4 Signs Your Child Might Need Pediatric Occupational Therapy

Pediatric occupational therapy For kids, playing is their occupation. It helps them explore the world around them, learn to interact with it and develop essential life skills that will allow them to connect with others and do things independently one day.

Some children have trouble mastering the skills that will allow them to investigate and navigate their environment on their own. They might experience issues with fine or gross motor skills, sensory processing, visual-perceptual skills, and other abilities. In those cases, pediatric occupational therapy can make a big difference.

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, according to the Child Mind Institute.

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

To learn more, feel free to contact us today by calling 847-707-6744 or emailing info@littlestepspt.com. If your child needs occupational therapy, our compassionate therapists can help him or her achieve independence, grow, learn and thrive in various environments.

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10 Responses to 4 Signs Your Child Might Need Pediatric Occupational Therapy

  1. Ally Day says:

    Great article and very well explained. I believe in professionals so this is a very useful article for everyone. Many thanks for your share.

  2. Amanda Drew says:

    My young son has always struggled to draw, and I thought it was just because he’s a toddler. But when I compared his drawing with a number of his peers, it was not nearly as good. It’s good to know that his difficulty with this task might mean that he has problems with his fine motor skills. I should find a pediatric therapy clinic to take him to address this.

  3. Braden Bills says:

    I always thought that occupational therapy was only for older folks. It’s incredible that kids can benefit from it, too! It makes sense that kids struggling with developing motor skills could really use the help.

  4. My friend mentioned to me the other day that she is worried about her child since she has a sensitivity to sensory. In the article, you mentioned that seeing a therapist could be helpful for her since she overreacts to certain senses. Do you have any tips on how my friend could find a good therapist?

  5. I like how you mentioned that if issues in kids aren’t addressed early on they could struggle with basic tasks. My son is struggling right now writing, but I don’t know how much help he needs. I would be definitely interested in at least meeting with a pediatric.

  6. It’s nice to learn that there are these pediatric speech therapies for toddlers who are having issues with achieving an age-appropriate milestone like talking or any motor skills. I’ll refer this to my brother since my nephew is already at age 1 but still haven’t spoken his first word. Hopefully, a pediatric speech therapist will be able to aid him in his early development stages. Thanks for the informative article about pediatric speech therapists!

  7. Braden Bills says:

    I’ve always been aware of occupational therapy, but I never knew that it was an option for kids! Maybe it would be a good idea for me to have my kid do it, since he’s been having a hard time using things like forks and pencils. It’s nice that there are therapies to help with this kind of thing.

  8. My friend was telling me just the other day that her 2 year old hasn’t started walking yet. It was interesting to me how you pointed out that consulting with an occupational therapist is important if your childhood has difficulty achieving certain age milestones. I’ll definitely let my friend know that she ought to look at working with an occupational therapist if her child continues to struggle learning how to walk.

  9. Braden Bills says:

    My son has been having a hard time using his hands as well as other kids. It makes sense that he might need to have occupational therapy done! It’s nice that that can help him learn how to use his body better.

  10. It’s fantastic that pediatric therapy can help children who might display signs of developmental delays. My brother has been telling me about how his son has difficulty crawling, and I think this might be a great way to help him. I’ll be sure to pass this information along to him so that he can look further into his options for therapy for his son.

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