Children who display delays in the gross and/or fine motor skills may have trouble exploring their environment, participating in movement activities such as running, jumping, climbing, and independently performing functional tasks such as, feeding, dressing, coloring, writing. The O.T. will work on developing the balance, strength and coordination skills necessary to be successful during play, tabletop activities, movement, fine motor activities and activities of daily living.
Visual motor integration allows our hand and eyes to work together. These skills are required for play, reading, writing, math and directly impact academic success. The O.T will work with your child to improve these skills through a variety of specifically designed activities and exercises.
The process of eating is critical for health and wellness and is an integral part of a child’s development. Several factors can interfere with success in this skill including medical, motor, sensory, behavioral and environmental issues. O.T. will assess the skills and needs of your child to have a successful and positive feeding experience. Positioning, stability, fine motor skills, oral motor ability, food tolerances and environmental influences will be evaluated. Intervention may include motor therapy, positional recommendations, equipment, environmental adaptations, and food/drink modifications. Approaches such as, Sequential Oral Sensory Approach (SOS) will be utilized to address difficult feeding behaviors and improve mealtime success.
Independence with bathing, dressing, hygiene, sleeping and feeding are goals for all children. Occupational therapy looks at your child’s skill level, assesses their abilities and implements the practice, strategies, adaptations, equipment and/or techniques that ensure that your child attains the highest level of independence possible.
The primary goal of occupational therapy in early intervention is the development of age appropriate play skills and social interactions with parents and peers. Children with illness, injury, disabilities or special needs often benefit from therapy to improve these skills. Working with infants and young children enhances their early development and minimizes the potential for delay in attaining milestones.
Writing is a communication tool and is a complex process of integrating visual, cognitive and motor skills. O.T. will evaluate the hand writing readiness and skill of a child and develop a program of therapeutic activities and exercises to promote handwriting success. Collaboration with the school and employment of programs such as, Handwriting Without Tears may be a part of the therapy program.
Motor planning is the ability to come up with an idea, make a plan on how to do it and then execute the plan. Good motor planning skill allows us to carry out a step-by-step process to complete a motor activity (getting on a tricycle). Children who have difficulty organizing themselves to move may need assistance with motor planning.
Social skills contribute to a child’s ability to attain their developmental milestones. It is important that a child can interact with adults and peers in a positive way. Occupational Therapy can help your child to learn social rules, be aware of others, learn specific social behaviors such as greeting a person, develop strategies for self-management and problem solve in social situations.