Occupational Therapy

Pediatric occupational therapists help children acquire, restore, and successfully perform daily activities. Children may face challenges due to physical injury or illness, neurologic or cognitive impairments, or developmental/learning disabilities. Pediatric occupational therapists are trained to use a developmental frame of reference when completing specific activities during play. Through these exchanges with the therapist, the child obtains skills necessary for success at home, school, and in the community.

Areas of Specialization:

Asperger’s Syndrome
Cerebral Palsy
Chromosomal Anomolies
Coordination Difficulties/Dyspraxia
Developmental Delay
Down Syndrome
Fine Motor Delay
Handwriting Difficulties
Pervasive Developmental Disorders
Sensory Integrative Dysfunction
Visual Motor Skills
Activities of Daily Living
Therapeutic Listening
Home and School consultations

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD, formerly known as “sensory integration dysfunction”)

is a condition that exists when sensory signals don’t get organized into appropriate responses. Pioneering occupational therapist and neuroscientist A. Jean Ayres, PhD, likened SPD to a neurological “traffic jam” that prevents certain parts of the brain from receiving the information needed to interpret sensory information correctly. A person with SPD finds it difficult to process and act upon information received through the senses, which creates challenges in performing countless everyday tasks. Motor clumsiness, behavioral problems, anxiety, depression, school failure, and other impacts may result if the disorder is not treated effectively.Coordination difficulties/Dyspraxia It is defined on the basis of a failure of the acquisition of skills in both gross and fine movements, which is not explicable on the basis of impaired general learning and similar exposure to opportunity to gain motor skills as their peers. There is extensive evidence that these difficulties can have considerable impact on children’s lives as they struggle to plan and organize themselves. They commonly affect the child both in school and at home, and contrast with similar aged children who acquire these skills with little effort.

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

is a psychiatric disorder and a chronic neurobehavioral syndrome. ADHD manifests as inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. The term attention-deficit disorder (ADD) refers to the condition without hyperactivity. Children with ADHD tend to overlook details and to miss information. Because of attention deficits a child with ADHD may become averse to tasks that require concentration, decisiveness, and organizational skills.

Handwriting difficulties

can be the result of poor visual perceptual recognition of shapes and the ability to reproduce them on paper so they are recognizable. One or more of these components of handwriting may be affected; adequate visual motor integration, fine motor dexterity, and complex motor planning. The acquisition of proper handwriting depends on a number of cognitive, perceptual and motor skills. Students with graphomotor problems are frequently called “lazy”, “unmotivated” and/or “oppositional” because they are reluctant to produce written work. Many times, these are the children who dislike school the most. Because they are sometimes able to write legibly if they write slowly enough, they are accused of writing neatly “when they want to”. This statement has moral implications and is untrue; for children with graphomotor problems, neat handwriting at a reasonable pace is often not a choice.

Capable Kids of the North Shore Every kid is a capable kid
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