When a child struggles with their motor skills, completing everyday tasks, and social skills, they may benefit from routine occupational therapy sessions. Occupational therapy uses evidence-based techniques and activities designed to help children improve their ability to participate in their own self-care and become more confident.
Does My Child Need Occupational Therapy?
Your child’s pediatrician should mention any concerns or developmental delays at your child’s routine checkups. If you are concerned, you can always consult your pediatrician and get their opinion. You can also call us at (318) 746-1199 and ask about our free developmental screening, and our therapists will be happy to go over your concerns.
The following are signs that your child may need occupational therapy:
- They are behind on the developmental milestones for their age group.
- They have trouble with gross motor skills like balance, hand-eye coordination, or rolling over.
- They have trouble with fine motor skills like feeding themselves, drawing, or getting dressed.
- They struggle with sensory processing, such as an aversion to certain sounds or colors.
- They have trouble in social situations like not understanding how to play with others or not understanding how other people feel.
- They have cognitive delays, such as trouble with memory or attention span.
Additionally, children with certain muscular, skeletal, nerve, cognitive, or genetic conditions that impact their daily life will often benefit from occupational therapy. These conditions include, but are not limited to:
- Cerebral palsy.
- Down syndrome.
- Injury or surgery.
- Muscular dystrophy.
What Is an Occupational Therapy Session Like?
We want children to feel encouraged and like they accomplished something great every time they visit us. To that end, our occupational therapy sessions will look and feel a lot like playtime. This benefits your child because it makes their therapy time something to look forward to, and they usually enjoy participating in the therapy activities.
What the children don’t realize right away is that the activities their therapist does with them are specifically chosen to target the child’s needs, goals, and interests. For example, a child with cerebral palsy may have trouble getting dressed on their own — but they want to feel independent and grown-up, and they want to make the people in their life proud by getting dressed all by themselves.
Our therapists will determine what the exact difficulties are that prevent the child from being able to dress themselves. Maybe they have difficulty bending their arms, or maybe they struggle with tying knots. Then we will develop activities and exercises that the child can practice which will help them build the skills needed to get dressed on their own. With enough practice and encouragement, they’ll be able to do it — and that success will motivate them to keep learning more skills and building their independence.
How Do I Schedule an Occupational Therapy Evaluation?
Our therapists will need a referral from your child’s pediatrician to evaluate and treat your child. If you don’t have one, don’t worry! Our staff can help coordinate this and get you a referral so your child can receive treatment.
When you’re ready to make an appointment for your child, call our office at (318) 746-1199 to speak to our Intake Coordinator. She will be able to answer your questions, and she will send you an email with online forms to fill out.
Once you have completely filled out the forms, including your insurance information, our Intake Coordinator will contact you to schedule your child’s initial evaluation appointment and go over any other important details with you.
Ready to get started? Call us at (318) 746-1199 today!