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Occupational Therapy

What is 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 a Pediatric Occupational Therapist?

An occupational therapist is someone who specializes in working with individuals that are limited in

 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 functional grasp on the pencil, and having trouble with size and spacing of their letters. 

  • They have trouble learning how to carryout activities of daily living such as dressing or feeding themselves.

  • 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, SOS feeding, and kineseotaping.


What programs do you offer?


What is Sensory Integration and Sensory Integration Dysfunction?

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." When the systems do not function as they are supposed to, it is called sensory integration dysfunction (SID). 

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