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

Visual-motor impairments

Developmental concerns

                                   School-based challenges                                  

Behavioral concerns

Traumatic injuries

Feeding therapy

 

 

 

 

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

Nutritional deficiencies

A history of reflux

Trauma