What is OT? And How Do I Know if My Child Needs It?

Being an occupational therapist provides so many wonderful opportunities I love – helping others, blending science and art, the chance to express your creativity, and connecting with families on a meaningful level.

One of the questions I get asked the most by friends is “What exactly is occupational therapy?”

OT, or Occupational Therapy, is a skilled service that is provided by highly educated, and highly trained individuals. We serve individuals across the lifespan, from birth-death, and in-so-doing, we assist them to do the things that they need and what to do, through the use of therapeutic activities or occupations.

Still not clear? Well, “occupations” are simploy our way of saying “everything you do in a day”. Brushing your teeth: the occupation of self-care. Building a LEGO house with your child: the occupation of leisure for adults or play for children. Completing that report for your boss: the occupation of work.

As a pediatric occupational therapist, I have the privilege of assisting children with those occupations or skills that may be challenging for them. This could include activities at school, at home, or in their play pursuits.

For example: fine motor challenges, eye-hand coordination challenges, visual motor delays, visual perceptual delays, self-care delays, sensory processing difficulties, decreased strength, decreased range of motion, and social difficulties.

These are the things that pediatricians should look for during well visits, and can refer to OT’s like myself, if needed.

 

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