What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy (OT) is the art and science of enabling engagement in everyday living, through occupation.

OTs define occupation as anything that you do in your day that is meaningful. For example, a child’s occupations may include going to school, playing sports, getting dressed, eating, playing with friends, etc.

Pediatric Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapists help foster independence in children in the following areas:

  • Fine motor skills – printing, cutting, colouring, lacing, grasping objects
  • Self-care skills – dressing, feeding, bathing, toileting
  • Play skills – social skills, participation in leisure activities
  • Self-regulation – the ability to do what needs to be done to be in the optimal state for the given situation

If you answer yes to any of the following questions, an OT may be able to help:

  • Is your child always losing things or seems very disorganized?
  • Does your child have difficulty following directions?
  • Is your child always moving and unable to sit still?
  • Does your child have difficulty with handwriting?
  • Does your child have difficulty using scissors or completing other fine motor tasks such as doing up buttons, zippers, tying shoelaces, etc.?
  • Does your child have trouble feeding herself?
  • Does your child eat a limited number of foods? Does your child prefer eating foods that are a particular texture?
  • Does your child have difficulty getting themselves dressed?

See my blog post, What Do OTs Do? for more information.

Some of the standardized assessments that may be used in an OT assessment include:

  • Sensory Profile 2
  • Beery VMI-6 – Beery VMI Developmental Test of Visual Motor Integration
  • M-FUN-PS – Miller Function & Participation Scales
  • QNST-3R – Quick Neurological Screening Test