Promoting Children’s Engagement in Everyday Life                                                Through Skilled Occupational Therapy Services 
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“Play is our brain’s favorite way of learning.”  ~  Diane Ackerman

Gross Motor Skills

Sensory Processing

Activities involving the use of the body's large muscles contribute to efficient proprioceptive processing, strength, endurance, and a calm, focused "ready to learn" state.
Activities involving movement help promote efficient vestibular processing and modulation which impact balance, posture, coordination, and emotional regulation.

Play Skills

Fine Motor Skills

Joyful exploration of objects and environments reinforces a child's intrinsic motivation to play which promotes learning, development, healthy self concept, and interaction with peers.
The postural control, coordination, and endurance needed for fine motor activities like handwriting rely on effectively functioning foundational sensory and gross motor systems.
Pediatric occupational therapy involves evaluation and treatment of children of all abilities with and without diagnoses who have difficulty with independently participating in age-appropriate daily activities. These difficulties may be due to developmental delay, illness, injury, neurological differences in sensory and/or motor systems, significant life events, and/or other causes. Daily activities impacted may include:  dressing, eating, sleeping, individual and family routines, pre-school/school participation, play in a variety of environments, social interaction with peers and/or adults, and more.​

As a pediatric occupational therapy provider, OT4LIFE uses play during therapy sessions as a primary way to address children’s underlying challenges in order to help them grow in skill and independence with activities that are difficult for them. OT4LIFE collaborates with families to develop meaningful goals to promote each child’s engagement in everyday life by addressing areas of concern identified during the evaluation process.

Common areas of concern observed during occupational therapy evaluation of children include:

  • Decreased postural control (Which impacts activities such as the ability to sit still and to write legibly)
  • Decreased balance
  • Decreased safety and/or spatial awareness
  • Difficulty with emotional regulation
  • Decreased attention to task at home and/or school
  • Poor ideation, motor planning, and/or execution (Known as praxis, difficulty with these skills impacts engagement in active play, leads to avoidance of certain activities, and tends to involve taking an excessive amount of time to complete simple tasks such as dressing or cutting with scissors.)
  • Decreased bilateral motor coordination (This impacts age-appropriate skill development during activities such as play with balls, eye-hand coordination with sports, riding a bike, fine motor activities in school, and eating with utensils.)
  • Poor Executive Function skills (Often even very intelligent children are unable to plan, organize, understand what is important in a conversation or story, manage time, or hold a thought while working on something else.)
  • Difficulty with daily activities (Such as brushing teeth, getting dressed, feeding, falling and/or staying asleep, etc. . .)
  • Decreased social skills with peers and/or adults
  • Tactile, Vestibular, and/or Proprioceptive processing or modulation difficulties impacting all of the above

“​Listen to the MUSTN’TS, child,
Listen to the DON’TS
Listen to the SHOULDN’TS
Listen to the NEVER HAVES
Then listen close to me—
Anything can happen, child,
ANYTHING can be.”

From Where the Sidewalk Ends  ~  Shel Silverstein