The Occupational Therapy department specializes in treating infants with feeding disorders and children whose development or function has been delayed or interrupted, as a result of medical, neurodevelopmental, musculoskeletal, or behavioral reasons. Pediatric occupational therapists work with each child to determine their needs and how to best address them. Our therapists have extensive experience evaluating children who have problems using their muscles to eat, swallow, speak, draw or write (fine motor skills).
What we help with
- Newborn to one-year-old children with feeding or swallowing disorders, medically fragile children, and high-risk infants providing positioning equipment, developmental treatment, feeding therapy, and lactation consultations for parents
- Traumatic injuries, e.g., closed head injuries, spinal cord injuries, fractures, neurological injury, including anoxia, encephalitis, stroke, brain tumors
- Infants and children with developmental delay.
- Orthopedic issues (such as brachial plexus palsy and hand injuries)
- Undergone surgical procedures, e.g., musculoskeletal correction and alignment surgeries, tumor resections, wound cleaning and closure, etc.
- Arthritis, diabetes, hemophilia, sickle cell disease, other metabolic disease processes that may impact a child’s functionality
- Hematopoietic stem cell transplants
“Without TherapyWorks, I don’t know where we would be with my nephew. He stays in our world now; he talks with us and interacts with us.”
Treatments we offer
- Training to accomplish the activities of daily living
- Oral motor, feeding disorder therapy, and swallowing therapy
- Neuromuscular re-education, balance activities
- Range of motion, strengthening exercises through the use of functional activities
- Burn and wound care for hands and upper extremities
- Casting, splinting, and taping for improved functional abilities
- Equipment evaluation
- Upper extremity strength and coordination
- Fine motor skills
- Visual perceptual/visual motor skills
- Self-care skills
- Sensory processing and modulation skills
When to come to us
Infants and Toddlers
- Problems sucking a bottle
- Problems eating
- Problems sleeping
- Cannot self-calm
- Cannot get on a regular schedule
- Irritable when being dressed; uncomfortable in clothes
- Rarely plays with toys
- Resists cuddling; arches away when held
- Floppy or stiff body
- Seems to have motor delays compared to same-age children
- Objects to being on his/her back
- Fussy when placed on tummy
- Has a tendency to break toys
- Passive; does not actively explore toys, environments
- Pulls away from touch; doesn’t like water play
- Disorganized when the environment is noisy
- Problems in a group if there are many other people
- Difficulty making friends
- Difficulty taking turns
- Delayed speech or language (words, sentences)
- Difficulty dressing, eating, sleeping, and/or toilet training
- Clumsy; poor large motor skills, e.g., running, climbing, etc.
- Does not like or has trouble with small motor skills, e.g., building with blocks, etc.
- Does not like puzzles or other visual motor activities, e.g., coloring or copying shapes
- Weak, lethargic; no “get up and go”
- In constant motion; in everyone else’s face and space
- Frequent or long temper tantrums or meltdowns
- Unintentionally aggressive; can’t judge his/her own strength
- Only plays with toys or objects for a few minutes and then is on to something new
- Starts playing with one thing and gets “stuck”; doesn’t move on to something else
What to expect
The goal of occupational therapy at TherapyWorks is to enable children with SPD to accurately detect, regulate, interpret, and execute appropriate motor and behavioral responses to sensations so they are able to perform everyday activities in a functional manner.
For children, these activities include playing with friends, enjoying school or work, completing daily routines such as eating, dressing, sleeping, and enjoying typical family life.
Occupational therapists at TherapyWorks teach you to understand how your child perceives sensation, and how those perceptions affect attention, emotions, motor skills, and learning abilities. Your occupational therapist serves as a coach, educator, and role model while you actively participate and learn strategies for home, school, and the community during your child’s OT sessions.
Therapy sessions are fun and are subtly structured so that your child is challenged but always successful in completing each activity. The emphasis is on developing automatic and appropriate responses to sensation in an active, meaningful, and fun way by interacting in a large occupational therapy room filled with toys, nets, ropes, swings, and other equipment.