Occupational Therapy is a skilled service which assists individuals in participating in meaningful and purposeful activities, or occupations. The primary occupations of children are Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), which consist of hygiene and grooming, toileting, dressing, eating, and feeding; Education; Play; Leisure; Social Participation; and Rest and Sleep. For older children and adolescents, primary occupations may expand to include Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs), which consist of care of pets, communication management, driving, financial management, and meal preparation. Children who are neurodivergent, who have developmental delays, who have learning differences, or who have a history of trauma, may benefit from the services of an occupational therapist. Using a developmental and relationship-based approach, Occupational Therapy can help clients build confidence and skills in the areas of sensory processing, self-help (adaptive), motor, perceptual, social-emotional learning (regulation), and executive functioning, in order to engage more fully in meaningful occupations.
Language Essentials’ occupational therapists address a range of neurological, developmental, movement, and sensory challenges in children ages 18 months - 17 years. Our occupational therapists have experience working with children with a variety of diagnoses, such as, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorders, Dyspraxia/Developmental Coordination Disorder, Down Syndrome, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Microcephaly, Cerebral Palsy, and Learning Differences. We strive for a strengths-based approach to therapy, incorporating both top down and bottom up strategies in our intervention plans to meet the child where he/she is. We recognize the importance of establishing trust and rapport with our clients and their families, while providing a safe space to learn and grow. Services include comprehensive evaluation, individualized intervention planning, targeted goals, and engaging and fun treatment sessions.
Areas Addressed by Occupational Therapy
Fine motor: Challenges using the small muscles of the body, especially in the hands, used for grasping and manipulating objects.
Gross motor: Challenges using the large muscles of the body, used for posture, balance, and coordination.
Perceptual motor: Challenges integrating a variety of sensory stimuli with physical movement.
Sensory Processing (Integration) Disorder (SPD)
Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD): Difficulty in how the brain receives, organizes, and responds to sensory stimuli. Sensory Processing is the underlying foundation that supports learning, self-regulation, focus and attention, and social behavior. Sensory challenges can be present in one, or in any combination of the eight sensory systems. The eight sensory systems are tactile (touch), proprioception (body awareness and positioning), vestibular (movement and balance), visual (sight), auditory (sound), gustatory (taste), olfactory (small), and interoception (internal sensations and feelings).
Sensory Modulation Disorder (SMD): Difficulty in regulating responses to sensory stimuli. An individual may be over-responsive, under-responsive, or sensory craving/seeking.
Sensory Based Motor Disorder (SBMD): Difficulty with balance, motor coordination, and skilled motor tasks.
- Dyspraxia: Difficulty thinking of, planning and/or executing skilled motor movements, especially new or unfamiliar movement patterns.
-Postural Disorder: Difficulty with perception/awareness of body position; poorly developed movement patterns that are dependent on core stability. Can appear to be weak and/or have low endurance.
Sensory Discrimination Disorder (SDD): Difficulty understanding and responding to subtle characteristics of objects, places, people or other environments.
Our Occupational Therapists work with children to build their overall skills in the following areas:
Sensory Processing/Integration, applying principles of Sensory Integration Theory to inform interventions, utilizing equipment and a variety of sensory rich activities tailored to each client’s sensory needs, caregiver education, and the development of a “sensory diet” to enable the client to reach his/her optimal level of alertness and regulation
ADLs and IADLs
Rest and Sleep, including establishing bedtime routines and suggestions for environmental adaptations
Fine Motor Skills, including bimanual coordination, dexterity, grasp, strengthening, and object manipulation
Gross Motor Skills, including motor planning, body awareness, core strengthening, coordination,
balance, and endurance
Visual Perceptual Skills
Social-Emotional Learning/Emotional Regulation
Executive Functioning, including focus and attention, impulse control, planning and organization, memory, problem solving, and cognitive flexibility
Language Essentials provides individual occupational therapy sessions. Please contact our office to speak with us about your specific needs.
Tel: (925) 743-3322