Top signs your child needs pediatric occupational therapy


If you’re unsure if your child needs occupational therapy, here are some top warning signs. Sensory issues, Developmental delays, Social interaction skills, and Autism spectrum disorder are all possible causes. When a child’s symptoms are severe and persistent, they may warrant occupational therapy. Delaying therapy can lead to poor school performance, poor social interaction, and limited speech. In addition, delayed therapy can lead to various other developmental issues.

Sensory issues

Children with sensory processing issues may exhibit oversensitivity to certain sensations. They may use excessive force during play or exhibit aggressive behaviours by accidentally pushing someone in front of them during a game of tag. They may also be oversensitive to noise or touch. It could mean they are not understanding or responding appropriately to their emotions. Occupational therapy can help them develop better emotional regulation skills. If you think your child is displaying any of these symptoms, you should seek help as soon as possible.

The ability to process information affects learning, social participation, self-regulation, and self-esteem. Sensory disorders adversely impact these functional domains. Symptoms of sensory disorders include difficulty with tactile discrimination, touch localization, graphesthesia, imitative postures, and bilateral motor coordination. When they occur simultaneously, they may be signs that your child may need pediatric occupational therapy.

Developmental delays

If a child is not meeting developmental milestones, it may be time to seek out OT. Your child might be slow to catch on or appear clumsy. Other behavioural signs include slowness, excessive whining, and irritability. Your pediatrician can assess your child’s development and connect you with an occupational therapist if necessary. Here are some signs that your child might benefit from OT.

A pediatric occupational therapist will assess a child’s development and provide intervention to improve their physical and mental functioning. Children who have developmental delays may have issues in fine motor skills, which are necessary for grasping pencils, playing with balls, or even toileting. Children may be unable to learn how to use objects properly or avoid playing certain types of games due to the delay in these skills. Occupational therapists focus on function, independent participation, and overall health.

Social interaction skills

If your child struggles with social interaction, they may need help understanding the rules of engagement. Some of the most common social skills your child may need are greeting others, using eye contact when speaking, understanding the flow of a conversation, and reading cues in body language. If your child exhibits any of these signs, they may need assistance. An occupational therapist can help by teaching your child social rules using role-play, modelling peers, and other creative techniques to make eye contact easier.

Occupational therapists use play-based evaluations to diagnose and treat children with developmental delays. These evaluations help the OT determine the child’s baseline abilities. These assessments may include standardized observations, clinical observations, and assessments of functional skills. 

Autism spectrum disorder

In addition to developmental delays, your child may also exhibit restricted or repetitive behaviours. One-third of children with autism have difficulty speaking, and ninety-four per cent of these children stop talking before they reach preschool age. Autism is not a life-limiting condition, and many people with the disorder lead fulfilling lives. While the symptoms of autism can vary greatly, most children with the disorder can still develop certain skills and enjoy an active life.

Occupational therapy for autism can help your child develop social skills, communicate with others, and improve their communication skills. It can also help your child develop appropriate play skills. If your child is exhibiting the signs of autism, consider contacting a licensed occupational therapist to help them achieve their potential. They can help your child develop these skills, improve confidence, and establish relationships with others. 

Brain injury

Children with a brain injury may have difficulty performing functional activities, such as getting dressed, tying shoelaces, or completing tasks. These activities require high levels of cognitive performance, coordination, planning, and regulation of sensory feedback. If the child has been injured, they may need occupational therapy to regain these skills and self-confidence. Occupational therapy may be necessary to help children with TBI regain normal function in daily life.

Children with brain injuries often experience new challenges as they grow. These injuries can make it difficult for children to learn new skills and may result in lifelong medical and rehabilitation treatment. Pediatric occupational therapists can help these children become comfortable with new challenges and achieve their goals. Because learning new skills is not always fun, children may become frustrated, irritable, or feel frustrated. They are trained to encourage children to be successful and make the process fun. Check this link to learn more about occupational therapy!

Occupational therapy for children affected by a brain injury can improve cognitive and physical development. Occupational therapists are trained to treat a variety of physical disabilities.


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