Can My Child Benefit From Pediatric Occupational Therapy?
December 15, 2020
By Mikaela Lyding, M.O.T., OTR/L
The Midwestern University Therapy now offers pediatric occupational therapy, and parents are often unsure about what signs they should watch for that may indicate that their child could benefit from occupational therapy. Occupational therapy is designed to help people of all ages develop the skills needed to participate in everyday activities, or “occupations.”
For children, that means that they not only learn how to perform the everyday activities of living, but that they also learn how to play. Play is a child’s primary occupation and helps build the foundation for many future skills. Some of the challenges that may indicate that an evaluation for occupational therapy should be considered include:
- Difficulty with self-care skills, such as dressing, feeding, toileting, functional mobility, grooming, and bathing.
- Motor development and coordination concerns, which can include clumsiness, frequent falling, running into things, or avoidance of a new activity or team sport. This also includes motor planning, which involves efficiency of learning a new skill like riding a bike.
- Sensory processing concerns, such as sensitivity to lights, clothing, tags on clothing, loud noises, and more. On the playground, sensory processing can be seen as an avoidance of heights or swings. It can also show up in the classroom as difficulty with learning or behavior.
- Poor attention is one of the most frequently missed challenges that can be improved with occupational therapy. This may show up in learning, and can also present as difficulty at mealtime, inability to sit still for a short story, etc.
If you notice your child is experiencing any of these difficulties, or if you have any other concerns about your child’s ability to perform daily activities, it can be helpful to schedule an evaluation with an occupational therapist.
The information contained in this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, care, or treatment. Always consult a qualified healthcare provider with any questions regarding any possible health condition.
Mikaela Lyding, M.O.T., OTR/L is a registered and licensed Occupational Therapist and Clinical Assistant Professor for the Occupational Therapy Program at Midwestern University in Glendale. Working as a team, Occupational Therapy faculty and students at the Midwestern University Therapy Institute utilize the latest technology and research to evaluate and help children develop their abilities, at affordable prices. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 623-537-6000.