Pediatric Occupational Therapy: A Parent's Guide

Seeing your child suffer because they cannot achieve the same things as other children their age physically is incredibly disheartening as a parent. Whether your child suffers from a condition they've had since birth, such as spina bifida, or they have a physical injury that has led to orthopedic limitations, pediatric occupational therapy (POT) can be a great help. If you have never had experience with POT, you are bound to want to know more about how this can help your child. Here are a few of the most common questions parents tend to have about POT and the answers you should know. 

What exactly is pediatric occupational therapy?

This form of therapy is geared toward helping children who have physical limitations. The primary focus of this type of therapy is helping children develop: 

  • fine motor skills
  • sensory skills 
  • visual skills
  • coordination 

While the physical therapy is the founding reason for the treatment centers available, many children who go to these facilities for help also enjoy an enriching environment with professionals that helps to further develop other skills, such as speech and socialization. 

What should you expect the first time you take your child to POT?

The first visit to the POT facility will involve more observation and assessment than anything else. The goal of the staff will be to evaluate your child's physical skills and compare them to what other children of the same age group can achieve. This is done to see which areas need the most attention so your child can become more self-reliant and independent where possible. From that point, the therapist will work with you to create a plan of action going forward and go over the types of therapy they see could be beneficial for your child and your child's condition. 

What types of things will your child learn in POT?

There are several things your child could be exposed to during their treatment in POT ad this will all depend on their current developmental condition. Your child may get help learning how to perform basic tasks like dressing themselves or using utensils to eat. Your child could get help with compulsive behaviors, such as hitting or biting during play time. Children who have problems with focus and communication can also get help with learning new focusing tactics to help them out. There are a full range of different forms of POT, so talk to the therapist to find out what your child will learn in their personalized program or plan. 

For more information, reach out to clinics like ABC Pediatric Therapy.