Taking a Closer Look at Pediatric Occupational Therapy


Occupational therapy (OT) is a branch of rehabilitative care often associated with adult patients, but it can be used in a pediatric setting with its own unique guidelines to help children learn age-appropriate skills for improved social and personal development. At Regional Medical Center of San Jose, we provide pediatric occupational therapy with personalized patient care to address challenges in physical, sensory, or cognitive development, which may be associated with a number of different conditions and causes of disability. With ongoing OT, a child facing traumatic injury, developmental disorders , or birth injury may be able to gain independence and participate in more normal activities that kids enjoy for a happier childhood.

Reasons for children to have OT

Any child that has trouble with fine motor skills, social interaction, sensory skills, or coordination may benefit from pediatric OT . Common conditions addressed through this type of therapy include cancer, spina bifida, orthopedic injuries, autism, multiple sclerosis, and cerebral palsy. Because there is a fairly wide range of disorders addressed through therapy, pediatric occupational therapists work one-on-one with children to assess their unique needs and design activities most appropriate for them.

OT guidelines for young patients

Occupational therapy is different from physical therapy, since the primary focus is on fine motor skills, visual perceptual skills, cognitive development, and sensory processing rather than pain, endurance, and gross motor skills. In pediatric OT, a therapist may help a child learn basic grooming tasks, handwriting and typing, appropriate social behaviors, and hand-eye coordination. Activities utilize toys and instruments that children may use in their daily lives so that therapy has an immediate and clear benefit in a child’s regular activities.

If you think your child may benefit from occupational therapy, connect with Regional Medical Center for a look at our rehabilitation services online or at (888) 762-8881. We offer a number of rehabilitation programs for patients of all ages and backgrounds. 

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