Manual dexterity skills
- Muscle strength through core and upper body
- Motor coordination and planning
- Visual skills
- Dressing skills
- Self-care skills related to grooming and hygiene
- Feeding skills (both ability to feed self and sensory based feeding difficulties)
- Sensory processing abilities
- Ability to engage in social participation
- Ability to function independently within the community
From the evaluation process, an individualized treatment plan is developed. Our highly trained therapists will implement each plan to include but not limited to the following treatment techniques:
- Fine Motor Skill Development
- Self-Care Skills
- Handwriting Without Tears
- Core and Upper Body Strengthening
- Sensory Processing
- SOS Approach to Feeding
- Integrated Listening Systems (iLs)
- Therapeutic Listening
- Therapressure Protocol
- Brain Gym
- Astronaut Training
- Visual Schedules
- Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
At Pediatrics Plus, it is very important to us that our therapists are trained in the latest and most evidence-based treatment strategies that will impact and provide results for your child and family. Our team of occupational therapists has individuals certified in the above-mentioned areas to ensure that your child receives excellence in their therapeutic services. Pediatrics Plus has therapists who are proficient in the diagnosis of Sensory Processing Disorder following their Level 1 Mentorship at the Sensory Therapies and Research Center (STAR) under Dr. Lucy Jane Miller. Furthermore, we have teams of therapists at each location that have completed Basic and Advanced Courses within Sequential Oral Sensory Approach to Feeding (SOS) to address sensory-based feeding disorders.
All teams have a large percentage of OTs trained in iLs for implementation during clinic based therapy services. Teams are also available with specialized training in Handwriting Without Tears and Vision/Vestibular Integration. Individual therapists on staff have advanced training within approaches to therapy within Autism Spectrum Disorder, splinting fabrication and usage, infant feeding and treatment, and vision.
- Lauren K.