The Importance of Pediatric Occupational Therapy

Pediatric occupational therapy can be extremely beneficial for children with physical impairments and help them lead normal lives. Occupational therapists asses and treat individuals with disorders, whether mental, cognitive, or physical and who struggle with daily living and basic work skills as a result of their disorder. The goal of occupational therapists is to help them overcome challenges they face on a day-to-day basis and lead more independent lives. Pediatric occupational therapists tend to have a great love for children and an immense amount of compassion. Occupational therapy is especially beneficial for children. As soon as warning signs begin to show a child having difficulty with daily tasks, they should be referred to pediatric occupational therapy. Starting therapy early on will make it easier for the child to overcome their challenges and develop new skills.
One warning sign of the need for pediatric occupational therapy is overreaction to touch, smells, or certain sounds. This can indicate a sensory disorder. An overreaction to stimuli might indicate that the child has a hard time handling change and may be easily distracted by sounds and sights. Children can also have an under reaction to stimuli and have a very high pain tolerance. These over and under reactive responses mean that the child's brain cannot properly receive sensory information and create an appropriate response. Pediatric occupational therapy can assist children in helping them cope with their symptoms.
Another warning sign parents should watch for is poor coordination and lack of motor skills. The parent may notice frequent falling, tripping, or lack of balance. Pediatric occupational therapists can help the child improve their coordination through a variety of exercises. Fine motor skills help children complete tasks such as holding a pencil or crayon, writing their name, grasping a pair of scissors, or folding a piece of paper. Children with poor motor skills may avoid doing activities at school in which they would be required to exhibit any of these skills. The child might become overwhelmed and frustrated trying to manipulate small puzzles, games, or objects as their lack of fine motor skills affect this ability. Daily tasks like buttoning a shirt, holding a fork, or tying their shoes can also be extremely difficult. An occupational therapist will work tirelessly with the child until they have strengthened their motor skills to be able to better perform these simple tasks.
Lastly, lack of initiation is another warning sign that may indicate a child would benefit from pediatric occupational therapy. Social skills are necessary for a full life and successful future. A child suffering with social skills may refrain from engaging in or initiating interactions with family members and peers. They will also fail to initiate in social groups and prefer to observe rather than participate. Pediatric occupational therapy can also help children improve their social skills. Occupational therapists will assess and determine the proper methods of treatment to help their patients .

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