Pediatric Occupational Therapy Services

Occupational therapists help children acquire or reacquire the skills needed to perform the activities or “occupations” of daily life. A child’s primary occupation is play. Additional occupations include developmentally appropriate activities such as sitting, stacking blocks, eating a snack, getting dressed, and drawing a picture. Occupational therapists use their background in anatomy and physiology, neurology, psychology, sensory and motor development to determine the underlying difficulties impacting success and independence with activities.

Our therapeutic approach

Cheshire Fitness Zone occupational therapists help children develop the necessary skills for the job of living through play. Our therapists focus on creating the ‘just right challenge’ by following the child’s lead to achieve an adaptive response (targeted skill), building a strong foundation for further development. We include parents/guardians in everything including evaluation, treatment planning, and working with their child for optimal outcomes.

Learn more below about the areas we treat, and signs your child may benefit from occupational therapy.

Areas addressed by our occupational therapists

  • Fine motor development: dexterity, strength, grasp, and range of motion.  To learn more about developmental stages check out our Family Resources section.
  • Bilateral coordination: the ability to use both sides of the body at the same time. This impacts activities such as cutting while stabilizing the paper, manipulating clothing fasteners, and opening a container.
  • Visual motor Skills: the interplay between visual skills, visual perceptual skills and motor skills such as coloring, cutting, and writing.
  • Visual perceptual skills: processing and interpreting meaning from the visual information that we gain through our eyesight. Visual perception plays an important role in handwriting, mathematics, and reading.
  • Core muscle strength: the development of the torso muscles that stabilize, align, and move the trunk of the body. Decreased core strength can cause poor posture impacting fine motor skill development.
  • Upper extremity use (range of motion, strength, and coordination): underlying skills necessary for most childhood occupations such as self-feeding, getting dressed, catching a ball, and handwriting.
  • Sensory processing abilities: how a child processes what he/she sees, hears, feels, tastes, etc. and appropriately responds.
  • Motor planning abilities: the ability to plan and sequence appropriate movements to meet the demands of a novel task. To achieve this, the brain relies on the sensory system and body awareness.
  • Handwriting: a complex skill that incorporates visual perceptual skills, visual motor skills, bilateral coordination, motor planning, hand strength, core strength and sensory processing skills.
  • Self-help skills related to dressing, grooming, and feeding: addressing the underlying skills that may impact independence in this area such as attention, hand strength, dexterity, visual motor skills, sensory processing and motor planning.
  • Executive functioning: skills such as organization, sequencing, initiation, and attention.
  • Adaptive equipment needs: evaluating a child’s need for specialized equipment such as feeding utensils, splints, bathing equipment, dressing devices, etc.

What clients are saying

“My son has greatly benefited from OT and PT at Cheshire Fitness Zone. The therapists are so patient and knowledgeable. The facility is also very impressive and fun. We look forward to seeing our son progress as we continue therapy.”
Anonymous
“Cheshire Fitness Zone therapists offer hope, encouragement, and creativity. They deliver on persistence, personal gains, and individual growth because they genuinely care. In spite of working on the steps to tie his shoes for over six months at a different facility, at Cheshire Fitness Zone Erin never lost hope or let him quit. Although he had no idea each week she worked on skills that when put together would tie a shoe. She approached the idea of tying many times only to be met with complete resistance and totally shutting down. Then one day he came to me after his session and said, ‘Hey mom, guess what? I can tie my shoes.’ When I saw the pride in his eyes and the encouragement on Erin’s face I knew he had done it. It was one of the happiest moments of his childhood. What a gift…self-pride and independence.”
Stacey Lyn
“Both of our sons have participated in physical, occupational, and speech therapy at Cheshire Fitness Zone. We make the forty minute trek to Cheshire three times per week because the therapists are like none other we have encountered. Our sons (4 and 5 years old) have received therapy since birth and I was so pleased to have found Cheshire Fitness Zone. Both of my kids have been challenged and nurtured by the therapists. They are so amazing with the kids and I am thankful for their dedication.”
Katy Blanchette
“I honestly can’t thank you enough for all the time you spent with us and the very valuable advice that you gave.”
The Cristo Family

How do I know if my child needs therapy?

Your child might need occupational therapy if:

  • They avoid fine motor tasks or experience difficulty and frustration when completing them.
  • They have difficulty with learning novel tasks such as navigating playground equipment or playing with toys
  • They are overly bothered by sensory input such as touch, texture, taste, sound, and movement.
  • They demonstrate decreased reactions/limited awareness or seek out excessive touch, sound, taste, and movement experiences
  • They have difficulty with handwriting related to visual or motor ability
  • They have trouble learning how to use eating utensils
  • They consume an extremely limited diet or demonstrate several food aversions
  • They have trouble getting clothes and shoes on/off
  • They have difficulty sustaining attention to age-appropriate tasks

Common Questions

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