Have you ever wondered, “What is occupational therapy?” If so, today is your lucky day, because I’m going to tell you! 

Occupational therapy (OT) helps individuals with injuries or disabilities increase their independence and participate in daily routines (or occupations) through participation in therapeutic activities.  A child has several “occupations”, including school, play, and taking care of daily living skills such as bathing, dressing, feeding, etc.  A little one who has a disability or is recovering from an illness or injury will want to return to those occupations as soon as possible, so that’s when OT usually comes into the picture.  Occupational therapists work with children diagnosed with a variety of conditions, such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida, learning disabilities, developmental delays, autism, and cancer. In therapy, we work on a variety of skills, depending on the area of need. Here is a list of problems that a pediatric occupational therapist might address.

  • Poor fine-motor skills (grasping, cutting, shoe-tying, utensil use)
  • Poor playground skills (fear of climbing, low muscle tone, core weakness)
  • Visual perceptual skills
  • Poor handwriting skills
  • Problems with eye-hand coordination
  • Poor sensory processing
  • Dependence with daily living Skills (bathing, tooth-brushing, dressing, self-feeding)
  • Orthopedic Injuries

Obviously this list of diagnoses and problems is not all-inclusive, but hopefully you have the idea! So now you can tell everyone what a pediatric OT does.  Being an occupational therapist is the best job in the world!

Photo by kdshutterman @ freedigitalphotos.net