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Helping Children Thrive With Early Intervention Occupational Therapy

As your child grows and develops, there's nothing more magical. Watching them crawl or walk or hearing them speak for the first time is something you'll never forget. Like any parent or caregiver, you'll probably keep track of every milestone and ensure they're progressing as they should. 

Although every child develops differently, there are certain achievements that they should reach at specific times. If you're worried your child is missing the mark on significant milestones, early intervention occupational therapy might be a viable solution.  

Occupational Therapy for Children at About Play

The early intervention services at About Play are comprehensive and meant to support children in all areas as they learn and grow. We’re proud to offer early intervention services that will coordinate occupational therapy as one of our areas of expertise. 

Our Early Interventionists will coordinate with you and the Pediatric Occupational Therapist to develop games and activities that will improve your child’s fine motor skills, sensory motor skills, cognitive skills, balance, coordination, and more. Our goal is to help your child thrive in their everyday lives and grow to be as healthy and happy as possible.

What Is Early Intervention Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy (OT) involves the therapeutic use of everyday activities, or occupations, to treat the physical, mental, developmental, and emotional ailments that impact a person’s ability to perform day-to-day tasks.

In occupational therapy for children, therapists will help families with children with developmental delays improve motor, social, sensory processing, play, and cognitive skills. They will identify your child's specific skillsets and develop an individualized treatment plan. No child is the same, and each deserves the best possible care. 

If you’re wondering what skills or areas of occupational tasks your child might be struggling with, they could include:

  • Sleep
  • Feeding
  • Playing
  • Potty time
  • Dressing 
  • Bathing
  • Transitions
  • New environments
  • Routines/rituals 

The fun part of pediatric occupational therapy is that therapy looks very much like an exciting game or activity for your child. Early intervention services focus on helping children learn through play, so OT time never feels like a frustrating chore for your child. They have fun and engage in a new activity that helps them move, learn, and grow!

Benefits of Early Intervention Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy for children provides a number of benefits for your child, both in the long and short term. 

  • Improves gross motor skills -  Gross motor skills help children crawl, walk, jump, and play. Occupational therapists will work on stability, postural control, and balance to help with these skills. 
  • Improves fine motor skills - OT can enhance fine motor skills that depend on the coordination of the muscles in your hands and fingers. These skills can affect academic performance and everyday life tasks. 
  • Helps sensory processing difficulties - Does your child have difficulty responding to different sensory inputs – types of clothing material, outdoor environments, new food textures, etc.?  OT can help your child better receive and respond to their sensory input. 
  • Increases independence in daily living - Activities of daily living can include feeding, dressing, and grooming. An OT can help your child complete daily living routines with increased independence and ease. 
  • Increases strength and stability - By developing strength and stability in OT, your child will be able to complete fine, gross, and visual motor activities and thrive in their environments with increased ease and independence. 
  • Enhances social skills - Social and play skills can be improved when an OT works on functional play, taking turns, sharing, expressing emotions, and social cue interpretation. 
  • Improves visual motor skills - An occupational therapist can improve your child’s visual motor and perception skills, which will greatly effect handwriting, reading, playing, and more. 
When Is a Child a Candidate for Pediatric Occupational Therapy?

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Is your child having trouble mastering the skills that will allow them to flourish in their own environment? Are they experiencing issues with fine motor skills, sensory processing, visual skills, or other abilities? If so, early intervention occupational therapy could make a big difference in their life. 

It's important to remember that in the state of South Carolina, early intervention services are free. Anyone can refer a child to BabyNet, and receive early intervention services if it is shown that the child will benefit from support. If you're worried your child may be missing some developmental milestones, don't wait to seek support. 

Early intervention is free and available to your family. For more information about early intervention occupational therapy, or any other early intervention services, don't hesitate to get in touch with the About Play team.

Please Note: The team at About Play is here to help coordinate services for you and your family. We will match you with licensed professionals who specialize in the area your child needs support in, but we do not provide these services in-house.

Types of Early Intervention Services

We provide the following types of Early Intervention Services:

Special Instruction/Family Training

Example: teaching developmental skills such as sign language or teaching how to hold a child to support feedings. Learn more about Special Instruction for Families >>

Service Coordination (case management)

Example: developing a plan (IFSP) to pull services together for the family. Learn more about Service Coordination services >>

Early Intervention Evaluations

Example: checking for behavior problems, or specific therapies. Learn more about Early Intervention Evaluation services >>

Speech Services

Example: finding out why a child does not talk. Learn more about Speech Therapy services >>

Infant Massage

Example: Reduce stress for both the parent and child through infant massage. Learn more about Infant Massage >>

Physical Therapy

Example: working to improve a child’s movement to explore their environment independently. Learn more about Physical Therapy Services >>

Occupational Therapy

Example: teaching a child to use a spoon. Learn more about Occupational Therapy >>

Support Groups

Example: helping find support through community resources such as Family Connections.

Hearing Services

Example: fitting a hearing device. Learn more about Hearing Services >>

Vision Services

Example: prescribing glasses. Learn more about Vision Services >>

Nursing Services

Example: tube feeding or bandage changing. Learn more about Nursing Services >>

Nutrition Services

Example: special diets or referral to a nutritionist. Learn more about Nutrition Services >>