Pediatric Occupational Therapy
Occupational therapy is often thought of as something for adults, usually after an accident or surgery, to re-learn skills needed to go back to work.
For children and pediatric occupational therapy, the concept is similar; we believe that it is a child’s job to play and develop core strength skills that will last a lifetime. Sometimes, children need some help to strengthen their hand muscles before they learn how to tie their shoes, or they need to be exposed to new and messy activities to become accustomed to coping with situations they may run in to on a daily basis.
Does your child need an assessment?
If you’re not sure if the difficulties your child is facing are normal, look below at some of the common issues that can be addressed with occupational therapy.
- Difficulty winding down or self-calming
- Clumsy or uncoordinated
- Avoids movement (dislikes swings, etc.) or seeks out excessive movement (frequently jumping, crashing, etc.)
- Difficulties with transition and/or changes in routine
- Difficulties self-dressing, feeding themselves or other difficulties with fine motor skills
- Handwriting appear messy and ineligible
Pediatric Occupational therapy is something that may be able to help your child improve and expand their skill sets and set them up for success now and well into the future. If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of pediatric occupational therapy, here is a great resource from The American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.
Goodwin Therapy Specialists has locations in Fort Worth, Texas.
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Call us today to learn more about our philosophy for occupational therapy and how we can help your family.
Is Acting Out a sensory Issue or behavior Problem?
We’ve all had that moment at the store where we see a child on the floor crying, kicking and screaming as the mom is frantically working to get the child to stand up as her face turns red from embarrassment or anger.
Naturally, our first thought is usually something along the lines of “what a spoiled and/or misbehaved kid.” Maybe you’ve seen this scenario from the mom’s point of view as you’ve tried every trick you can think of to get your child to stop rolling around the floor as others are giving you THE stare.
The Question is “is it sensory or is it behavior problem?”
All children have temper tantrums and meltdowns as part of the normal development process, but what about that kid who has them on a regular basis?
- Are they acting out because they have a behavior problem?
- Maybe they haven’t had structure and routine in their daily life and have learned that throwing a fit will get them attention.
- Or maybe, their parents are at their wit’s end because they have tried all the tricks they know to stop the acting out behaviors but have been unsuccessful.
They have finally given in and changed their daily routines and limited taking the child out because they don’t know when a meltdown is going to occur, and it is causing too much stress on the family in public situations.
Some kids act out because they have a problem with self-regulation due to sensory issues. There are a number of children whose behaviors are an attempt to get the sensory input that their body is craving.
For example, the child that continues to climb on the furniture and jump off even though you’ve told them over and over to stop.
Others may act out in an attempt to avoid those sensory experiences that are hard for their body. This could be the child that takes forever to get dressed in the morning because the clothes that are laid out may be so uncomfortable that they hurt to wear. Other children may have meltdowns when they are overwhelmed by the amount of sensory stimulation.
To learn more about how the body processes sensory experiences click here.
Sometimes determining the why behind the behaviors can be difficult to do. Some kids don’t fit neatly into one category of behaviors. How can you decide the why of your child’s behaviors and what to do to help them?
Occupational therapists have been trained to assist families in determining the underlying cause of the behaviors. Once that foundational question has been answered, they can help to set up a positive behavioral support system. For the sensory-based behaviors, they can work to incorporate OT strategies that will help to normalize some of the overreactive responses or build in needed sensory experiences throughout the child’s daily routine.
Parents, let us help you work to make daily routines easier by helping your child and teaching you the tools you need when these behaviors do occur. We want you to be able to function as a family and make a trip to the grocery store a pleasant experience for you!