What is Occupational therapy and
does my child need it?
Occupational therapy (OT) treatment focuses on helping people with a physical, sensory, or cognitive disability be as independent as possible in all areas of their lives. OT can help kids with various needs improve their cognitive, physical, sensory, and motor skills and enhance their self-esteem and sense of accomplishment.
Some people may think that occupational therapy is only for adults; kids, after all, do not have occupations. But a child's main job is playing and learning, and occupational therapists can evaluate kids' skills for playing, school performance, and daily activities and compare them with what is developmentally appropriate for that age group.
According to the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), in addition to dealing with an someone's physical well-being, OT practitioners address psychological, social, and environmental factors that can affect functioning in different ways. This approach makes OT a vital part of health care for some kids.
There are several signs that may indicate a need for evaluation from an Occupational Therapist. For instance, if your child is experiencing difficulty acquiring age-appropriate fine and/or gross motorskills, difficulty with handwriting, playing with other children, self help skills, or handling transitions, he/she may be experiencing sensory integration difficulties.
What is sensory integration?
The term refers to the neurological process of taking in sensory information through the body and organizing this information to be able to respond in a functional way to the demands of the environment, home, school and community settings. For example, a child reaches to catch a ball, or brushes away a bug that land on an arm. This is called an adaptive response and is an unconscious process that occurs. A childs sensory integrative abilities are evaluated through standardized evaluations, clinical observations and parent or teacher report. Signs that may indicate sensory integration difficulties durring a childs development may include: inflexibility to changes in routine, constant movement which interferes with daily routines, sensitivity to textures (clothing, finger paints, etc.) frequent falls, difficulties maintaining self in a chair, lack of environmental exploration during play, and low endurance during activities.
Signs that a child might need OT may include difficulty recognizing or for his or her manuscript or cursive alphabet, early fatigue while handwriting, or difficulty sitting for handwriting tasks. Sometimes, a parent or teacher may notice a childs pensil grasp is immature or the child has difficulty sitting in their seat.
How do I get Occupational Therapy Services for my child?
To obtain services through our offices please visit with your primary care physician. Have your doctor's office send their request to us via fax: 405-455-5988. Our office staff will process the requests for you. If you have further questions, please contact our local office for more information.