Improve Your Child’s Movement and Daily Performance
Occupational therapists increase an individual’s participation and independence in daily life skills (occupations). They address the child and youth’s physical (motor), psychological, and cognitive aspects to enhance occupational performance by working closely with the family and others.
Following a comprehensive evaluation, intervention may focus on:
- Daily living skills such as feeding, eating, dressing, toileting, hygiene, and sleep.
- Play and leisure skills (e.g., turn-taking, exploration, motor planning).
- Functional cognitive skills such as problem solving, attending, sequencing.
- Physical skills to increase movement, strength, balance, coordination.
- Fine motor and visual motor skills to enhance education and work (e.g., handwriting, cutting, dexterity).
- Self-regulation and sensory processing to enhance participation in the environment.
- Strategies to enhance social interactions (e.g., coping skills, social-emotional cues).
- Modifications or adaptations to environment or equipment to increase independence.
Metro West’s Occupational Therapy Eating/Feeding Program uses a family-centered approach that includes the family in an individualized evaluation and intervention program to help your child learn to eat a variety of textures and a range of foods. Strategies and education to enhance eating, feeding, and skills will be provided to families. Evidence-based strategies are provided by an experienced occupational therapist. As needed, services from a behavioral specialist can be accessed for intensive eating/feeding assistance.
Who should be referred to occupational therapy?
- Children who have difficulty eating, chewing, biting, or swallowing foods
- Children who have ongoing gagging, choking, or coughing during meals
- Children with strong negative reactions to non-preferred foods (tantrums, screams)
- Children who are having difficulty transitioning to baby food purees by 10 months.
- Children who are not eating table foods by 12 months of age
- Children who are still eating baby food at 16 months of age
- Children who do not eat foods orally (e.g., have feeding tube), but are safe to do so.
- Children with 20 or less foods in their diet (e.g., dropping foods from their diet)
- Children who avoid food groups (e.g., proteins, fruits, vegetables)
- Families who are experiencing a high level of anger/frustration during mealtimes.
Physical Therapy (PT) is a treatment of infants, children, and teens to develop, regain and improve their ability to move. It offers individuals a fun positive way to improve their gross motor skills through play, hands-on demonstration, and home exercise programs. A physical therapist evaluates the child using various assessment tools that focus on areas of impairment like strength, balance, and joint mobility.
Individualized treatment programs are set up that allow children to practice and gain new skills, improve skills obtained, and use of toys and/or specialized equipment which allow them to explore and move throughout their environment. Children learn through exploring their environment and physical therapy is available to increase children’s ability to move throughout their environment with as much independence as possible.
Physical Therapists work with people that have had birth injuries/defects, born with genetic disorders, born prematurely, have developmental delays, Cerebral Palsy, Down syndrome, traumatic brain or spinal cord injuries, autism, and other chronic illnesses.
To receive Physical Therapy a doctor’s order is not required. Parents or guardians of a child may call Metro West to request a Physical Therapy Evaluation. A PT will evaluate and then set goals with you and your child and then provide treatment. Physical Therapists also provide consultative services which you may schedule through the office.
Children who receive Physical Therapy can benefit from:
- Strategies to explore and move around in their environment
- Improved gross motor skills
- Improved muscle strength and or endurance
- Increased muscle range of motion
- Improved quality of movement and strategies to increase movement and function
- Improved balance in sitting and standing
- Decreased pain or increased comfort