About Occupational Therapy

What is Pediatric Occupational Therapy?
A child's primary "occupation" is play. The focus of occupational therapy is to help children develop the skills they will need to facilitate play, work and self-care abilities. Children may also need occupational therapy to help them with enhancement of school and social skills.
Treatment is customized to the need of each child and addresses the following areas:

  • Fine Motor Skills
  • Visual Perceptual Skills
  • Visual Motor Skills
  • ADL (Activity of Daily Living) Skills
  • Self Feeding Skills
  • Hygiene Skills
  • School Skills (Handwriting, Scissor, Classroom Manipulatives)
  • Writing Skills

What is Dysgraphia?
Dysgraphia is a learning disability that affects writing abilities. Dysgraphia encompasses difficulties with handwriting and getting ones thoughts onto paper. Children who possess disorders in written expression require specific accommodations and possible modification to their classroom work within the learning environment.  In addition, continued practice and exposure to the skills required to be an accomplished writer is imperitive.  These areas are a primary focus within occupational therapy treatment.

  • Keyboarding Skills
  • Motor Planning and Sequencing Skills
  • Social Skills
  • Sensory Integration Skills


What is Sensory Integration?
Our senses continuously provide us the information we need to function in the world. The senses take in and process information from stimuli both outside and inside our bodies. Sensory integration is the neurological process of organizing the information we get from our bodies and from the world around us for use in daily life. Sensory integration is often described as our foundation and is necessary for later, more complex learning and behavior. For most children, sensory integration develops in the course of ordinary childhood activities, through exposure to a variety of stimuli within naturally-occurring day-to-day events. The organization of behavior, learning and performance is a natural outcome of the process, as is the ability to adapt to incoming sensations. For some children however, sensory integration does not develop as efficiently as it should. When the process does not happen in an efficient manner, various problems in learning, development, or behavior may become evident to families and professionals.
Sensory integration dysfunction describes a problem or inefficiency in processing sensations, which leads to difficulties in daily life activities. Sensory integration dysfunction is a complex neurological disorder, marked by difficulty detecting, modulating, discriminating or integrating sensation adaptively. This results in a child’s inability to process sensation from the environment or from their bodies in an inaccurate way.  "Sensory seeking" or "sensory avoiding" patterns, or "dyspraxia" (a motor planning problem) are the result of ineffective sensory processing. Carol Stock Kranowitz states the sensory integration dysfunction may affect 12% to 17% of children and throws some kids "out of sync" emotionally, socially, and behaviorally. Occupational therapy addresses the following areas as related to a child’s sensory integration needs:

  • Attention and ability to Focus
  • Difficulty with Coordination
  • Unusually high/low activity level
  • Overly sensitive to touch, movements, sights, or sounds
  • Under reactive to sensory stimulation
  • Poor organization of behavior
  • Poor self concept

Treatment Required
Treatment services vary and are specifically designed to address the individual needs of children of all ages. Our philosophy is to support and build upon what the child already knows about the way their system processes and uses sensation and activity.  In this, the child’s ability to interact with their environment is developed. The ultimate goal is for the individual to interact with his/her environment in more successful and adaptive manners.
In addition, group sessions are available:

  • Therapy groups and specialized treatment programs including Handwriting Without Tears®, How Does Your Engine Run, Therapeutic Listening, and Brain Gym are also offered in order to achieve one’s individual goals.
  • Social skill groups incorporating sensory integration  and  typically play-based activities are offered to further  enhance skill development.



Building Blocks Pediatric Occupational Therapy Services
C/O: Justine Bedocs, OTR/L
943 Post Road Suite A
Westport, CT 06880
Phone:  (203) 341-0178
Fax:  (203) 341-9968

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