What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapy, or OT for short, is a therapy that helps people achieve independence in all facets of their lives. Most people think of occupational therapy as a treatment for adults that helps them get back to work, but that is a very narrow definition. "Occupation" refers to managing all the activities important for independent living. For children, their main jobs are playing, learning and doing age appropriate activities of daily living (e.g. dressing, eating, and bathing). If your child has physical or cognitive disabilities, occupational therapy goals can be defined to help your child improve their ability to function in these areas.
If a child exhibits any of the following "Red Flags," they may qualify for skilled OT services:
Fine Motor/Visual Perceptual
Difficulty manipulating scissors, grasping writing or feeding materials, writing/coloring, completing puzzles, establishing hand dominance, stringing beads, dressing.
Difficulty with their balance and a hard time participating in sports or extracurricular activities
Over/under-sensitive to touch, movement, sights or sounds, poor attention, unusually high/low activity level, inability to calm self-down, social/emotional problems, clumsy, picky eater, oral sensitivity, sensitive to different textures, excessive drooling, low tone, walks on toes.
Difficulty sequencing dressing tasks, putting clothes on backwards or shoes on the wrong feet, safety awareness problems