Occupational Therapy (OT) is a treatment option for individuals with a physical, mental, or developmental condition which focuses on developing, recovering, or maintaining important skills needed to be successful in their environment. OT involves the therapeutic use of work, self-care, and play activities to increase independent function and enhance development by facilitating and improving motor, sensory, and cognitive skills through meaningful activity.
At Partners In Excellence we provide Occupational Therapy as a treatment option for our clients at all of our centers. Having OT in house makes it easy for our clients to receive important services without needing parents to transport their child to separate appointments. In addition to the convenience factor, Occupational therapists collaborate directly with our Behavior Therapists throughout the day to provide ongoing coordination of care. With this team approach, the child is practicing and learning new skills in a variety of settings and has consistency with expectations and behavioral interventions throughout their day.
Using purposeful, fun and age-appropriate activities, Occupational therapists at Partners assist children in achieving important life tasks and skills such as:
- Gross and fine motor skill development
- Eye hand coordination skills
- Self-care skills such as dressing, grooming, or eating
- Sensory processing and self-regulation skills
- Engagement in meaningful activities with a variety of toys, games and tools with emphasis on interactive occupational skill acquisition
- Expanding food choices using concepts from the Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) and food chaining approaches
At Partners, Occupational Therapists, Behavioral Therapists, and parents work together to set goals and select activities that will be most appropriate and beneficial to each child. A variety of specialized programs are available to clients, depending on their individual needs and goals:
- Sensory Diet: based on sensory integration principles a sensory diet is developed and implemented which allows for breaks throughout the client’s day to address specific sensory needs.
- Handwriting Without Tears: a program which uses multi-sensory techniques and consistent habits for letter formation to teach beginning handwriting.
- Feeding/Swallowing Programs: individualized programs designed to decrease oral sensitivities and improve the client’s ability to eat a number of different foods successfully.
Occupational Therapy treatment sessions at Partners are 60 minutes in length and are scheduled one to two times a week. Significant progress can generally be seen after 2-6 months of intervention.
Does My Child Need OT?
Your child may benefit from Occupational Therapy if he or she experiences difficulty with:
- Performing self-care activities such as dressing, buttoning a shirt, or brushing teeth
- Specific textures or flavors of food or drink as demonstrated by gagging or vomiting when new foods are introduced
- Tolerating tactile input often shown by avoiding messy activities or frustration with textures of clothing, physical contact, or soap and lotion
- Fine motor activities such as handwriting, cutting with scissors, clothing fasteners ,or difficulty opening containers
- Initiating or completing tasks such as doing a simple puzzle, stringing beads or playing on the slide or swing
- Cognitive tasks such as following instructions or classroom rules, problem solving, sequencing, patterning or organization
- Maintaining an appropriate level of arousal and attention throughout the day
- Balance, maneuvering, and body awareness
- Tolerating changes in every day routine
If you believe your child would benefit from Occupational Therapy while enrolled at Partners speak to your child’s Primary Behavior Therapist about setting up an assessment.