Children with genetic disorders, neurological issues, mental or physical disabilities, Autism or Pervasive Developmental Disorders or Sensory Integration Dysfunction will benefit from pediatric therapy services.
According to the American Occupational Therapy Association, “occupational therapy is a healthy and rehabilitation profession that helps individuals achieve independence in their lives despite disabilities.” Occupational Therapy is treatment that is meant to improve an individual’s quality of life, by helping him/her gain the ability to complete tasks independently. This type of therapy examines a child’s different skills, including emotional, muscular and neurological. By developing each of these functional skills. A child is able to complete tasks independently. Children struggling with motor and mental disabilities or other behavioral issues, typically benefit from Occupational therapy.
How do I know if my infant/toddler needs occupational therapy services?
Infants and toddlers experiencing multiple problems in this list would benefit from occupational therapy.
- Easily startled
- Poor muscle tone
- Uses one side of their body differently
- Constantly fussy
- Unable to bang toys together
- Slow to roll over, creep, sit or stand
- Difficulty babbling
- Avoids exploring their environment
- Inability to build a tower with blocks
- Frequent fisting of hands after six months
- Does not enjoy lying on stomach
- Dislikes bathing
- Tenses when being held
- Does not like being held/cuddled
- Struggles sucking
- Has trouble sleeping
- Is not engaged with his/her primary caregivers
How do I know if my preschool child needs occupational therapy?
Preschool children experiencing multiple problems in this list would benefit from occupational therapy.
- Does not want to be involved in age-appropriate activities
- Noticeably weak
- Trouble balancing (constantly falling)
- Runs into things or people
- Breaks things easily
- Does not enjoy completing puzzles, coloring in the lines
- Slow language development
- Very hyper or very underactive
- Does not enjoy lying on stomach
- Dislikes bathing, cuddling, or haircuts
- Overreacts to touch, taste, sounds and/or odors
- Does not enjoy playing on the playground
- Trouble sleeping
How do I know if my Elementary school-age child needs occupational therapy?
Elementary School aged children (5-12 years old) experiencing multiple problems in this list would benefit from occupational therapy.
- Seems weaker or tires more easily than his/her peers
- Clumsy, bumps into things
- Reluctant to participate in physical activities or sports
- Seems to have difficulty learning new tasks or multi-step tasks
- Difficulty with jumping, skipping or running
- Difficulty with drawing, coloring and/or cutting
- Poor handwriting- print or cursive
- Poor grasp on tools- pencil, markers, spoons and/or forks
- Difficulty with independence in dressing- tying shoes, fasteners
- Overly sensitive to sensory stimuli- touch, sounds, vision
- Unaware of sensory stimuli- unaware of being touched, decreased pain response, impulsive, accident prone, takes risks
- Fearful of moving through space
- Fearful of having feet off the ground
- Always on the go
- Difficulty with completing puzzles, playing board games
- Difficulty with copying tasks- copying from black board
- Difficulty with following directions
- Poor organization skills or time management
- Easily frustrated
- Difficulty getting along with peers
- Difficulty with transitions
Speech Language Therapy
Speech- language pathology is the profession that provides clinical services and undertakes prevention, advocacy, education, administration, and research in the areas of communication and swallowing across the life span, from infancy through the geriatric stage.
According to the American Speech and Hearing Association, “Speech language pathology services are those services necessary for the diagnosis and treatment of swallowing (dysphagia), speech-language, and cognitive communication disorders that result in communication disabilities. Speech-language pathologists treat disorders of speech sound production (e.g., articulation, apraxia, dysarthria), resonance (e.g., hypernasality, hyponasality), voice (e.g., phonation quality, pitch, respiration), fluency (e.g., stuttering), language (e.g., comprehension, expression, pragmatics, semantics, syntax), cognition (e.g., attention, memory, problem solving, executive functioning), and feeding and swallowing (e.g., oral, pharyngeal, and esophageal stages).” (ASHA, 20073)
How do I know if my infant/toddler needs speech therapy services?
Infants and toddlers (birth-36 months) experiencing multiple problems in this list would benefit from speech therapy.
- Recurring or constant ear infections
- Does not startle to loud noises, does not look in the direction of localized sounds
- Does not coo/babble as an infant
- Failure to respond to simple request (i.e., “come here”, “want more”?)
- Does not use gestures to communicate (i.e., waving hi/bye, holding arms out to be picked up)
- Inability to recognize and understand commonly used words in the home (i.e., cup, shoe, book, juice)
- Is not combining vowels and consonants
- Does not play with toys the way they are intended to be played with
- Not able to sustain back and forth communication (gestures or verbal)
- Does not follow simple commands (i.e., “roll the ball”, “kiss the baby”, “where’s your shoe”)
- Produces few words and vocabulary is not increasing
- Does not combine 2-3 words
How do I know if my preschool child needs speech therapy?
Preschool children (3-5 years) experiencing multiple problems in this list would benefit from speech therapy.
- Speech is not understood by familiar listeners
- Does not use or understand words for numbers, colors and shapes
- Is not speaking as well as peers • Inability to answer simple questions (i.e., “who”, “what” and “where”)
- Difficulty explaining activities he/she experienced throughout the day • Does not ask who, what, when, where and why questions
- Difficulty talking fluently without repeating syllables or words
- Does not understand simple verbs, nouns, and adjectives.
- Sounds monotone/robotic
- Unable to sustain attention
How do I know if my school-age child needs speech therapy?
School-age children (5 years and older) experiencing multiple problems in this list would benefit from speech therapy.
- Does not understand basic concepts (i.e., before, after, big, little, more,less, first, next, last, etc.)
- Produces grammatical errors during conversation (i.e., verb tense, pronoun usage, prepositions and plurals)
- Leaves out sounds in words
- Difficulty telling a short story
- Inability to follow classroom instructions
- Has a difficult time making friends
- Difficulty understanding age-appropriate written materials
- Does not show appropriate behavior during social situations (i.e.,
- Greetings/farewells, eye contact, turn taking during conversations)