Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy

The goal of occupational therapy is to help people of all ages with physical, sensory, or cognitive disabilities achieve maximum independence in their lives.
The goal of occupational therapy is to help people of all ages with physical, sensory, or cognitive disabilities achieve maximum independence in their lives. While commonly thought as treatment aimed at adults only, occupational therapy has long been proven to also help children with special needs develop their cognitive, physical, sensory, and motor skills, while improving their self-esteem and instilling a sense of accomplishment.

The word “occupational” is deceiving and, hence, many think this therapy is relevant to adults only, but to be “occupied” means to be busy, and children are very busy indeed! Playing and learning are their main “jobs”, and it’s these which occupational therapists evaluate. Through their aptitude for playing, school performance, and daily activities, our therapists can make comparisons on what is developmentally appropriate for the child’s age group.

In addition to dealing with their patients’ physical well-being, occupational therapists address psychological, social, and environmental factors that can affect function in various ways. This approach can make occupational therapy a vital part of healthcare for some children.

What issues can be helped in Occupational Therapy?

Children and adolescents with the following medical problems might benefit from occupation therapy:

  • Birth injuries or birth defects
  • Sensory processing disorders
  • Traumatic injuries (brain or spinal cord)
  • Learning problems * Autism/pervasive developmental disorders
  • Mental health or behavioral problems
  • Developmental delays
  • Severe hand injuries
  • Multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, and other chronic illnesses

Occupational Therapists can:

  • Work on fine motor skills to improve a child’s grasping and releasing toys, as well as developing good handwriting skills
  • Address hand-eye coordination to improve playing and school skills (hitting a target, batting a ball, copying from a blackboard, etc.)
  • Help those with severe developmental delays learn basic tasks (such as bathing, getting dressed, brushing their teeth, and feeding themselves)
  • Help children with behavioral disorders maintain positive behaviors in all environments (e.g., instead of hitting others or acting out, demonstrate positive ways to deal with anger, such as writing about feelings or participating in a physical activity)
  • Teach children with physical disabilities the coordination skills needed in day-to-day life, from meal-time to using the computer, and beyond
  • Address sensory and attentional issues to improve focus and social skills

If you or someone you know might benefit from Occupational Therapy, please don’t hesitate to call us at the American Wellness Center for a consultation. All calls are confidential.


Available Clinicians