What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy is the use of purposeful activity to maximize the independence of a child who is limited by a physical injury or illness, neurological or cognitive impairment, a developmental or learning disability, or sensory integration dysfunction. For a child, purposeful activities such as swinging, climbing, jumping, buttoning, drawing and writing is considered their “occupation.” Occupational therapists use their unique expertise to help children prepare for and perform important learning and developmental activities by facilitating social skills development, motor development, emergent literacy, and the development of adaptive and self-care skills. Therapists use a variety of intervention approaches including the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).

Examples of areas of specialization:
ADD / ADHD
Auditory Processing Issues
Asperger’s Syndrome
Autism
Apraxia
Cerebral Palsy
Chromosomal Anomalies
Coordination Difficulties
Developmental Delay
Down Syndrome
Feeding Disorders
Fine Motor Delay
Handwriting Difficulties
Hypotonia
Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD)
Sensory Integrative Dysfunctions

An occupational therapy evaluation assesses, through standardized tests and clinical evaluations, the following:
Visual Perception
Visual tracking
Hand skills such as dexterity, manipulation, handwriting, cutting, catching a ball, etc.
Strength and range of motion
Balance
Body Image
Task Skills
Daily living skills such as feeding and dressing
Sensory motor developmental abilities