WHAT IS OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY?

Occupational Therapy (OT) is provided by an Occupational Therapist (OT).

For kids, OTs use meaningful activities to help children succeed in their "occupations" of everyday life.

For a child, this included play, transition skills, academics, social interaction, and self-care skills. 

OTs work on fine motor and handwriting, visual-motor integration, visual perception, self care, sensory processing skills, and many more skills to help kids be more independent in all the things they do.

What is the difference between PT & OT?

PTs and OTs work very closely together on motor development. OTs focus on fine motor skills, which are the small muscles of the body. PTs focus more on gross motor skills, which are movements using the large muscles of the body.

A PT helps improve the quality of the movement whereas an OT helps improve the quality of participation in an individual's daily functional tasks. ​ 

FINE MOTOR

The strength, dexterity, and motor control of the fingers, wrist, and forearm muscles. 

Children with fine motor concerns may have difficulty holding small objects, manipulating fasteners, or difficulty with handwriting. 

VISUAL MOTOR

Using the hands and eyes together to accomplish a task. 

 

Children with visual-motor concerns may have difficulty with handwriting, using tools such as scissors, and difficulty dressing themselves.  

visual perception

The way that the brain interprets and gives meaning to visual information. 

Visual-perception deficits may present as difficulty recognizing symbols, difficulty pinpointing the location of something they see, hear, or feel, or bumping into things frequently. 

self-help

The ability to be independent with self-care tasks such as feeding, dressing, and grooming oneself. 

Children with self-help issues may have trouble dressing, bathing, or feeding themselves. 

sensory processing

The way the brain organizes and responds to information from the senses. 

 

If a child is overly sensitive, they may avoid sensory input, because it's too overwhelming. 

 

If a child is under sensitive, the child may seek sensory input. They may do this by banging things, hitting their head or other body part on something, or excessively fidgeting.

Toddler with Toys

What should my child's fine motor, self-care, & sensory development look like right now?

Children develop at their own rate.

The charts below tell you when most children will reach each milestone.

Missing one skill in the age range does not mean your child has a problem.

You may want to seek help if you answer "no" to most of the skills.

  • Red Head Baby

    Birth to One Year

  • Baby with Toys

    One to Two Years

  • Sweet Toddler

    Two to Three Years

  • Art Class

    Three to Four Years

  • Toddler

    Four to Five Years

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