Children getting occupational therapy typically perform a lot of exercises and “games” during the course of their sessions. They may practice writing, cutting, and other fine motor skills as well getting coaching in daily life skills, such as feeding and dressing themselves. When a child's strength and skills cannot be improved, other alternatives are often developed to allow for daily activities. Occupational therapists also evaluate a child's need for equipment such as hearing aids, bathing devices, and wheelchairs.

Therapy often includes fun, educational activities, too, to stimulate the playing and learning part of a child’s brain. Occupational therapists use toys when working on fine motor skills so that children can practice grasping and releasing, for instance, and–eye coordination is usually also a target; this sort of coordination is what is responsible for allowing children to engage in activities such as throwing a ball at a target, hitting a ball with a bat, or copying words written on a blackboard.

Pediatric occupational therapy focuses on the “occupations” or “jobs” of childhood such as play, socialization, self-care and school performance. At KidSPOT, our pediatric occupational therapists help children develop the skills needed for functional independence in these important developmental areas.

What does my child do in Occupation Therapy?

Pediatric Occupational Therapy 

What Is Occupational Therapy

OT uses exercises, activities, strategies and accommodations to help kids develop the skills they need to become more independent.

If you’ve noticed that your child is missing certain developmental milestones, OT could help. Occupational therapists can work with kids on many different types of activities. Here are some examples:

Self-care or activities of daily living (brushing teeth, buttoning clothes, using eating utensils)

Hand-eye coordination (writing on a classroom whiteboard, copying in a notebook what the teacher writes on the board)

Fine motor skills (grasping and controlling a pencil, using scissors)
Gross motor skills (doing jumping jacks, working on core muscle strength for sitting posture)

Planning and organization (helping a teen plan a trip to his locker to swap books or gym clothes for the next class period, using a graphic organizer for writing)

Sensory responses (helping kids with sensory processing issues respond to sensory input in more comfortable ways)

Who Might Need Occupational Therapy

According to the AOTA, kids with these medical problems might benefit from OT:

  • birth injuries or birth defects
  • sensory processing disorders
  • traumatic injuries (brain or spinal cord)

          learning problems

  • autism/pervasive developmental disorders

          juvenile rheumatoid arthritis

  • mental health or behavioral problems
  • broken bones or other orthopedic injuries
  • developmental delays
  • post-surgical conditions
  • burns
  • spina bifida
  • traumatic amputations
  • cancer
  • severe hand injuries
  • multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, and other chronic illnesses