What is Occupational Therapy? Pediatric Occupational Therapy focuses on giving children the tools they need to gain independence and actively participate in occupations or activities that are meaningful to them and their families. A child’s “occupation” is to learn, play, participate in school and community activities, and become independent in self-help skills. Children rely on parents, caregivers, and teachers to foster healthy development. For this reason, pediatric Occupational Therapy focuses on supporting both the child and their families to develop the sensory, cognitive, motor, and physical skills children need for successful participation in everyday life.
Occupational Therapy at Blue Bird Day, Eyas Landing, and Merlin Day Academy takes a holistic approach to treatment with a strong emphasis on the child’s values, interests, and motivations. Occupational Therapy is the foundation of the intensive inter-professional environment that collaborates to produce complete and cohesive treatment plans for each child. Therapists take a client-centered approach by meeting the child at their level and building trusting relationships that encourage participation to achieve goals. Therapists also work with the entire family unit, conducting caregiver interviews, observations, and parent coaching. Evidence-based strategies, such as DIR/Floortime, Intentional Relationship Model, therapeutic listening, reflex integration, sensory integration, and Handwriting Without Tears are all incorporated to maximize therapeutic outcomes.
What are some Occupational Therapy treatment activities? Occupational Therapists have their clients engage in activities that target the development of fine motor skills, peer play, sensory integration, sequencing, and body awareness. Clients engage in gross and fine motor play such as sensory motor, motor planning, obstacle courses, and endurance activities, as well as cooperative play with turn taking, problem solving, motor planning, self-regulation, and ideation. Crafts target the development of fine motor skills and help clients practice sequencing. Occupational Therapists also teach their clients self-regulation techniques including breathing exercises, mindfulness, and zones of regulation.
What are some treatment goals of Occupational Therapy? The goal for Occupational Therapy services at Eyas Landing, Blue Bird Day, and Merlin Day Academy is to provide client-centered therapy to address the child’s functioning in a variety of settings so they can achieve their highest level of independence. Therapists strive to increase the child’s overall independence across all environments and support families in building routines and roles that allow for children to interact and participate in their environments. You know your family best and our Occupational Therapists work with you to meet the goals you have for your child and family. Goals are centered on developing sensory integrative skills to build a foundation for higher cognitive and social emotional skill achievement. The whole child is viewed to ensure each child has the capacity to achieve the demand of the task and find the just right challenge.
What perspectives do Occupational Therapists bring to the multidisciplinary teams at Eyas Landing, Blue Bird Day, and Merlin Day Academy? Occupational Therapists are experts in understanding the influence of the person, environment, and occupation and work with children and families to promote sensory integration, motor skills, and social interactions. Occupational Therapy focuses on supporting both the child and their family to develop the sensory, cognitive, motor, and physical skills children need for successful participation in everyday life.
What education requirements are there for Occupational Therapists? Occupational Therapists obtain a Master’s or Doctorate degree and state licensure and certification to become a practitioner. We also provide continuing education, mentorship, and professional development for all our therapy teams to continue to develop their skills. Eyas Landing, Blue Bird Day, and Merlin Day Academy’s Occupational Therapists work on our multi-disciplinary therapy team to provide a balanced approach to your child’s therapeutic needs.