What is an Occupational Therapy (OT)?

An occupational therapist works to improve your child’s fine motor development.  Fine motor means small movement, often it is how your child’s hands manipulate an object.  It is how they pick up an object, color or write, perform self-care activities, and perceive their environment through their senses.

 An occupational therapist assists your child to perform activities of daily living (ADL), such as manipulating toys in play, writing, dressing, feeding, bathing, and working.  An occupational therapist will evaluate your child’s trunk and upper body strength, joint range of motion, muscle tone, skin integrity, fine motor milestones, eye-hand coordination, manipulation of objects within their hands, sensory (sight, smell, hearing, touch, taste) awareness, and activities of daily living.  The therapist, along with your input, will develop goals for your child and a plan of how to achieve these goals.  Therapy sessions are typically geared towards functional activities that your child should be performing, such as playing, dressing, self-feeding, bathing, coloring, writing, craft projects, and work activities.  Occupational therapists will sometimes use assistive devices to perform ADLs, big therapy ball, bolsters, wedges, and swings during therapy.

The web site for the American Occupational Therapy Association can be found at www.aota.org.