Pediatric Occupational Therapy
Milestone's pediatric occupational therapists help children develop the underlying skills necessary for learning and performing day to day activities at home, in school, and in other social environments. Pediatric occupational therapy helps children develop enhanced sensory processing skills, organizational skills, adaptive play skills, motor planning, and visual motor skills needed for motor development, learning and healthy behavior.
These include the following:
• body awareness (proprioceptive sense)
• coordination of movements between the two sides of the body ("crossing the midline")
• fine motor control
• motor planning
• motor movements and coordination
• gross motor coordination
• visual perceptual skills
• visual motor control
• sensory modulation
• organizational skills
• age appropriate self-help skills such as dressing
• handwriting skills
The work of a pediatric occupational therapist involves analyzing and treating skeletal, neuromuscular or cognitive restrictions of their young patients. It also includes helping them in developing their interaction and communication skills, refinement of fine motor skills and educating them in self-care. Kids can benefit from occupational therapy if they have poor coordination, decreased balance ("clumsiness"), low muscle tone or strength, difficulty with handwriting, awkward grasp or clumsy use of crayons, pencils, scissors, or other tools and utensils, have been diagnosed with a learning disability, difficulty completing tasks that seem easily attained by peers, decreased attention or ability to participate in age appropriate activities, decreased visual skills including visual perceptual skills and visual motor skills, sensory processing difficulties or difficulties with feeding including food aversions or a limited diet.
Patience and persistence are important traits that all therapists with Milestone display. For example, many of our patients are too young to understand verbal instructions, so games and mirroring are often incorporated in the therapy. This will help to engage their interest and cooperation. It is imperative to have the commitment and support of the family as well, which is why home programming is a staple of any successful outcome at MST. This home programming will educate and reinforce specific skills and behaviors which will be used to improve and facilitate the child's performance and long term functioning.