Posted on June 15, 2017 by Nelson Gonzalez

Nelson Gonzalez, Therapies 4 Kids' Lead Occupational Therapist, has been working in the field for over thirteen years. 

He wants everyone to know that "Occupational Therapists do not attempt to make clients like everyone else. They embrace their strengths and work on the areas that are weakened..."

What is an Occupational Therapist and Why are They Important?

Pediatric Occupational Therapists (O.T.'s) are life builders for children whose lives have been raided by disability, especially those with Autism and Cerebral Palsy. O.T.'s assist these individuals to be free of their isolation and help them to share their abilities with others. Osho says, “Nobody is superior, nobody is inferior, but nobody is equal either. People are simply unique. You are you, I am I.” O.T.'s do not attempt to make clients like everyone else. We embrace their strengths and work on the areas that are weakened which affect their everyday functioning. If a child has difficulty controlling his or her self-stimulating behaviors, we teach them how to satisfy that crave in supplementary ways so that it does not affect their functioning and those around them. We want them to share their uniqueness. If a child with Cerebral Palsy demonstrates impairments with his or her motor control and coordination skills which affect his or her activities of daily living including dressing, bathing, and social interaction skills, occupational therapist help re-mediate deficits and train clients and caregivers on compensatory techniques, as needed, in order to lead fulfilling lives. 

How can Occupational Therapists Help Children with Autism?

Various children with Autism may miss sensory information from the environment that provide signals about what is going on in their surroundings and may be referred to as having poor registration. The brain may not be getting what it needs to produce appropriate responses. Other children may be referred to as having "seeking behavior." These individuals are characteristically active and continuously engaged in their environments. They add sensory input to every experience in daily life. They may appear impulsive and the consideration for safety when playing, may be absent. Some children with Autism may display hypersensitivities to sounds, sights, smells, tastes, and textures. These children may have sensitivity behavior. They have over-reactive neural systems that make them aware of every stimulus that becomes available and do not have the appropriate ability to adjust to these stimuli. 

Children may also present as having avoiding behaviors which represent those who may engage in disruptive behaviors, especially in situations they know they are having difficulty with. They avoid circumstances by either withdrawing or participating in emotional outbursts that enable them to get out of the situation. The child may appear stubborn and controlling and prefer routines without any sudden changes. The child is creating a state to limit sensory input to those events that are known and therefore, easy for the nervous system to interpret. There is not a cookie-cutter treatment plan for these exceptional children. O.T.'s provide the children and caregivers with individualized recipes (treatment plans) called a sensory diet with ingredients (tools) to assist the child to regulate his or her sensory system for success at home, school, and the community.

How Can Children With Cerebral Palsy Benefit From Occupational Therapy Treatments?

Children with Cerebral Palsy characteristically demonstrate deficits with reflex, body movement, muscle tone, balance, posture, muscle coordination, and receiving and responding to information through the senses. These complications can considerably impair a child’s ability to successfully participate in his or her activities of daily living including, dressing, feeding, sitting, standing, socializing, and much more. These limitations can lead to isolation. O.T.'s encompass the skills necessary to improve their posture, reduce muscle tone and improve their range of motion. O.T.'s will improve a child’s self-care skills, visual motor skills, handwriting skills, and the ability to navigate their environment. These skills are imperative to improve a child’s functional independence to replace isolation into inclusion. But treatment does not end in the therapy clinic. A comprehensive home exercise and activities program and family education are vital to this process.

How We Can Help! 

O.T.'s are knowledgeable in numerous areas in pediatric care. The focus is on improving a child's functional independence. Through individualized treatment strategies and taking a family-centered approach, limitations can be altered into great expectations. 

Therapies 4 Kids offers 6 convenient locations in South Florida: Pembroke Pines, Weston, Coral Springs, Boca Raton, Coral Gables and Miami.

Stop by and speak with one of our Pediatric Occupational Therapists today or contact (954)356-2878 or contact@therapies4kids.com for more information. 

You may also visit our website for more details http://www.therapies4kids.com or find us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/t4kusa.

We look forward to serving you!


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