What is a Pediatric Occupational Therapist?
From the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), in describing the role of occupational therapy with children and youth: “Occupational therapy practitioners work with children, youth, and their families to promote active participation in activities or occupations that are meaningful to them. Occupation refers to activities that may support the health, well-being, and development of an individual (AOTA, 2008). For children and youth, occupations are activities that enable them to learn and develop life skills (e.g. school activities), be creative and/or derive enjoyment (e.g. play), and thrive (e.g. self-care and care for others) as both a means and an end. Occupational therapy practitioners work with children of all ages (birth through young adulthood) and abilities. Recommended interventions are based on a thorough understanding of typical development and the impact of disability, illness, and impairment on the individual child’s development, play, learning, and overall occupational performance.” (American Occupational Therapy Association, 2010)
Pediatric occupational therapists assist children and youth with coordination difficulties, fine motor (hand/finger skill) difficulties, gross motor (large movement) difficulties, strength/muscle tone/endurance issues, visual-motor and visual perceptual difficulties, sensory sensitivities or sensory cravings that are interfering with daily functioning, and self-help skills such as dressing and feeding. Occupational therapists often see children with diagnoses such as developmental delays, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Learning Disabilities, and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, among others.
What Is A Speech Language Pathologist?
Speech Language Pathologists provide assessment, diagnosis, and treatment to people of all ages, who are living with a variety of disorders including: