What does occupational therapist do

What does an Occupational Therapist do?

Pediatric Occupational Therapists (OT) help children gain independence while strengthening the development of fine motor, sensory motor, visual motor, and feeding skills needed to function and complete daily routines.

Occupational Therapists address the following areas:

  • Fine Motor Skills: grasp and release toys, button clothing
  • Gross Motor Skills: Core stability
  • Visual-Motor Skills: hitting a target, batting a ball, copying from a blackboard
  • Handwriting: letter formation
  • Self-Help Skills: bathing, getting dressed, brushing teeth, feeding themselves
  • Sensory Processing & Self Regulation
  • Feeding & Swallowing

At Little Hands Pediatric Therapy, our occupational therapists work with children as young as one month of age through the teenage years, with most of our clients falling between 1-10 years of age.  Our OTs work the child and the family during home visits, and the classroom teachers during school visits.  Parents actively participate in sessions so that they can carryover techniques at home.

How the process works: 

Our office manager Kimberly will complete your intake and match you with a therapist that would be a good fit for your child.  One of our occupational therapists will come to your home and complete the initial assessment with you and your child. Often parents are asked to complete a Sensory Profile during the assessment, to give the therapist more insight into the child’s sensory processing.  Based on the child’s age and areas of need, the therapist will give a standardized test and observe the child during play and daily activities. After your child’s evaluation, the therapist will write a written report for the family, which includes recommendations and a treatment plan.  An evaluation is a starting point and a snapshot of the child’s performance from that day.  While we use evaluations to begin therapy and measure outcomes, we are constantly making informal assessments and adjusting our treatment plans accordingly.

How long a child needs occupational therapy depends on many factors including diagnosis, behavior, frequency of services, supports in place at home and school, carryover of techniques.  Families who regularly receive occupational therapy services and embrace a team approach between home and school, may make gains more quickly.