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      How Occupational Therapy Helps with Child Development

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      Components of Occupational Therapy for Children 

      Occupational therapy (OT) is a valuable component of children with special needs performing their job – being a kid. It helps them with life skills for activities they do every day. Particularly beneficial are the tailored activities that help those with an illness or disability find ways to overcome obstacles that make their lives difficult.

      Often used with children who have a physical, sensory, or cognitive disability, it assists them to build functional skills. These often include: 

      • Eating with utensils
      • Putting on socks and shoes 
      • Personal hygiene 
      • Adaptive learning abilities
      • Handwriting capability, and 
      • Social skills.

      A component of treatment is to provide a pattern of routines, to help them continue their learned behaviors through repetition. To assist with this, kids are provided with aids and equipment to support underdeveloped parts of the body and to build motor skills. 

      Children’s OT development is placed on the patient’s skills development. This is often based on their activity interest and motivation, along with parental support of activities. While the therapy is created for each child’s unique capabilities, the impact of OTs is noticeable and measurable.

      Signs a Child May Need Occupational Therapy

      When developmental delays are noticed, typically through challenges that don’t affect age-appropriate functionality, OT services provide progressive support.

      These children’s development obstacles include:

      • Developmental delay 
      • Fine motor and gross skills difficulty 
      • Visual processing 
      • Oral motor or oral sensory 
      • Sensory processing 
      • Social interaction skills
      • Learning challenges, and
      • Play skills

      How an OT Program Works

      This treatment is patient-centric, putting the patient’s goals first. The therapist will create and administer the child’s treatment plan. They will assist them in managing their daily activities in easier and more effective ways. This will help the child and their family to learn new ways to complete basic tasks and discover strategies to simplify their existing routines.


      To monitor the treatment plan’s effectiveness, the occupational therapist may visit the patient’s school, home, or any other location to observe the child’s daily routines. This also helps the therapist to recommend any adaptive equipment that may help them. 

      How OT Helps with Child Development

      Occupational therapy interventions for children include assisting them to participate in school and social settings. This is often associated with helping them recover from birth conditions or injury with adaptive skills. Improving their physical and cognitive abilities is beneficial for them to live a life, building on their unique personality and gifts.

      Occupational therapy services workflow includes: 

      Initial evaluation - The client/family and the occupational therapist work together to determine the child’s needs and goals. 

      Customized treatment plan development - This intervention is targeted toward improving the child’s ability to perform daily activities and achieve set objectives.

      Outcome evaluation: This ensures that goals are being met and that any beneficial adjustments are being made to the child’s treatment plan.

      To help an OT practice track a child’s treatment, progress, and billing for reimbursement, occupational physical therapy electronic medical records software (EMR), 

      Enables therapists and administrative staff to manage a practice allowing more early intervention patient time. It also lessens their administrative workload.

      The most useful practice configurable EMR systems have functionality including: 

      Physical therapy medical billing – reduce the time spent on like insurance eligibility verification and billing while optimizing reimbursement rates and revenue.

      Mobile patient management – providers can chart from any mobile device, 

      schedule a custom ehr demo button

      for accurate charting and patient flow sheet notes at the time of the encounter.

      Exercise libraries – with Exercise Pro Live integration, send patients’ videos or printouts of customized workout plans for home use with their family’s guidance.

      Patient check-in kiosk – through a patient check-in kiosk, new patients can register, while existing patients can update their insurance information.

      Secure patient portal – patients can securely access their records, schedule appointments, sign documents, make payments, and complete forms, all from a HIPAA compliant patient portal.

      See the functionality of a physical therapy ERM system.


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