What is pediatric occupational therapy?

i-hhfkspg-x3Play is the work of children. It is through joyful exploration and meaningful interactions that we learn and develop throughout childhood. Pediatric occupational therapy fosters children’s ability to reach their maximum physical, social, and cognitive potential through the use of play.

Some children who may benefit from occupational therapy include those with:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Down Syndrome
  • ADHD
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Sensory Processing Disorder
  • other developmental disabilities
  • low tolerance for sound, touch, or movement
  • difficulty with changes in schedule or routine
  • decreased or increased pain tolerance
  • decreased independence with self help skills
  • delayed developmental milestones
  • feeding difficulties
  • increased activity level
  • immature muscle development of the hands and/or body
  • poor handwriting
  • poor motor coordination or difficulty learning new skills
  • poor interactive play skills


What is sensory integration/processing?

i-txnqjhr-x3At any given moment we must interpret everything we sense and respond to it appropriately. If we detect a dangerous touch or smell, we must react and protect ourselves. If there is no reason to respond, we must be able to ignore sights, sounds, and smells that are irrelevant so that we can focus on the task at hand. Sensory processing is a complex, neurological process that allows us to alert to, interpret, ignore or react to sensory information.

There are 7 major senses that our nervous system must alert to and interpret correctly in order to have both appropriate behavioral and motor responses.

  • Tactile
  • Auditory
  • Gustatory/Taste
  • Olfactory/Smell
  • Visual

Our less well-known sensory systems are:

  • Proprioceptive

Provides information about body position using information received from the muscles and joints.

  • Vestibular

Provides information relating to movement. The vestibular sense combines with proprioceptive input to contribute to postural reactions, ocular pursuits, arousal level, muscle tone, and coordination of both sides of the body.

In order to complete tasks such as getting dressed, playing a basketball game, handwriting, or paying attention in a classroom, a child must be able to process information from all systems efficiently.  If there is a breakdown in sensory processing, a child may face significant challenges in socialization and daily life.


For Parents:


i-kqj8sjk-x3Understanding SPD

  • Love, Jean: Inspiration for Families Living with Dysfunction of Sensory Integration A, Jean Ayres, Zoe Mailloux
  • Sensory Integration and the Child: 25th Anniversary Edition Jean Ayres
  • Sensory Integration: Answers for Parents Gina Geppert Coleman, Zoe Mailloux and Susanne Smith Roley
  • What’s Eating Your Child? Kelly Dorfman
  • Building Bridges Through Sensory Integration Ellen Yack, Shirley Sutton, Paula Aquilla


Living with SPD

  • Sensational Kids: Hope and help for children with Sensory Processing Disorder Lucy Jane Miller and Doris Fuller
  • No Longer A Secret: Unique Common Sense Strategies for Children with Sensory or Motor Challenges Doreit S. Bialer and Lucy Jane Miller
  • The Out-of-Sync Child: Recognizing and Coping with Sensory Processing Disorder Carol Stock Kranowitz
  • The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun, Revised Edition: Activities for Kids with Sensory Processing Disorder Carol Stock Kranowitz
  • Raising a Sensory Smart Child Lindsey Biel and Nancy Peske
  • Too Loud, Too Bright, Too Fast, Too Tight: What to Do If You Are Sensory Defensive in an Overstimulating World Sharon Heller


Supplies & Materials


For Children:


  • Arnie and his School Tools: Simple Sensory Solutions that Build Success Jennifer Veenendall
  • The Goodenoughs Get in Sync: 5 Family Members overcome their Sensory Issues Carol Stock Kranowitz,
  • The Way I Feel Janan Cain
  • When My Worries Get Too Big Karl Dunn Buron
  • My Mouth is a Volcano! Julia Cook
  • Superflex Takes On Rockbrain And The Team of Unthinkables … A New Beginning… Stephanie Madrigal
  • The Incredible Flexible You 5 Storybooks Ryan E. Hendrix, Kari Zweber Palmer, Nancy Tarshis, Michelle Garcia Winner
  • Breathe, Chill: A Handy Book of Games and Techniques Introducing Breathing, Meditation and Relaxation to Kids and Teens Lisa Roberts
  • Whole Body Listening Larry at School/ Whole Body Listening Larry at Home Kristen Wilson & Elizabeth Sautter


Fine Motor:

  • Willy’s Wiggly Web Peaceable Kingdom
  • Stack Up Peaceable Kingdom
  • Tricky fingers Edushape
  • Mancala Multiple Manufacturers
  • Cube Burst Magnif
  • Operation Hasbro

Gross Motor:

  • Footloose International Playthings
  • Yoga Kit for kids None
  • Twister Hasbro
  • Cat in the Hat: I Can Do That Wonder Forge
  • Feed the Woozle Peaceable Kingdom

Tactile Processing:

  • Ruff’s House Learning Resources
  • What’s in Ned’s Head? Ideal
  • No Peeking Ravensburger


  • My Feelings Game Sensational Learners Inc.
  • Give Me 5 Social Skills Game The Developmental Garden

Ready Set GO Therapy, Inc. • 350 Gate 5 Road, Sausalito, CA 94965

415-339-8800 • Fax 415-963-4243 • info@readysetgotherapy.com