TheraTree Pediatric Therapy
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What is Occupational Therapy?

In its simplest terms, occupational therapy providers help people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes. Occupational therapy services typically include:

  • an individualized evaluation, during which the client/family and occupational therapist determine the person’s goals,
  • customized intervention to improve the person’s ability to perform daily activities and reach the goals, and
  • an outcomes evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met and/or make changes to the intervention plan.

Occupational therapy services may include comprehensive evaluations of the client’s home and other environments (e.g., workplace, school), recommendations for adaptive equipment and training in its use, and guidance and education for family members and caregivers. Occupational therapy practitioners have a holistic perspective, in which the focus is on adapting the environment to fit the person, and the person is an integral part of the therapy team. Read More...

Does my child need OT?

  • Easily Distracted
  • Poor Attention Span
  • Overly Sensitive to Touch, Movement, Sounds or Sights
  • Difficulty Accepting Change
  • Doesn't Skip, Jump, or Hop on One Foot
  • Activity Level Usually High or Low
  • Low Muscle Tone
  • Limited Play Skills
  • Walks on Toes
  • Picky Eater

Complete Developmental Checklist

  • Walks into People or Objects Frequently
  • Inability to "Unwind" or "Self-Regulate"
  • Excessive Drooling
  • Doesn't Chew Food Before Swallowing
  • Clumsy / Uncoordinated
  • Doesn't Feed Self
  • Constantly Touches People or Object
  • Poor Social Interaction
  • Difficulty Holding a Pencil or Handwriting (3+)

Milestone Met!

Weylin met a HUGE milestone and received his first haircut! This is absolutely amazing!! Before starting therapy, Weylin had a tough time tolerating when others touched, washed, or brushed his hair. Because of his sensitivities, Weylin's mom had expressed concern to his therapists about taking him for his first hair cut. Since then, Weylin has currently been improving his sensory processing and self-regulation skills to reduce some of his sensitivities. Even though he still isn't a fan of washing his hair, Weylin was able tolerate his first hair cut without any negative aversions. We are so proud of you Weylin!

Who benefits from Occupational Therapy:


Attention Deficit Disorder

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Anesthesia of Skin



Arthogryposis Multiple Congenita


Autism Spectrum Disorder

Brachial Plexus Disorder 



Cerebral Palsy

Club Foot


Congenital Heart Disease 

Cystic Fibrosis

Developmental Delay

Developmental Coordination Disorder

Developmental Disorder of Motor Function 

Developmental Disorder of Scholastic Skills


Down Syndrome



Edwards’ Syndrome

Ehlers Danlos Syndrome

Feeding Difficulties

Flail Joint

Fragile X Syndrome



Hemiplegia (right or lefts side)


Hyposthesia of Skin

Instability of Joints

Intellectual Disabilities

Joint Derangements

Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis 

Lack of Coordination

Lack of Expected Normal Physiological Development


Mitochondrial Disease

Muscle Weakness (generalized)

Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Osteogensis Imperfecta


Parasthesia of Skin

Patau’s Syndrome 


Pompe Disease

Prader-Willi Syndrome



Seizure Disorder

Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy

Sensory Integration Dysfunction

Short Gut Syndrome

Sickle Cell Disease

Spina Bifida

Spinal Cord Truma

Stiffness of Joints

Taylor Sachs Disease


Traumatic Brain Injury 

Turner’s Syndrome

Williams Syndrome


Aligning Body 

Applying Deodorant 

Applying/Removing Cosmetics


Bathing / Showering

Bed Mobility


Brushing / Flossing Teeth 

Caring for Skin, Ears, Eyes, and Nose

Carrying Objects

Cleaning Mouth 

Clothing Management 

Collecting Needed Materials

Contact Lens Management 

Cutting with Scissors


Empathizes with Peers and Adults


Eye Contact

Fasteners on Clothes 


Finger / Toe Nail Care

Following Directions (preferred or non-preferred)

Glasses Management 

Grading Muscle Force 



Hair Management (washing, drying, combing, brushing styling and trimming hair) 

Handle and Uses Tools 

Identifies Emotion 

Identifies Sensations in Body

Initiates and Carries out Conversation 

Lifting Arms

Lifting Objects 

Loss of Balance

Manipulating Objects

Matches Tone and Voice Level

Meal Preparation

Menstrual and Continence

Navigates Environment 

Opening/Closing Doors & Drawers

Organizing Environment 

Pacing Through Tasks

Personal Device Care

Personal Hygiene 

Play Exploration & Participation 

Positioning Body 

Pushing/Pulling Objects 


Removing Body Hair (ex. using razor, tweezers, lotion) 

Responding Appropriate to Adult Directives

Responds to Sounds Appropriately 



Searching for Needed Items 

Seeking Needed Verbal or Written Information

Self Feeding

Self Regulation 

Sequencing Body Movement

Sequencing Tasks 

Sleep Prepartion & Participation

Smooth and Timely Muscle Movements 

Social Interaction 


Swallowing / Eating Food or Fluid

Takes Turns

Toileting and Toilet Hygiene

Tolerates Sounds 

Tolerates Textures, Touch, Messy Play

Transitions Between Tasks 


Tying Shoes

Wheel Chair Mobility

⭐️Milestone Moment ⭐️

Nick met a milestone this week! Nick has a goal for shaving his facial hair. First off, he is now able to function his new electric razor. Today he also was able to get all the shaving cream off his face! Proud of you Nick and all your hard work on shaving.

The Role of Occupational Therapy With Children and Youth:

Occupational therapy practitioners work with children,youth, and their families to promote active participationin activities or occupations that are meaningful to them.Occupation refers to activities that may support thehealth, well-being, and development of an individual(AOTA, 2008). For children and youth, occupations areactivities that enable them to learn and develop lifeskills (e.g., school activities), be creative and/or deriveenjoyment (e.g., play), and thrive (e.g., self-care and carefor others) as both a means and an end. Occupationaltherapy practitioners work with children of all ages (birththrough young adulthood) and abilities. Recommendedinterventions are based on a thorough understanding oftypical development and the impact of disability, illness,and impairment on the individual child’s development,play, learning, and overall occupational performance.Occupational therapy practitioners provide services by collaborating with other professionals to identify and meetneeds of children experiencing delays or challenges in development; identifying and modifying or overcomingbarriers that interfere with, restrict, or inhibit a child’s functional performance; teaching and modeling skills andstrategies to children and their families to extend therapeutic intervention; and adapting activities, materials, andenvironmental conditions so children can participate under different conditions and in various environments.

Developmental Needs

The primary occupations of young children are play and interacting with caregivers. Occupational therapists evaluate children’s development and provide intervention to improve skills and/or modify environments when concerns arise about a child’s functional performance. Some examples are:facilitating movement to help a child sit independently or crawl; helping a child learn to follow 2- or 3-step instructions; helping a child develop the ability to dress independently; helping a child learn to cope with disappointment or failure; reducing extraneous environmental noise for a child who is easily distracted; building skills for sharing, taking turns, and playing with peers; and helping a child develop the ability to use toys and materials in both traditional and creative manners.

Injury-Related Needs

When a child experiences a serious illness or injury, medically based or rehabilitative occupational therapy services may be provided. These services are developmentally appropriate and may emphasize physical skills to increase movement, strength, and/or coordination; and adaptive skills, cognitive abilities, sensorimotor skills, visual motor and perceptual skills, and social and interpersonal skills to improve the child’s functional abilities and independence. Outpatient services may be provided to continue rehabilitation progress.

Educational Needs

Occupational therapy practitioners work with students in preschool, and elementary, middle, and high school to support successful learning, appropriate behavior, and participation in daily school routines and activities. Services can be provided under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, or the Americans with Disabilities Act for students with disabilities, or as part of a multi-tiered problem-solving process for general education students (e.g., Response to Intervention, early intervening services).Practitioners also collaborate with teachers, parents, and education personnel on ways to support student learning throughout the school environment.

Emotional–Behavioral Needs

Occupational therapy practitioners have training in mental health and are well-suited to address children’s emotional and behavioral needs as they relate to everyday activities and social interaction. For example, occupational therapy practitioners help children develop the ability to cope with challenges, calm down when frustrated, defuse anger, and manage impulses in order to succeed at individual tasks and collaborative interactions at home, at school, and in the community.As children grow older, skills for success in independent living become essential. Occupational therapy practitioners address self-determination and self-advocacy skills, along with transition from school into adult roles.


Active participation of caregivers and families in their children’s lives is crucial to helping them achieve their greatest potential. If they are concerned about their child’s development, caregivers can consult their educational service district to request an occupational therapy evaluation.