What Is Occupational Therapy
One of the areas that occupational therapists can address to meet children's needs is working on fine motor skills so that kids can grasp and release toys and develop good handwriting skills. Occupational therapists also address hand–eye coordination to improve play skills, such as hitting a target, batting a ball, or copying from a blackboard.
An occupational therapist can also:
*help kids with severe developmental delays learn some basic tasks, such as bathing, getting dressed, brushing their teeth, and feeding themselves
*work with kids who have sensory and attention issues to improve focus and social skill
*help kids with behavioral disorders learn anger-management techniques
*teach kids with physical disabilities the coordination skills required to feed themselves, use a computer, or increase the speed and legibility of their handwriting
What Is Speech Therapy
In speech-language therapy, an SLP will work with a child one-to-one to overcome difficulties involved with a specific disorder.
*language intervention activities: In these exercises an SLP will interact with a child by playing and talking. The therapist may use pictures, books, objects, or ongoing events to stimulate language development. The therapist may also model correct pronunciation and use repetition exercises to build speech and language skills.
*articulation therapy: Articulation, or sound production, exercises involve having the therapist model correct sounds and syllables for a child, often during play activities. The level of play is age-appropriate and related to the child's specific needs. The SLP will physically show the child how to make certain sounds, such as the "r" sound, and may demonstrate how to move the tongue to produce specific sounds.
*oral motor/feeding therapy: The SLP will use a variety of oral exercises, including facial massage and various tongue, lip, and jaw exercises, to strengthen the muscles of the mouth. The SLP may also work with different food textures and temperatures to increase a child's oral awareness during eating and swallowing.
What Is Physical Therapy
Doctors often recommend physical therapy for kids who have been injured or have movement problems from an illness, disease, or disability.
Physical therapists are often able to relieve pain and help Kids resume daily activities.
After an injury, physical therapists teach kids exercises designed to help them regain strength and range of motion, and also show them how to prevent a recurring injury.