The purpose of pediatric occupational therapy is to help children become independent in all areas of life. An occupational therapist can assist kids in developing the skills that occupy their days, such as eating and getting dressed. Children with developmental delays can make significant strides socially and emotionally by working with a therapist.

Here are just a few signs that your child might benefit from pediatric occupational therapy

1. Difficulty achieving age-appropriate developmental milestones. 

Occupational therapy can help children who show signs of developmental delays. For example, if your 1-year-old isn’t crawling yet or if your 2-year-old can’t walk steadily, you should consult a medical professional about possible developmental issues. You can learn more about red flags for potential developmental delays for kids ages 1-5 from this blog entry  

2. Issues with fine motor skills. 

Some children struggle with tasks that require strength, control, and dexterity of the small hand muscles. Kids who have trouble with fine motor skills will have a difficult time with tasks like using scissors, drawing, stringing beads, and using utensils, according to the Child Mind Institute. If fine motor skill issues aren’t addressed, a child with delays in this area could have a hard time performing essential activities like writing and using computers at school.

3. Trouble with gross motor skills. 

Occupational therapy can also help children who have trouble with gross motor skills, which involve the major muscle groups, the Child Mind Institute states. Kids experiencing gross motor skill issues will have difficulties related to balance, strength, endurance and coordination – which can affect their ability to climb stairs, walk, hop, and play catch, among other activities.

4. Sensory processing problems. 

Children with sensory processing disorders can benefit from pediatric occupational therapy. If your child seems to overreact to touch, taste, sounds, or smells, that’s a common sign that he or she could have sensory processing issues and might need occupational therapy, according to EverydayFamily. Kids with sensory processing problems might also display under-sensitivity and keep seeking out sensations by moving around and touching everything constantly.

Overall, occupational therapy can help children with a range of conditions. Our pediatric occupational therapists at Little Steps specialize in but aren’t limited to the following:

  •  Birth injuries or defects
  • Traumatic injuries
  • Developmental delays
  • Post-surgical conditions
  • Autism/pervasive developmental disorders
  • Hand injuries
  • Sensory processing disorders
  • Chronic illnesses

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