The treatment of physical and developmental disorders through purposeful activities that improve & develop skills, needed for
everyday independence. Both children with or without disability may receive therapy.

Occupational therapy is beneficial when there are concerns regarding fine motor, sensory, visual motor, and/or motor
planning. These children have a limited sensory experience and lack normal motor control.

Areas of Occupational Therapy

Fine motor skills generally refers to actions of the hands, wrists, and arms, including dexterity, coordination, and strength.
Handwriting is a complex process of managing written language by coordinating the eyes, arms, hands, pencil grip, letter
formation, and body posture. The development of a child’s handwriting can provide clues to developmental problems that may
hinder the child’s learning. Sensory integration (SI) is the process of receiving, organizing, and interpreting input, becoming
the basis for motor planning, learning and behavior. When this process is disorganized, it is called Sensory Integration

Tactile Processing

The tactile system interprets touch and the perception. It protects us from stimuli that may be perceived as harmful. With an
over or under sensitive tactile system, the body interprets touch differently. When this occurs, due to certain types of
clothing, food textures or unexpected touch, the body releases an excessive emotional reaction such as hitting, crying or other

Motor coordination

Poor range of motion, deficits in eye and hand coordination, problems with fine motor ability, and decreased visual perception
often result in poor performance in sports, poor handwriting, and will likely lead to problems with academic performance. In
addition, the child's functional abilities, such as self-care, may be impacted, as the child may not be able to function at a
developmentally appropriate level.


An occupational therapy evaluation assesses a child’s gross motor skills, fine motor skills, visual motor skills, handwriting
skills, daily living skills, oral motor skills, and sensory processing skills. The use of standardized assessment tools, non-
standardized assessment tools, parent interview, and clinical observations will be used to assess the child’s performance.

Occupational therapy treatment is necessary when several areas of performance are affected.

Fine Motor Skills : movement and dexterity of the small muscles in the hands and fingers.

Gross Motor Skills : movement of the large muscles in the arms, and legs. Visual Motor Skills: a child’s movement based on
the perception of visual information.

Oral Motor Skills : movement of muscles in the mouth, lips, tongue, and jaw, including sucking, biting, chewing, and licking.

Self-Care Skills : daily dressing, feeding and toilet tasks. Sensory Integration: ability to take in, sort out, and respond to the
input received from the world.

Motor Planning Skills : ability to plan, implement, and sequence motor tasks.

The Role of an Occupational Therapist

Occupational therapist use play to enhance the child's fine motor skills and muscular strength. They also address feeding and
oral motor skills,self-care skills, positioning, adaptive equipment, splint fabrication and use, sensory integration techniques,
and assist individuals in acquiring the knowledge, needed to preform.

Occupational therapist have used brushing and joint compression as an intervention technique. This method of therapy is to
provide deep tactile input to help organize the sensory system, increase focus and level of alertness. It is best to provide this
technique daily every two hours and prior to activities that may bring fear, anxiety, or resistance.

Therapists also help those with permanent disabilities, such as spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy, and aid in eating and
dressing. Assessing and recording a client’s activities and progress is an important part of an occupational therapist’s job.
Accurate records are essential for evaluating clients, and for reporting to physicians and other healthcare providers.

Occupational therapists work from hospitals, schools and in the community. Therapists will use any combination of activities
to strengthen muscles, increase movement, restore co-ordination and balance. In schools, they evaluate children’s abilities,
recommend and provide therapy, modify classroom equipment, and help children participate as fully as possible in school
programs and activities.
Read about Occupation Therapy. What is occupational therapy. Bright Tots - Information on child development - Autism information
Occupational Therapy
Printer Friendly Copy
Autism Diets     Autism Information     Developmental Disorders     Parenting Issues
Occupational Therapy

Resource Home


Baby Tooth Decay

Behavioral Disorders

Child Safety Tips

Disorders Home

Early Intervention

FMLA for Parents

Learning Disability

Parenting Issue

Preschool Special Ed.

Parenting Help

Speech Disorders

Weight Concern


Asperger's Syndrome

Childhood Disintegrative

Early Signs of Autism

(Repetitive Speech)

Fragile X


Low Functioning Autism
(Classic Autism)

Pervasive Developmental

Rett Syndrome

Savant Syndrome

Semantic Pragmatic Disorder
For more information and articles on autism visit:
Choosing the Right Toy for :
Babies      Toddlers      Preschool
World of Autism

What is Autism?  Frequently asked questions on autism - What causes autism?  What is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA
Therapy)?  Autism Diagnosis - What are the Types of Autism, What are the signs of Autism?  Medications used in
treatment of Autism - A Genetic Clue to Why Autism Affects Boys More - Autism and Vaccines - 1 in 68 Children
affected with Autism - Autism: To Cure or Not to Cure - Speech and Language Problems in Autism Spectrum Disorders -
Research Points to Genetic Link in Autism - Challenges Siblings of Children with Autism Face.

Autism Articles

Inspirational uplifting news articles on Autism / The Downside of Autism in the News
Mom Wins Fight for Autism Insurance
Bright Tots ~ Information on childhood developmental disorders, including autism, attention deficit disorder (ADHD),
behavior disorders, bipolar disorder, cerebral palsy, childhood disintegrative disorder, depression in children, diabetes in
children, down syndrome, emotional disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder , selective mutism, separation anxiety
disorder, speech and language disorders and spina bifida.

Resources, articles and information on autism including Asperger's syndrome, assessing autism, autism and tantrums,
autism in childhood, autism therapies, characteristics of autism, discipline strategies, early signs of autism, echolalia,
fragile x, hyperlexia / dyslexia, immunization worries, oral care and autism, pervasive developmental disorders (PDD), Rett
syndrome, savant syndrome, and more...

developmental disorders - Find Early Intervention in your area.

Information and articles on
autism therapy and autism treatment including: ABA therapy, autism diets, chelation therapy,
cognitive behavior therapy, key to learning, medications for treating autism, play therapy, occupational therapy, physical
therapy, sensory integration, signed speech, speech therapy, TEACCH Method and more...

What is a learning disability? What are developmental domains? Tips on teaching a child with autism, age appropriate
behavior (milestones), parenting rules, oral care and autism, baby tooth decay, is your child over weight? For those hard to
understand terms, visit our

Bright Tots - Helpful information for picking the right toy for Babies, Toddlers and Preschool kids
What to look for in developmental baby, toddler and preschool toys. Read on the importance of choosing the right
educational baby toys, educational toddler toys, educational preschool toys that will

"Make Learning Fun"

Choosing the right Baby Toys | Toddler Toys | Preschool Toys | Special Needs
Autism Resources

Autism Home

ABA Therapy

Assessing Autism

Autism Diets

Autism Treatments

Autistic Behaviors

Characteristics of

Cognitive Behavior

Early Intervention

Early Signs of Autism

Keys to Learning

Learning to Learn

Medication and Autism

Myths of Autism

Occupational Therapy

Parenting Rules

Physical Therapy

Sensory Integration

Teaching Play Skills

Shopping Tips:

Shopping Resources

Baby Toy Guide

Toddler Toy Guide

Preschool Toy Guide

Sp. Needs Toy Guide

*the links below will open in
a new browser*

About Us

Contact Us


Info Page

Privacy Policy

Link Partners

Link Exchange
Autism Diets     Autism Information     Developmental Disorders     Parenting Issues