Occupational Therapy Assessment

Occupational Therapy Assessment

Your child has been referred for an occupational therapy assessment.  The assessment will be completed by an occupational therapist (OT for short).  Occupational therapists have graduated from accredited occupational therapy programs and hold either a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate degree in OT.

In general, occupational therapists are interested in understanding your child’s ability to participate in the activities that are important to you and your family.  These include what we refer to as Activities of Daily Living, or ADL’s.  ADL’s are things like being able to brush teeth, comb hair, bathe, get dressed or undressed, and eat and sleep appropriately.  Occupational therapists, as well as our speech pathologists, also evaluate and treat feeding difficulties.

Occupational therapists are interested in how your child participates in play and leisure activities.  This includes being able to play with toys, play with peers, attend activities with friends, and do the types of things that kids like to do such as riding a bike or skate board, climbing the monkey bars, or playing a board game.

Finally, OT’s are interested in how your child performs in school.  Can he or she maintain attention to task, can they write or color as appropriate for their age, and are they able to participate in PE, art and music without having behavioral outbursts?

Any number of things can cause a child to have difficulty in these areas.  Therefore an OT assessment will look at the underlying things that can interfere with success.  These areas may include an assessment of :

  • Large muscles (gross motor) for playing and running.
  • Small muscles (fine motor) for coloring, writing, using a keyboard, dressing, and playing with toys.
  • Eyes (visual perception) for understanding spatial relationships and recognizing letters and numbers.
  • Sensory systems (sensory processing) for understanding how our responses to sensation affect our ability to make appropriate responses.

Your child’s particular assessment will be determined based on the information you provide to the therapists and will most likely include observation of play – both structured and unstructured, an interview with parents, and may or may not include standardized testing.





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