Pediatric Occupational Therapy
What is a Pediatric Occupational Therapist?
A pediatric occupational therapist will address the functional and developmental needs of your child in a fun, playful, and meaningful way. Therapists use play to increase independence, enhance your child’s sense of self-esteem and sense of accomplishment. Your child’s therapist will address his/her ability to engage with others across the lifespan and increase independent participation and success in meaningful daily occupations. For children, “occupations” include but are not limited to, self-care (dressing, eating, washing), playing with friends, succeeding in academics, participating in leisure activities, and learning how to manage behaviors and emotions.
Lora Smith, OTD/L specializes in the treatment of the Pediatric clients with motor, cognitive and behavioral disorders. She provides a one-on-one opportunity for evaluation, setting up a treatment plan, training caregivers, and moving forward in treatment of the infant or child.
Lora has done specific training in pediatric feeding issues, completing her Doctoral degree with a focus in this speciality.
How can therapy help your child?
Decrease sensory intolerance
Improve fine and gross motor skills
Increase success in meaningful activities
Increase balance and body coordination
Improve self-coping, behavior, and attention skills
Encourage discovery of new interests and activities
Expand preferred foods and decrease mealtime battles
Our therapist specializes in treating children with:
Neurodevelopmental and congenital disorders
Fine and gross motor difficulties
Body coordination challenges
Sensory processing disorders
Splinting and casting needs
What is Feeding Therapy?
Picky and resistant eating can be a typical part of childhood development. However, when the pickiness persists for an extended period of time, is extreme, or creates child/parent anxiety it can become concerning for parents and professionals. Cause for concern occurs when your child is not eating enough quantity or variety to support healthy emotional, social, and/or physical development. It can also be a cause for concern when pickiness is a significant source of conflict, stress, or anxiety for you and/or your child.
Your child may benefit from feeding therapy if they exhibit
several of the following red flags:
Challenges transitioning between developmentally appropriate foods
Unable to transition accept table food solids by 12 months
Choking, gagging, or coughing during eating and drinking
Unable to transition to purees by around 10 months
Falling off growth charts or sharp percentile drops
Avoidance of foods based on sensory properties
Preferred food list of less than 15-20 foods
Increased negative behaviors around meals
Frequent dry heaving or vomiting at meals
Child distress/crying around food
Elimination of food groups
Frequent mealtime battles
A history of reflux