The Parish School Blog

What is Occupational Therapy?

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Occupational therapy helps people across the lifespan to participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of daily activities aka “occupations” (AOTA). The main occupations of childhood include: activities of daily living, rest and sleep, education, play, and social participation. Pediatric occupational therapists work with children of all ages and abilities to improve their independence and success within these domains. If you have concerns regarding your child’s ability to participate in these important areas of their life, they may benefit from occupational therapy services.

At The Carruth Center, our OTs frequently address:  

  • Fine motor and visual-motor integration skills: grasp development for holding a writing tool, cutting with scissors, stringing beads, building with blocks, throwing and catching a ball, coloring, drawing shapes, writing letters and numbers, and writing sentences that are legible and organized.
  • Self-care skills: dressing/undressing, tying shoes, brushing teeth, using a fork and spoon, feeding and eating, potty training, and bathing.
  • Sensory processing and self-regulation: processing and responding to sensory input to achieve a calm and regulated state needed to maintain attention and participate in activities.

Pediatric OTs are able to break down a task into the skills required for each smaller step. This helps parents/caregivers understand why their child may be struggling to do something independently or correctly. For example, a child may lack the hand strength required to pull their pants up after using the toilet, they may have difficulty with the sensory processing skills required to tolerate using soap in the bathtub, or may struggle with the depth perception it takes to spear a piece of food with a fork. During therapy sessions, pediatric OTs use motivating and play-based activities to help children develop the skills that they are struggling with while having fun.

The Occupational Therapists at The Carruth Center are highly skilled in providing strengths-based child and family centered care. We pride ourselves on forming collaborative relationships with all the members of a child’s team (parents/caregivers, teachers, therapists). If you have questions about occupational therapy services or are wondering if your child may benefit from OT, please contact