Occupational therapy focuses on a child's ability to participate in daily activities or "occupations." Whether it be a baby learning to reach and grasp a rattle or hold their bottle, a toddler stacking blocks or completing a puzzle, a preschooler learning to use utensils or hold a crayon and imitate lines on paper or a school-aged child learning to dress themselves, write or use scissors, occupational therapy can help develop these skills through the use of functional activities, accommodations, and modifications designed to maximize a child's ability to perform these 'occupations."
An occupational therapist evaluates a child's fine motor skills, cognitive skills, visual perceptual skills, visual motor skills, handwriting skills, self-help skills, play skills, motor coordination and sensory processing abilities. Children who have needs in any of these areas would benefit from an evaluation by an occupational therapist to determine strengths and deficits and design a treatment plan to assist in developing skills in the identified deficit areas. Occupational therapy also focuses on parent and caregiver education and training.
Below is a list of common conditions which often benefit from occupational therapy:
Autism Spectrum Disorders
Hypertonia and Hypotonia
Motor Planning Difficulties
Sensory Processing Difficulties and Disorders
Speech therapy focuses on a child's ability to both produce sounds to express wants and needs and the ability to understand what is being said to them. Whether it be a baby learning to coo and babble, a toddler that is learning to say his or her first words or understand simple commands, a preschooler learning to string words together to express simple sentences, or a school-aged child carrying on a conversation, speech therapy can help develop these skills. Language disorders can be either receptive or expressive. Receptive disorders refer to difficulties in understanding or processing language. Expressive disorders include difficulty putting words together, limited vocabulary, or inability to use language in a socially appropriate way.
A speech therapist evaluates a child's ability to produce sounds and syllables in order to say words, a child's fluency or flow of speech (abnormal stoppages, repetitions or prolonged sounds and syllables) and resonance or voice disorders including problems with the pitch, volume or quality of a child's voice that distract listeners from what's being said.
Below is a list of common conditions which often benefit from speech therapy: