Pediatric patient in occupational therapy

Occupational Therapy

A child's main occupation is to play and learn, and occupational therapy focuses on just that by helping children perform daily activities like dressing themselves, feeding themselves and playing.

Working together with you

Experienced occupational therapists at Wolfson Children’s Hospital evaluate your child's skills in the areas of play, fine motor control and self-care. We then create a plan together with you so your child can better perform daily activities at home and at school.

We use age-appropriate, purposeful activities to minimize the effects of disease, injury, congenital (at birth) defect, disability or developmental delay so your child can live and learn at his or her full potential. We collaborate closely with your child’s primary care physician, other health care professionals and you to give your child outstanding care.

Does my child need occupational therapy?

Your child may need occupational therapy if you see any of the following signs:

  • Weak or poor muscle tone
  • Difficulty with daily living skills, such dressing, grooming or feeding
  • Poor handwriting
  • Difficulty using scissors and zippers or fastening buttons
  • Oversensitive to touch, taste, sounds and/or odors
  • Dislike of touching or bathing
  • Dislike of playground activities
  • Clumsy or uncoordinated movement
  • Difficulty jumping, skipping or running
  • Frequent falls
  • Poor social skills
  • Difficulty with self-calming
  • Difficulty coping with change

Conditions We Treat

The experienced occupational therapists at Wolfson Children’s Hospital help children with a wide range of conditions including or linked to:

  • Premature birth or low birth weight
  • Problems at birth affecting the hands or arms, such as brachial plexus injury or arthrogryposis
  • Condition or injury that affects the brain before, during or after birth
  • Chronic medical conditions and genetic disorders such as heart defects, Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis and bronchopulmonary dysplasia
  • Difficulties following surgery or related to recovering from prolonged hospitalizations
  • Injuries or conditions affecting the hands or arms, such as juvenile arthritis
  • Neuromuscular disorders, such as muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy or spina bifida
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Developmental delays
  • Sensory processing disorders
  • Childhood cancer and the effects of cancer treatment

Occupational Therapy Services

Each child has their own personalized occupational therapy plan. Your child’s plan might include:

  • Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (the use of small, electric pulses to strengthen muscles)
  • Constraint-induced movement therapy (intense bimanual training to help children use a side of their body they typically don’t use)
  • Orthotics
  • Sensory processing
  • Strengthening
  • Activities of daily living training
  • Fine motor skills training
  • Visual motor skills training
  • Play-based therapy
  • Patient and caregiver education, with specialized home practice activities
Occupational therapist working with pediatric patient

Occupational therapy rehab is provided at these locations:

Patient Stories

  • Pediatric ortho patient RT with parents

    Tractor Tumble

    After a fall from a tractor, RT's hand had two broken metacarpals, which are the bones that make up the palm.