Almost 1 in 12 US children deal with disorders related to voice, speech, and language. Learning to speak and respond to sounds is an important milestone for children. According to the CDC, by the time your child turns 5, they should be able to understand and process the language efficiently. However, if they’re unable to do so, occupational therapy might be able to help. 

Here’s a detailed insight into the benefits of OT:

Improves Sensory Processing

Children with sensory processing problems often find it hard to receive or respond to information using their five senses properly. As a result, these children either experience over sensitivity or under sensitivity. They also tend to resist hugs and frequently put things in their mouths.

They have an aversion to anything that triggers their senses. If a child has sensory processing issues, they tend to get distracted by other children working or playing nearby. Movement makes them uncomfortable, and they often avoid activities like gym classes, riding bicycles, and recess times. They also get irritated if someone brushes against their bare skin. 

According to the American Occupational Therapy Association, occupational therapy involves motor treatment activities that improve the child’s motor planning, bilateral integration, and postural-ocular skills. The therapist might also use noise-cancellation equipment to regulate sensory input and enhance attention. Other techniques include:

  1. Using different textures to improve the child’s sense of touch
  2. Listening therapy to help overcome sensitivity to sound
  3. Deep-pressure massages
  4. Repetitive and rhythmic movements, such as exercise balls or trampoline.
A child performing a motor development activity at an occupational therapy clinic

Improves Motor Development

Motor skills refer to the child’s ability to make small movements using their lips, tongue, wrists, fingers, and toes. They help your child coordinate their arms, legs, and other body parts. If your child struggles to lift a ball or pick up a spoon, their motor skills are probably affected. Other common signs of weak motor skills among children include:

  1. Not being able to use zippers or tie their shoelaces
  2. Poor handwriting
  3. Struggling with number formation or tracing prewritten shapes
  4. Not being able to hold a pencil or developing hand dominance
  5. Avoiding everyday tasks and games that require fine motor skills
  6. Poor balance.

An occupational therapist would focus on helping the child write and copy notes, get the hang of self-care routine, controlling pencil movement, and throwing/catching objects. They work on strengthening the child’s core muscles and improve their awareness of body and space. OTs also use a graded approach to enhance the child’s ability to anticipate tasks and complete them with greater attention.

Pediatric Occupational Therapy Services in Cedar Grove

The pediatric speech and language pathologists at Bloomfield Institute of Therapy are one call away for your child’s language development needs.

Our pediatric center is home to experts with a combined experience of over 40 years in the field. They’ll evaluate your child’s language development and carry out the required activities to improve their strength, speech, and mobility.

Book a consultation with us for more information on our speech therapy services.