5 Signs Your Child May Need Akron Occupational Therapy

Akron occupational therapy helps kids with a broad range of physical, cognitive, motor, and speech deficits to develop those skills to the best of their abilities and reach their maximum potential.

Our pediatric occupational therapists at Therapy & Wellness Connection provide services in-clinic (at our Brecksville location), as well as in homes, daycares, and other settings.

Although the specific goals are going to vary based on the individual child and their diagnosis, in general our team helps kids improve the function and independence in the areas of basic life skills. Our patients are primarily kids and teens who have disabilities, injuries, or illnesses that have led to developmental delays or a loss of key life skills.

Our OT experts will carefully analyze a child’s unique abilities and goals and then design activities to help them practice and improve their skillsets.

Who Benefits From Akron Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy is not a one-size-fits-all practice for a single group of individuals. We treat patients with a broad range of conditions and abilities. Among them are individuals with:

  • Down syndrome
  • ASD (autism spectrum disorder)
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Fetal alcohol syndrome
  • Global developmental delays
  • Sensory processing disorder
  • Brain injuries, spinal injuries, birth injuries

OTs can treat people of all ages and at all stages of life. It’s just that our team at TWC is primarily focused on youth – from birth to 18, with career counseling/tutoring/training after that point for young adults.

Some kids may struggle just in one area or with one skill set, but sometimes they need help with a broad range of skills – from handwriting to self-care (dressing, bathing, feeding, toothbrushing, toilet training, walking) to organizing school work to successfully managing social scenarios that may not come easily.

Our Akron occupational therapists provide services that are almost entirely play-based – because that’s how children learn best! When they’re having fun, they’re infinitely more engaged and enthusiastic about tackling the task at hand.

Indicators Your Child Needs OT Intervention

Because occupational therapy isn’t as well-known of a practice area as, say speech therapy or behavior therapy, parents may not clearly recognize the need for occupational therapy intervention the way our team will. But here are some signs that you may want to raise the possibility to your child’s pediatrician (who will make the OT referral):

  1. Your child avoids (or obsessively seeks) certain surfaces, textures, food temperatures, noises, etc. This can be a sign of sensory processing disorder. Our Northeast Ohio occupational therapists can help your child overcome while making it fun. (We don’t want it to feel like work!)
  2. Your child doesn’t use both hands together when they’re playing or carrying out a task. Issues with bilateral coordination are fairly common, but they can be a hinderance as your child grows and is expected to take on increasingly difficult tasks. Trouble with fine motor skills and bilateral coordination is something our team of OTs can help them work on – and give you tips for practicing at home.
  3. Your child has a tough time dressing themselves or taking on other self-care tasks. Of course, it’s normal for their to be a learning curve with certain things like toilet training, brushing their teeth, getting dressed, etc. But if they are behind their peers in these areas, getting OT intervention now can help them “catch up” to their peers – and avoid falling further behind as the expectations only increase.
  4. Your child struggles with self-calming. All kids have tantrums from time-to-time and self-control is certainly a learned skill. But if they routinely have big reactions to small problems or have a much tougher time than their peers in gaining control of themselves and their emotions, an occupational therapist may be able to help by teaching them strategies that can serve them well in life – as challenging, frustrating situations only increase as they get older.
  5. Your child is showing signs of autism. Autism can look different from child to child, but some key indicators are delayed speech, eye contact avoidance, not responding to one’s name, a seeming disinterest in engaging socially (or socially inappropriate responses to certain stimuli), etc. Occupational therapists help kids on the autism spectrum with a broad range of physical, cognitive, motor, sensory, and social skills.

If you want to learn more about our occupational therapy services at Therapy & Wellness Connection, we’re happy to answer your questions and give you a tour of our clinic.

Therapy & Wellness Connection – your connection to a life without limitations – provides occupational therapy to children in Akron, Cleveland, Brecksville-Broadview Heights and surrounding communities. We also offer summer camp, day programs, education services, vocational counseling and more. Call us at (330) 748-4807 or send us an email.

Additional Resources:

Occupational Therapists: What do they do? Child Mind Institute

More Blog Entries:

How Cleveland Occupational Therapists Treat Tactile Defensiveness in Kids, July 16, 2022, Akron Occupational Therapy Blog