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Occupational Therapy


Occupational therapy (OT) enables people of all ages to live life to its fullest by helping them promote health, maintain or rebuild their independence, make lifestyle or environmental changes and prevent—or live better with—injury, illness or disability. 

For children with developmental delays—or known physical or mental conditions associated with delays—OT can enhance development, minimize the potential for developmental delay and help families meet the special needs of their child from infancy through young adulthood. 

Specifically, OT services help improve:

    • Motor skills
    • Cognitive skills
    • Sensory processing
    • Communication and play skills

Families improve outcomes for children

Research shows that clear, dependable and rewarding responses from caregivers motivates a child to learn, be happy about accomplishments and take pleasure in play. 

OT services are tailored to the child and the child’s family, including parents, siblings and other caregivers—and services adapt as the family’s needs change. OT clinicians work within the child and family situation—at home, nursery school or the playground. They support and encourage the family to spend time working with the child between OT visits. 

IDEA and other mandates

Early intervention programs for children ages 0-3 and therapy and support services needed for later life can be funded by federal, state and local dollars. OT can benefit children with many specific conditions (Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorder), in addition to children with no clear diagnosis. 

The federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) mandates early intervention programs provide services in the natural environment (those typical for a child’s peers without disabilities) and within naturally occurring routines and activities of the family’s day. 

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