Occupational Therapy

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational Therapy (OT) focuses on facilitating one’s independent functioning within one's everyday environment with regard to physical movement, sensory processing and cognitive skills. For example, an occupational therapist might work to improve the dressing skills of an adult with cerebral palsy or work to improve bilateral hand skills for a hemiplegic client following a stroke.

What does Occupational Therapy for children entail?

At the Family Development Center we consider a child's 'occupation' to be learning, developing and playing. The goal of OT when working with children and their families is to enable and nurture these pursuits for maximal participation within their everyday environment.

Is an Occupational Therapy screening appropriate for my child?

Parents, guardians, and teachers should consider an OT screening or evaluation if they note any of the following:

  • Existing diagnosis that affects the child's motor/sensory integration or cognitive skill development

  • Specific concerns about physical/sensory/cognitive skills or a noted delay in development of:

    • Fine motor skills

    • Attention and concentration

    • Drawing and handwriting

    • Cutting with scissors

    • Self-help skills (such as difficulty with dressing, eating, toileting or generally poor hygiene)

    • Sitting posture at a desk or workstation

    • Physical development (such as difficulty with coordination, balance and general movement)

    • Play skills

    • Eye-hand coordination

    • Balance and motor planning skills

    • Possible need for adaptive equipment

    • Social skills

According to the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), children with the following medical diagnosismay benefit from OT:

  • Birth injuries or birth defects

  • Sensory integration disorders

  • Traumatic injuries (brain or spinal)

  • Learning problems

  • Autism/pervasive developmental disorders

  • Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis

  • Mental health or behavioral problems

  • Broken bones or other orthopedic injuries

  • Developmental delays

  • Post-surgical conditions

  • Burns

  • Spina bifida

  • Traumatic amputations

  • Cancer

  • Severe hand injuries

  • Multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, and other chronic illnesses

What services does the Family Development Center offer?

The Family Development Center offers both full psycho-educational assessments as well as thorough occupational therapy evaluations. When occupational therapy is deemed the appropriate course of action our highly trained occupational therapist will tailor a context-sensitive program to engage the specific needs of your child in the form of direct individual intervention (1:1), group intervention, or periodic consultation services.