Pediatric Occupational Therapy helps a child perform everyday skills and activities. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), "Occupational Therapists focus on fine motor, visual-motor, and sensory processing skills needed for basic activities of daily living." This might include help feeding or dressing themselves, improving their handwriting, going to the bathroom independently, behavioral regulation and as well as many other age appropriate skills.
Occupational Therapists work with infants and children using therapeutic activities to increase the child’s abilities in self-care, play and eye-hand coordination. Occupational Therapists use a variety of treatments, one of which is sensory integration. Sensory Integration is the ability of the brain and body to take incoming sensory information and create an efficient motor output.
Your child may need an OT screening, evaluation, or treatment if they have any of the following symptoms:
- Touches people or objects constantly (seeking sensory input)
- Crashes and/or bangs into people or objects
- Poor attention/difficulty sitting still
- Difficulty calming self
- Under-active or Overactive
- Exaggerated behaviors or reactions
- Limited play skills
- Poor social development
- Limited independence in self care skills
- Difficulty transitioning or accepting change in environment or routine
- Poor fine motor skills
- Decreased motor control
- Decreased eye hand coordination
- Overly sensitive to sensory input
- Under responsive to sensory input
See our Occupational Therapists.
Pediatric Speech Therapy focuses on the development of communication and language skills necessary for social, academic, and functional communication and also concentrates on the development of oral motor skills, as well as those functions that support speech and feeding, including respiration and sensory integration. Pediatric Speech Therapy is used when a child under the age of 18 needs help with letter or word pronunciation, or has trouble speaking in general. Many of these children have disabilities, so speech therapists have experience working with mentally and physically disabled kids.
The first step in pediatric speech therapy is to test each child to determine what types of problems he or she is having. Some children may have a stutter or stammer when they speak, while others will have issues pronouncing entire words or certain letters.
Pediatric speech therapy is also beneficial for kids who have trouble hearing because they often have difficulties understanding what sounds each letter is supposed to make. To test each child, he or she may be asked to repeat words or sounds, write certain words, or practice rhyming. Therapy includes a range of fun activities from exploration and play to tabletop work and specialized skill building.
Your child might benefit from Speech Therapy if they have:
- A decreased ability to communicate
- Limited vocabulary for their age
- Poor articulation and enunciation
- Stuttering and fluency issues
- Difficulty understanding what is said to them, difficulty following directions
- Poor verbal or written expression
- Difficulty listening in noisy environments
- Immature sentence structure, immature language, or uses nonspecific words frequently
- Decreased executive functions or memory
- Poor social skills, pragmatics
See our Speech Therapists.