Occupation refers to everything that people do during the course of everyday life. Each of us have many occupations that are essential to our health and well-being. They believe that occupations describe who you are and how you feel about yourself. A child, for example, might have occupations as a student, a friend, a dancer, and a big sister.    Occupational therapists work with people who strive to participate as active members of society but are limited by physical, developmental, cognitive, or emotional difficulties. They enable them to regain function, learn new skills and adapt to changes by assessing and addressing the physical, cognitive, psychosocial, sensory, and environmental aspects of recovery.     They use a systematic approach based on evidence and clinical/ professional reasoning to enable individuals, groups and communities to develop the means and opportunities to identify, engage in and improve their function in the occupations of life.  

Who can benefit?

Any infant, toddler, child or teen with: 

  • Autism related disorders 
  • Sensory-motor disorders/ sensory processing issues 
  • Upper extremity (shoulder, arm and hand) injuries including brachial
  • plexus injuries, burns, fractures, etc. 
  • Orthopedic injuries/ wounds/ scars
  • Developmental disabilities/ delays 
  • Down Syndrome and other genetic diagnoses 
  • Cerebral Palsy and other neurological diagnoses 
  • Traumatic brain injury 
  • Delays in fine motor and visual motor skills directly affecting academic performance 
  • Psychosocial/ psychological difficulties/ disorders 
  • Visual difficulties 

Children may benefit from pediatric Occupational Therapy for: 

  • Self-care skills including feeding, dressing, and grooming  
  • Hand strengthening and coordination skills required for activities such as cutting with scissors, coloring, and writing, buttoning, using feeding utensils, etc.
  • Sensory-motor processing and integration 
  • Recommendation, training, and use of adaptive equipment 
  • Neuro-development rehabilitation/ treatment
  • Visual motor, fine /gross motor and handwriting skills 
  • Organizational and planning skills 
  • Attention and concentration skills 
  • Pain management
  • Positioning and pressure relief 
  • Splinting and serial casting 
  • Pelvic floor rehabilitation for urinary incontinence 
  • Wheelchair, equipment evaluation and adaptations   

What does a Typical Session Look Like?

Occupational therapy services typically include: 

  • A thorough assessment of each child, taking into all aspects of the person, their environment and their occupations and help to identify any barriers to engagement in meaningful activities 
  • An individualized assessment and evaluation, during which the child/family and occupational therapist determine the collaborative SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) goals,
  • Customized intervention to improve the person’s ability to perform daily activities and reach their goals
  • An outcomes evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met and/or make changes to the intervention plan in order to facilitate independence and enable achieving success 

Occupational therapy services may include comprehensive evaluations of the child’s home and other environments (e.g., workplace, school), recommendations for adaptive equipment and training in its use, and guidance and education for family members and caregivers.  Occupational Therapy assessment and treatment sessions can take place in a variety of settings including home, work, school, clinic or hospitals.