When should a parent pursue Speech Therapy for their child?
Consider pediatric Occupational Therapy if your child:
Birth to 2 months:
- Does not grasp objects placed near palm
- Does not follow an object with his eyes
- Keeps their hands closed almost all of the time
- Frequently resists being held
- Becomes upset when moved, as when being picked up, laying them down or handing them from one familiar person to another
- Does not swipe at or reach for objects
- Does not bring hands or objects to his mouth
- Is frequently irritable for no apparent reason
- Does not place both hands on his bottle while being fed
- Does not hold his own bottle
- Doesn’t smile at his image in a mirror
- Involuntarily drops objects after only a few minutes
- Does not actively grasp large finger foods, such as teething cookies, after placement on the highchair tray
- Is excessively and consistently upset by leaving the home
- Does not transfer an object from one hand to the other
- Is not beginning to pick up small objects
- Does not poke with index finger
- Is not accepting a variety of food textures
- Is excessively upset with the dressing process, receiving a new diaper, bathing or having hair groomed
- Isn’t able to pick up a Cheerio or other small object with the tip of the thumb and the tip of the index finger
- Is not sleeping through the night most of the time
- Is not interested in exploring toys made for one-year-olds
- Is excessively upset by sounds of a siren, barking dog, vacuum cleaner or other familiar loud noises
- Cannot pass an object from one hand to the other
- Cannot pick up small objects
- Cannot put a one inch object into a container with a slightly bigger opening
- Cannot stack two cubes
- Cannot put a round form into a round shape on a puzzle
- Has a hard time picking up small objects
- Cannot point to a few of the following body parts: eyes, nose, mouth, hair, tummy, legs, feet and hands
- Cannot turn pages of a cardboard book, or regular small book, two or three pages at a time
- Cannot stack four cubes
- Plays with toys only by tapping, shaking or throwing
- Cannot unscrew top of a one inch or two inch bottle
- Cannot remove socks, untie shoes or pull on pants without help
- Cannot build tower of six blocks
- Does not use utensils well
- Cannot imitate drawing a vertical line or a circular scribble on paper immediately after seeing an adult draw these lines
- Cannot stack eight to ten cubes
- Cannot imitate drawing a horizontal line immediately after seeing an adult draw a horizontal line
- Cannot remove or pull on clothing after undoing the fasteners
- Does not imitate the actions of adults in the home
- Does not pretend during play
- Does not demonstrate grasp on a crayon
- Is not using utensils properly
- Cannot complete 5-6 piece puzzle
- Cannot build a tower of nine blocks
36-48 months (3-4 years):
- Is not able to snip with scissors
- Is not grasping and scribbling with marker
- Is unable to button or unbutton clothes
- Is unable to assist with zipping
- Is unable to copy simple shapes (circle, cross)
48-60 (4-5 years):
- Is unable to put on socks
- Is unable to pull pants on/off
- Is unable to color in between lines
- Is unable to cut simple shapes (circle, square)
- Does not care for self at toilet (may need help after bowel movement)
Occupational Therapists provide therapy for the following:
- Autism spectrum disorders
- Developmental Coordination Disorder – a neurological disorder where the brain does not send accurate signals to the body with regards to movement and coordination.
- Sensory Processing Disorder is characterized by the inability to organize sensations from the body and the environment causing much difficulty in areas of daily living.
- Sensory-motor disorders: Dyspraxia- Tactile, Visual, Vestibular, and Proprioceptive; Postural Disorder- Oral Motor, Ocular Motor, Vestibular Motor, Proprioceptive Motor, Interoceptive Motor
- Developmental disabilities
- Fine motor and visual motor delays that directly affect academic performance
- Self-care skills including feeding, dressing and grooming
- Hand strengthening and coordination skills required for activities such as cutting with scissors, coloring, and writing, buttoning, using feeding utensils, etc.
- Sensory-motor processing and integration
- Visual motor and handwriting skills
Occupational Therapy works on fine motor skills such as the small muscles in the hand. When there is not enough strength in the hand, a child may have difficulty writing or
Some fun techniques used by therapists to strengthen muscle control in the hands include: using tweezers to pick up small objects, picking up coins off the table, lacing, Lite Brite, and popping bubble wrap.
The Importance of Occupational Therapy for Children
Pediatric Occupational Therapy is an individualized therapy service that helps children carry out daily tasks. When your child receives Occupational Therapy services from Communication Corner and More, our clinicians will lead them through engaging activities and games so they will have fun while developing essential skills. Our team will personalize your child’s Occupational Therapy treatment plan and perform frequent assessments to see how to best meet your child’s needs.
Short-Term Benefits of Occupational Therapy
During an Occupational Therapy session, your child and their therapist will work through exercises designed to help your child improve general skills, such as hand-eye coordination, or focus on one specific skill, such as brushing their teeth. We cater each session to your child’s interests, so they feel excited to learn new skills.
As your child begins attending regular sessions, you may start to notice improvements in their coordination and self-help skills. Some additional short-term benefits of Occupational Therapy for children include:
- Help with assistive technology: Our Occupational Therapists can determine whether your child would benefit from assistive technology, such as adaptive scissors or dressing aids, to help them learn and perform daily tasks.
- Improve strength and stability: During your child’s therapy sessions, they may work with their therapist to improve their strength and stability to move around their environments with ease.
- Enhance social and play skills: Occupational Therapy can help your child learn skills such as functional play, taking turns and understanding social cues, which allow them to play and communicate with their peers effectively.
- Receive caregiver education: As a comprehensive Occupational Therapy location, Communication Corner and More can provide resources for parents, caregivers and educators to continue supporting the child in between therapy sessions.
- Refine motor skills: Occupational Therapy services can help your child refine their fine and gross motor skills and work toward goals like buttoning a shirt or catching a ball with ease.
Long-Term Benefits of Occupational Therapy
Occupational Therapy can also help your child develop skills they will use throughout their life, such as self-care habits or overcoming sensory processing sensitivities. As your child learns and performs new skills during their therapy sessions, they may become more confident in themselves, leading to greater independence.
The long-term benefits your child may experience include:
- Learning essential lifelong skills such as grooming themselves or using utensils.
- Developing eating habits such as chewing or overcoming an aversion to certain foods for successful eating.
- Enhancing their ability to organize and interpret visual data and give it a contextually accurate meaning.
- Increasing independence in daily living activities such as feeding and dressing.
- Improving executive function skills such as attention and memory to help your child improve their academic performance and complete daily routines.
Contact Communication Corner and More Today
At Communication Corner and More, we can help your child learn the skills they need for greater independence and improved quality of life. Our Occupational Therapists will work with your child to develop a treatment plan to meet their specific goals. Please complete our contact form below or contact us by phone at 813-973-1033 to learn more about our pediatric Occupational Therapy services in Lutz and New Tampa, Florida.
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Attention currently enrolled families: Please do NOT use this form to request changes to your schedule or to cancel appointments. You may contact our office by directly emailing: Support@speechtherapytampa.com or by calling us at: 813-973-1033. We will not accept this form to process your requests regarding schedules and/or appointments.