What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapy helps children participate in tasks they want and need to do through everyday activities, known as “occupations.” Occupations refer to activities that support the health, well-being, and development of an individual (American Occupational Therapy Association, 2014). For children these occupations include playing, learning, social participation, and self-care. Occupational therapists (OTs) help children improve sensory, motor, emotional, and social skills necessary to engage in daily life tasks. Occupational therapists collaborate with parents, caregivers, teachers, and other professionals to identify the needs and challenges of the child. Through evaluation and clinical observations, the occupational therapist determines and identifies limiting factors contributing to the child’s participation in everyday tasks. Jacob’s Ladder mission of hope, truth, and love is a vital part of the therapy process. We aim to provide hope and the promise to help your child reach his/her full potential through therapeutic and loving treatment and interventions.
What is the goal of occupational therapy?
At Jacob’s Ladder, the overall goal of occupational therapy is to help the child feel successful in completing everyday tasks. Occupational therapy improves a child’s confidence through development of sensory awareness and motor development. The responses created through therapeutic approaches in occupational therapy provide a strong foundation and basis for motor development, learning, and healthy behavior. Through therapeutic intervention, occupational therapy addresses foundational sensory-motor skills such as:
- Body awareness (proprioceptive sense)
- Balance, movement, head position (vestibular sense)
- Upper body strength and coordination
- Fine motor skills
- Bilateral coordination (using both hands together)
- Motor planning (planning, initiating, and executing movements)
- Visual perceptual skills (ability to make sense of what is seen)
- Visual motor skills (the ability to use the hands and eyes together)
- Adaptive behavior (play skills, self-regulation, transitions)
- Self-care (dressing, tying shoes)
- Adaptive equipment, positioning
Why Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapists address a wide scope of significant developmental delays, injuries, and diagnoses. Occupational therapists are trained experts who focus on designing and implementing therapeutic programs and activities to target specific needs of a child. Occupational therapists work on improving the following skills to help a child participate to his/her fullest:
- Difficulty using both hands together (bilateral coordination)
- Poor coordination
- Decreased balance (“clumsiness”)
- Delayed motor skill development
- Decrease strength, low muscle tone
- Difficulty with handwriting
- Behavioral challenges or social skill issues
- Decreased attention or ability to participate in age appropriate activities
- Difficulties with feeding, is a picky eater or a messy eater
- Hypersensitive to touch
- Frequent or long temper tantrums
Who do we serve?
- Down Syndrome and other genetic diagnoses
- Developmental Delay and Disabilities
- Cerebral Palsy
- Sensory Processing Disorder
- Neurological disorders
- Motor delays and coordination problems, dyspraxia
- Dysgraphia/handwriting problems
- Learning Disabilities