Children’s Occupational Therapy Services

Occupational Therapy for Children

Occupational therapy is a profession that supports children and adults to carry out their daily activities. This can include skills like bathing, dressing and moving in their environment as well as participating in school, work or leisure activities. An Occupational Therapist (OT) can assess and provide therapy to help children respond appropriately to sensory information (visual, auditory, and tactile, or what they see, hear and feel), improve fine motor skills (like holding a pencil), or cognitive or emotional issues (social and self-regulation and participation with their peers). The OT might also evaluate whether a child would benefit from using special equipment or having an assistive device for educational purposes. This could be anything from a simple pencil grip to computer software.

Occupational therapy can help kids with learning and attention issues, improve their strength, and coordination as well as planning and organizational skills. Our therapy team is experienced working with children with a wide variety of challenges including those with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Learning Disabilities, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome and Cerebral Palsy.

While all children develop at different rates, if you have a concern, see your healthcare practitioner, or contact our office for more information.

Our Services:

An Occupational Therapist (OT) is a regulated healthcare professional. Our therapy team includes OTs who are experienced doing assessments using standardized tests, observation, and feedback from parents and teachers so that they are able to gain a full understanding of a child's difficulties. They develop an appropriate treatment plan to help the child reach their milestones and goals. All of our therapists receive ongoing training specific to working with children, to ensure we are meeting the unique needs of our clients and their families.

Motor Skills

Motor skills are actions that involve the movement of muscles in the body. This includes gross motor skills, which are larger movements using arms, legs, feet, or the entire body; and fine motor skills which are smaller actions, such as using the thumb and finger to pick up an object.

Your child may benefit from seeing an Occupational Therapist for fine motor skills if they are having difficulty:

  • With their posture (slouching over when sitting) and movement
  • Are reluctant to join in a new game or activity that would require learning a new skill
  • Handling small objects, using scissors or gripping a pencil
  • Printing legibly (pressing too hard or too soft with a pencil)
  • Completing age appropriate self-care tasks, such as getting dressed, tying shoes, doing up buttons, using a spoon and fork

See a complete list of fine motor skill developmental milestones for school-aged children.

Visual Motor Skills

Visual Motor Skill, also called Visual Motor Integration, is the ability to control hand-eye or hand-body movement. A child having difficulty with their visual motor skills has a hard time controlling body movements in response to what he or she is seeing. Vision is not the problem.

Visual motor skills are part of most daily functions, including cutting, colouring, writing, brushing teeth or catching a ball. When the connection between visual skills (what is being seen), visual perceptual skills (making sense of what is being seen) and motor skills (using muscles to control body parts to carry out an action) are not working together, these everyday activities can become a challenge.

Learn more about Visual Motor Skills for a list of challenges a child may experience if they are having difficulty with visual motor skills and/or visual perception.

Sensory Processing and Self-Regulation

Sensory Processing is the ability to take in sensory information - sight, sound, taste, texture, touch - and use that information to function. Kids with sensory processing issues may have difficulty with over-responding or under-responding to things such as bright lights or loud sounds, changes in their routine, the taste or texture of foods, or the feeling of the tag on their shirt or thread on their sock. This can affect a child’s ability to function, and can create social, learning or academic challenges, and motor development problems.

An Occupational Therapist can work with your child to develop a therapy plan to meet their individual needs with a balance of arousal, calming and organizing activities. Our therapists are trained and experienced at assessing and providing the tools to empower your child and to support parents and teachers.

Handwriting

Difficulty with handwriting could be due to a variety of reasons, including developmental issues, challenges with fine motor skills, visual motor skills, cognition (memory), or sensory processing. Our Occupational Therapists are able to complete formal and informal assessments to determine the potential cause of the problem and suggest solutions specific to the needs of your child.

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that can cause communication difficulties, social and behavioural issues, and repetitive behaviours. The signs of autism usually appear in early childhood, typically within the first three years of life. At Creative Therapy Associates, we believe in working alongside parents where our multidisciplinary team including both Speech-Language Pathologist and Occupational Therapists, can provide support and advice. Learn more about our autism services.