Children’s Therapy Place provides Occupational Therapy for children in Boise, Meridian, Nampa and throughout the Idaho Treasure Valley. We often have parents question why a young child would be referred for this service and wonder what is occupational therapy? We hope you find the information below helpful!
What is Occupational Therapy for Children?
A child’s “occupation” is to learn, play, and grow into a healthy, competent adult. Sometimes they need help performing every day activities like writing, drawing, coloring in the lines, dressing, tying shoes, feeding themselves, brushing teeth, and/or paying attention.
Occupational Therapy aims to help children achieve success in their life occupations and become as independent as possible. It focuses on the main occupations of:
- School (e.g. writing, fine motor skills, learning, attention)
- Self-care ( e.g. bathing, dressing, eating, cutlery use, organizing self)
- Play (e.g. imaginative play, social interaction, gross motor skills)
- Home tasks (e.g. fitting in with family life, jobs, homework, getting self ready)
In the pediatric setting, occupational therapists use their expertise to help children prepare for and perform important learning and developmental activities. Many work with children who need help with their handwriting or in developing learning strategies to help them remain focused in class and get their homework done. Occupational therapists also may help children with autism learn how to interact with others, or might help kids with sensory processing disorders learn ways to interact with their environment in a more comfortable and appropriate way.
More specifically, therapists help children develop fine motor skills, visual motor (eye-hand coordination) skills, sensory regulation and physical access to help make learning and participation possible.
Who Needs Occupational Therapy?
Your child may be a good candidate for occupational therapy if:
- The child avoids fine motor activities. They have difficulty manipulating small objects, using scissors, demonstrate an abnormal pencil grip, or their hand tires easily during fine motor tasks.
- They have trouble with writing including pushing too hard or not hard enough, not being able to develop and maintain a good grasp on the pencil, and having trouble with size and spacing of their letters.
- They have difficulty with gross motor tasks such as riding a bike, skipping, or hopping.
- The child seems to have more difficulty than peers completing self-care activities like: putting on and buttoning their coat, putting on and tying shoes, and brushing teeth.
- They are overly sensitive or emotional to sensory stimulation including touch, textures, tastes, sound, and movement.
- They are under responsive with decreased reactions to movement, touch, sound, or have unusually low emotional responses.
- The child has more trouble than their peers writing in their assignment notebook, keeping their desk and folders organized, and turning in assignments on time.
Children’s Therapy Place therapists are licensed through the state of Idaho and certified through the national Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy. Please contact our office at 208-323-8888 for more information.