How can a child benefit from occupational therapy? Many people, even parents, don’t realize that the primary occupation of a child is play. As a child plays, they build gross and fine motor skills, social skills, visual skills, and intellectual abilities.

Additionally, occupational therapy helps children develop the skills they will need to take care of themselves. Occupational therapy also focuses on teaching children how to dress, wash, write, and feed themselves. The goal is always enabling a child to achieve the highest level of independence they can.

What Kind of Activities Are Used in Pediatric Occupational Therapy?

At Little Hands at Play Therapy, our occupational therapy activities may look like just fun games, but each activity is designed to help develop one or more specific abilities in your child.

We have a choice of literally hundreds of different purposeful games we can play with your child. The more fun and interesting the activity, the more your child will engage with it. Every achievement and advancement is met with praise and celebration that further motivates children to do their best to win at each game.

Here are some examples of activities we use in our occupational therapy:

  • Zipper and button board manipulation
  • Molding clay
  • Crafting such as cutting and gluing
  • Digging in sand, dry beans, or shaving cream
  • Drawing, coloring, and writing stories
  • Moving objects by blowing on them through straws
  • Hitting a target with a toy or beanbag
  • Proprioceptive and vestibular activities
  • Use of feeding utensils

A wide array of activities not only develops more motor skills and dexterity, but it also provides a diverse selection of sensory experiences for your child. The wider the child’s tolerances to varied sensory experiences, the calmer they can remain in life.

Pediatric Occupational Therapy Evaluations

Are you concerned about your child’s progress? Occupational therapy can improve their independence, motor control, hand-eye coordination, self-control, and self-confidence. Please call us to request an evaluation of your child’s need for this therapy.

We have extensive experience with children with medical conditions. For example:

  • Brain or spinal cord injuries at birth or later
  • Autism
  • Spina bifida
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Down syndrome
  • Learning or intellectual delays
  • Birth defects
  • Surgeries
  • Seizure disorders

For some children without a distinct medical problem, it can be caused by behavioral problems with a developmental delay. They may refuse to care for or feed themselves or interact positively with others. They may not understand the concept of creative play. With a gradual approach, kindness, and making every activity interesting, these barriers can be overcome.

Assessing Improvement with Every Play Session

As the goal of occupational therapy is improvement, your child’s therapist always monitors play activities to ensure that the skills they have today are better than the previous week. And while your child plays, their therapist watches closely for important signs that indicate deficits that need to be addressed for optimum development.

For example:

  • The positions of hands and wrists while playing
  • How the child sits
  • Which activities are the most frustrating
  • Which sensory experiences they like or dislike
  • Poor core and upper extremity strengthening
  • Poor balance or posture
  • Lack of hand-eye coordination
  • And many others

As you can see, every episode of play has many layers of potential improvement.

If you have been searching online for pediatric occupational therapy near you, you have found the best pediatric clinics in the Fort Smith and Fayetteville, AR, areas. We invite you to call Little Hands at Play Therapy for an evaluation and explanation of the benefits your child can receive from occupational therapy. Please call us to schedule an appointment: 479-226-3409.

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