Occupational Therapy (OT) for children helps develop physical and adaptive skills that will help the child improve interactions and functional skills in the physical and social world. The functional skills that OT focuses on developing are related to sensory-motor integration, which allows the child to accurately interpret and organize information. Areas addressed include:
- The use of hands and fingers
- Co-ordination of movement
- Self-help skills such as dressing, eating with a fork and spoon and tying shoe laces
- Fine and gross motor skills; positioning for school work, and handwriting.
What is Sensory Integration?
Every second we receive a great deal of information from our senses. We use this information to organize our behavior and successfully interact with the world. Our senses give us information about the physical status of our body and the environment around us. We are all aware of the common senses, such as sight, touch, taste, smell and hearing. However, there are other “hidden” sensations, which are just as essential to our survival. Our nervous system or vestibular system, detects changes in movement and gravity, which impacts our balance and movement. This sensory system provides us with knowledge of the position of one’s head in relation to gravity and movement. We use this to go down a slide, or to ride a playground swing without falling off. The other “hidden” sense is our muscle and joint sense (proprioception), which is the internal awareness of the position of one’s joints and muscles in space. This allows us to lift a spoon to our mouths without spilling our soup, or to hold a pencil and write using appropriate pressure on the pencil so as not to fatigue while writing.
What is Fine Motor Development?
Fine motor is the developmental area that involves skills which require the coordination of the small muscles of the body, including those of the hands and face. Examples of fine motor skills include stacking small blocks, picking up small objects between two fingers, stringing beads, following an object with our eyes, smiling, using the toes to wriggle into sand or the lips and tongue to taste and feel objects.
What is Gross Motor Development?
Gross motor is the developmental area used for movement of the large muscles of the body- movement involving the arm, leg, or feet muscles or the entire body. These muscles are needed to carry out day-to-day activities in and around the play area and school, like running and jumping.
Gross motor and fine motor skills develop in tandem because many activities depend on the coordination of both sorts of skills.
We at FOCUS Center provide individual, 1 hour OT sessions- held for sensory processing concerns as well as 45 minute sessions held for Gross and Fine Motor issues.
We also promote socialization and academic readiness through our Pre Academic Readiness groups for K and First Grades. These groups target academic and pre academic skills that are required for academic and social success.
If you need further information, please contact Ruth at 201-894-5800, ext. 102