How to Know My Child Might Need Pediatric Occupational Therapy

Does your child seem to have trouble with everyday activities at school, home or in the community? Are they experiencing challenges that most typically developing children don't seem to struggle with? If so, a pediatric occupational therapist might be able to help your child.

Pediatric occupational therapy can help children with various needs to improve skills like:

  • Physical
  • Cognitive
  • Motor
  • Sensory

It also can help them feel a sense of accomplishment and enhance their self-esteem.

Occupational therapy can help children who're struggling with day-to-day fine and gross motor tasks like writing on a chalkboard, using a toothbrush and organizing a backpack. It may also help children struggling with sensory processing issues, fine motor skills, self-regulation, and handwriting.

Signs your Child May Need Pediatric Occupational Therapy

Some signs to look for include:

1. Your child observes other kids playing on the playground and hardly ever tries to join them or play on the equipment independently.

2. Your child seems to avoid fine motor activities. They have trouble with task such as:

  • Using scissors
  • Manipulating small objects
  • Gripping a pencil correctly

Their hand may tire easily when performing fine motor activities. They may press down too lightly or too hard on the paper when they're writing.

3. Your child has trouble being near other kids or walking in line. They appear agitated when others touch them, but they touch themselves frequently.

4. Your child often falls to the floor, bumps into things or crashes into people or objects purposely.

These are only some of the many signs to look for. If you do suspect your child has a sensory processing disorder or another reason why they may need occupational therapy, you may want to speak to a pediatric occupational therapist.

OT benefits children in many ways and the sooner your child begins occupational therapy, the more effective it seems to be.

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