Occupational therapists help children gain skills and independence related to movement and self care skills. Occupational therapists help children in the following areas.
- Gross Motor Skills: Balance, muscle tone/strength, flexibility, postural control, motor planning, coordination, ball skills and playground skills.
- Fine Motor Skills: handwriting, coloring, grasp, hand preference, use of scissors, finger isolation, object manipulation, hand strength, and coordination.
- Visual Motor/ Perceptual Skills: Tracing, scanning, letter recognition, spatial concepts, attention to detail, and figure ground
- Self Care Skills: Dressing, toileting, bathing, grooming & hygiene, meal preparation, feeding, and eating
- Sensory Processing & Regulation: Understanding how environmental stimuli effect the ability to learn and participate in daily activities. Hyper/Hypo responsiveness, self regulation, and modulation
While children will often work with one therapist specifically for feeding therapy, treatment plans are developed using a team approach. Feeding team can include registered dietician, lactation consultant, nurses, speech therapists, occupational therapists and the physician. Feeding therapy is beneficial to children in the following areas.
- Children who are not able or willing to consume sufficient calorie diet via oral feeding to promote or maintain growth.
- While feeding problems can fall along a continuum there are two basic groups; picky eaters and problem feeders.
- Feeding problems often include multiple components including sensory, behavioral, medical, and physical aspects.
Speech therapy helps children learn to use and understand language. Speech therapy works to address the following areas with children.
- Receptive Language Skills: Understanding language, following directions, and processing auditory information.
- Expressive Language Skills: Using language to express ideas and thoughts. Includes vocabulary and grammar.
- Fluency: How the language is produced including stuttering, cluttering, and rate of speech.