Pediatric Occupational Therapist
Jessica Glenbocki

How pediatric occupational therapists help children

Pediatric Occupational Therapist
Jessica Glenbocki

How pediatric occupational therapists help children

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Pediatric Occupational Therapists are typically not a consideration by parents for their children.  However, occupational therapists (OT) can be very helpful for a child if your child is exhibiting certain traits or behaviors.

Parents’ and teachers’ jobs can become very hectic when trying to help each child with their own specific challenges. Pediatric occupational therapists can be excellent resources and adjuncts to help your child overcome challenges and excel in their home and school environments.

Here are a few tips to help parents and teachers identify if a child could benefit from an occupational therapy evaluation and treatment. (This is by no means a complete list of behaviors or challenges that an OT can help with).


10 Signs My Child May Need a Pediatric Occupational Therapist

  1. My child is a bystander or observer on the playground and rarely tries out the equipment independently.
  2. My child has poor posture while sitting in a chair at the table and during situations of unsupported sitting. For example, during circle time my child is observed to roll or move around a lot on the floor.
  3. My child has a difficult time walking in line or being close to other children. They appear to be irritated by touch from other people but frequently touch things themselves.
  4. My child frequently chooses the same familiar game or activity and avoids learning new motor activities or games.
  5. My child avoids fine motor activities. They have difficulty using small objects or using scissors.  They may demonstrate an abnormal pencil grip, or their hand tires easily during fine motor tasks. They may press too hard or too light on the paper when writing.
  6. My child seems to have more difficulty than peers putting on their coats.  They have trouble putting on and tying their shoes and buttoning.
  7. My child has trouble putting together puzzles or finding a specific object in the classroom.
  8. My child frequently runs into things in the classroom, falls to the floor, or purposely crashes into things or people.
  9. My child has more trouble than their peers writing in their assignment notebook, keeping their desk and folders organized, and turning in assignments on time.
  10. My child takes excessive risks and often demonstrates decreased safety awareness.


If you see any of these behaviors or characteristics in your child, everyday life may be more difficult to get through for them than for other children and may affect their success in school. You can help them by seeking out a pediatric occupational therapist for techniques and strategies to improve their academic success and overall daily performance.

About the Author

I am an occupational therapist with 12 years of experience working with children of all ages and diagnoses. I graduated from Cleveland State University with a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy. After working in the field for a number of years, I obtained my certification in sensory integration. I currently work with school-based children in a virtual setting, focusing on fine motor, visual motor, self-help and sensory processing skills. I am also pursuing my Doctorate of Occupational Therapy through Shawnee State University’s on-line program. My pediatric experience includes working with children of all ages in various settings such as hospital based out-patient clinic, private out-patient clinic, early intervention, and school-based; brick and mortar and virtual schools. It is my hope to help educate and provide you with the tools to allow your child to reach their greatest potential. Treatment approaches focus on play and client/child centered interventions. My passion is helping children and families live their lives to the fullest!

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