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Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy

Occupational therapy is a service that helps people achieve independence in their daily life activities or “occupations”. In the pediatric setting, therapists use their expertise to help children prepare for and perform important learning and developmental activities. This typically includes muscle strengthening and range of motion of the hands and body, work on bilateral coordination (using two hands together), motor planning, visual perception skills, and visual motor skills. It also includes direct practice of the task, often with adaptations or modifications of the fine motor and self care tasks (cutting, writing, tying shoes) that are difficult for the individual child.

What is an occupational therapist?

An occupational therapist is someone who specializes in working with individuals who are experiencing a condition that is limiting their ability to independently complete the tasks of every day living. In pediatrics, occupational therapists use their expertise to help children gain the functional skills they need for independence in play, learning, motor skill development, self care, and socialization in their home, school, and community environments.

How do I know if my child needs occupational therapy?

Your child might need occupational therapy if:

  • They seem to have weak hands and/or get tired easily while doing fine motor tasks.
  • They have difficulty with learning gross motor tasks such as riding a bike, skipping, or hopping.
  • 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.
  • 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 trouble learning how to dress them selves.
  • They have difficulty with coordinating the muscles that control their eyes for good vision.

Do your therapists have special training?

All of the occupational therapists at Kids Can Do, Inc. hold either a bachelor’s or master’s degree from an accredited occupational therapy program. In addition, they have passed a national certification examination and hold Illinois state licensure.

We place a high value on ongoing continuing education for our therapists. Some of the areas members of our team are trained in include: Sensory Integration theory and treatment, administration of the SIPT (Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests), NDT (Neuro-developmental Theory), Therapeutic Listening, the deep pressure/brushing protocol, and kineseotaping.

What Programs do you offer?

Sensory Integration and Sensory Integration dysfunction.

Sensory Integration is a normal life function and process. Dr. A. Jean Ayers first defined sensory integration as "the neurological process that organizes sensation from one's own body and from the environment and makes it possible to use the body effectively within the environment." This is supposed to happen without any conscious effort at all on our part. When the systems do not function as they are supposed to, it is called sensory integration dysfunction (SID).

More information about Sensory Integration.

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