Occupational therapy (OT) centers on all typical childhood activities such as play, self-care, social skills, and learning. Therapeutic activities work specifically on developmental tasks such as cutting with scissors, tying shoes, brushing teeth, hand-eye coordination and other fine motor skills. Occupational therapists also address sensory integration (the ability of the brain to take in sensations). This includes visual, tactile, smell, movement, and proprioception so that the brain and body function optimally.
Occupational therapy includes the following areas:
Play – A child’s way of learning is through play. Occupational therapy takes that a step further and helps the child learn how to play while developing the skills necessary to gain independence.
Hand – A child’s hand is an instrument needed to perform daily tasks. Occupational therapy promotes good hand coordination by providing activities that increase the child’s ability to develop appropriate fine motor skills.
Sensory – Children use their senses to explore their environment. However, some children have difficulty with visual awareness, tactile defensiveness, auditory sensitivity and hand-eye coordination. Occupational therapy helps these children filter the information that comes into their environment.