A Pediatric Occupational Therapist is a specialist who is an expert in the normal development process. They can identify and measure through observation and testing where a child falls in his cognitive and motor skill levels. When development appears below age expectations, or if a child has a specific disability, the pediatric occupational therapist designs a program of play activities to help support the developmental process and help a child reach critical milestones.
An Occupational Therapist is skilled at assessing a child’s level of function in areas such as fine and gross motor, visual perception, visual motor, self-cares/activities of daily living, feeding and sensory processing.
A problem in development can happen for many reasons. Some examples are a physical or learning disability, a developmental disorder such as Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome, a genetic condition such as Down Syndrome, a brain injury, premature birth, or a medical condition. Sometimes children experience general developmental delays that do not appear to result from any known factor.
Many children see an occupational therapist. Most have difficulty performing everyday activities like dressing, tying shoes, feeding themselves, paying attention, writing, drawing, or coloring in the lines.
A child may participate in occupational therapy in order to maximize his or her independence in the home, school and community environments. In addition, an Occupational Therapist is trained in assessing the need for adaptive equipment and technology, and making the appropriate recommendations.