How Can Occupational Therapy Help My Child?
As parents, we want to ensure that our children are meeting developmental milestones.
When my friend’s toddler was not interested in eating anything other than baby food, their pediatrician recommended occupational therapy to assist with chewing and textures. She called it a “game-changer” for their daughter, who thrived after just a few sessions.
So what do occupational therapists DO, exactly? The answer is a pretty extensive list.
Occupational Therapists, commonly referred to as OTs, can help children with a variety of both gross and fine motor skills:
Occupational Therapy Areas of Focus
Developmental Delays: not meeting developmental milestones on time, not engaging in age-appropriate play
Gross Motor Skills: using both sides of body, maneuvering stairs, improving balance
Fine Motor Skills: using scissors, manipulating buttons, tying laces, improving handwriting
Sensory Processing: heightened reactivity to sound, touch, or movement, easily distracted by stimuli
Visual Processing: letter recognition, spacing between letters, differentiating right versus left
Oral Motor/Processing: eating and drinking using age-appropriate tools and techniques, picky eating/food texture concerns
Getting Started with an Occupational Therapist
With most developmental concerns, your family doctor or pediatrician is your first stop for guidance.
If they believe occupational therapy can benefit your child, their office will refer you to a local OT office. Children participating in EarlyOn may receive OT services as well through their program.
We polled local parents for their top picks in occupational therapy; the top five are listed below.
Any sponsors you see were first voted by our readers and then were invited to offer more information about their practice.
Are you on the search for other health care providers for your family? See the Top Voted Doctors in Kalamazoo with a listing of Dentists, OBGYNS, Pediatricians, etc. who provide medical care in the community.
(Please note that this content is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Users are advised to check the certification of any care providers listed below and consult their own medical doctors before proceeding with a care plan.)
Voting Results: Occupational Therapists for Kids
Occupational therapy helps kids with a myriad of conditions, usually focusing on fine and gross motor skills. When a child shows delays in these activities, OT is often recommended. OT is also frequently used when sensory processing disorders, developmental delays, Downs syndrome or Autism spectrum disorders are present. Parents in Kalamazoo picked these OTs as the best for their kids in Southwest Michigan:
Voted Top Occupational Therapist
Kathleen McGinnis at Bronson Rehabilitation Services – Elm Valley Drive
More reader-recommended OTs, in order of most votes:
1 – McGinnis, Kathleen (Bronson Rehabilitation Services – Elm Valley Drive)
2 – (TIE) Bennett, Stephen C. (Bronson Rehabilitation Services – Battle Creek)
2 – (TIE) Dobbertien, Maria M. (Functional Kids Therapy)
2 – (TIE) Hernandez, Rebecca (Santosha Wellness)
2 – (TIE) Horton-Bierema, Wendy (Arcadia Center for OT)