Occupational therapy services focus on enhancing participation in and performance of activities of daily living (e.g., feeding, dressing), instrumental activities of daily living (e.g., community mobility, safety procedures), education, work, leisure, play, and social participation. Occupational therapy services are defined according to the child’s needs and desired goals and priorities for participation. Occupational therapy services for children include evaluation, intervention, and measurement of outcomes. Occupational therapy services can focus on personal development, quality of life, and the needs of the family, and use a variety of intervention approaches to stimulate active engagements in activities.
Sensory Integration is a treatment approach provided by a specialized occupational therapist certified in sensory integration. Sensory Integration techniques are utilized to assist the child in functioning in multiple settings. Sensory Integration includes the typical senses of tactile (touch), visual, olfactory (smell), auditory (hearing) and oral (taste), but also include two other newly identified senses that are emerging in scientific research. The first newly identified sense is the vestibular system. This sense helps us with all movement and keeps us from losing our balance and falling. The other newly identified sense is proprioception. This sense helps us with knowing where our body is in space and allows our body position to automatically adjust to different situations such as sitting in a chair properly and stepping off a curb smoothly. Another dimension of proprioception is praxis or motor planning. This is the ability to plan and execute complex motor tasks such as riding a bike, playing a sport, and manipulating objects.