Occupational Therapy helps children with special needs develop the skills necessary for independent functioning and success in childhood. Since the “occupation” of children is play, it is through the use of play that our occupational therapists assist children in learning the skills necessary for successful living, including feeding, bathing, and dressing through the development of fine motor hand and dexterity skills, as well as neuro-motor and sensory integration skills.

The Occupational Therapists at Therapyland possess a knowledge base of anatomy and physiology, neurology, sensory, and motor development. They have been trained to analyze tasks and/or activities. This includes breaking down the activity into components, and identifying the areas of weakness. For example, if a child is struggling with handwriting, an occupational therapist assesses all components necessary for the child to be successful with this task, including sitting posture, core strength, shoulder stability, hand strength, and visual/perceptual skills.

The following are general indicators that a child may benefit from an Occupational Therapy Evaluation and treatment:

  • Weak, stiff or uncoordinated movements
  • Awkward grasp or clumsy use of crayons, pencils, scissors or other tools and utensils
  • Excessive seeking, or avoidance, of movement or touch
  • Absence of hand preference, after age 6
  • Difficulty with age appropriate self-help skills, such as dressing and toileting
  • Attention and organizational problems with school tasks
  • Difficulties with social interaction
  • Difficulties with feeding, food aversions, or a very limited diet
  • Poor balance skills
  • Difficulty tolerating touch, such as brushing hair, or brushing teeth
  • Difficulties in sports, such as catching, or throwing a ball
  • Unable to ride a bicycle independently by age 8
  • Poor organizational skills
  • Difficulty regulating activity level
  • Frequent emotional outbursts or meltdowns in behavior
  • Lack of age appropriate play skills