DPPT and OTT in Pediatric Occupational Therapy

It might seem like there is always more to learn when it comes to pediatric occupational therapy. Two therapeutic techniques that you can add to your occupational therapy repertoire are DPPT and OTT. These are widely used in occupational therapy, particularly if an individual experiences issues with sensory input.

What is pediatric occupational therapy?
Pediatric occupational therapy is designed as a way to help children build the skills that they need to complete their daily ‘occupations’ (or activities). A child may require the services of an occupational therapist (OT) if they experience delays in their fine or gross motor skills or have issues with sensory integration (or the way that their brain processes sensory information). A pediatric occupational therapist can provide services to children in a variety of settings, including the school setting, in home, hospitals, or private practices. Parents can also become involved in the therapeutic process and incorporate exercises/techniques from sessions into the daily routines of their child at home. A couple of these techniques might include DPPT or OTT.

What is DPPT?
DPPT, or Deep Pressure and Proprioceptive Technique, is a therapeutic technique that is used with patients in occupational therapy. This technique may also be referred to as the ‘Wilbarger Deep Pressure and Proprioceptive Technique’ or the ‘Wilbarger Brushing Protocol.’ The DPPT technique incorporates two main components: brushing and joint compression. If you are unfamiliar with brushing, there are many resources and helpful videos available online. There are also many helpful videos to demonstrate the second component of DPPT; joint compressions. Essentially, this technique involves applying deep pressure to the joints in the body.

Why is DPPT used?
DPPT is used in pediatric occupational therapy in children who experience sensory issues, as a result of sensory processing disorder (SPD) or autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The brushing component of DPPT can be particularly helpful for individuals who experience tactile defensiveness.

What is OTT?
OTT, or the Oral Tactile Technique, is also a therapeutic technique used in occupational therapy. This method involves the parent or therapist touching the inside of the mouth of the child (on the roof) to decrease their oral defensiveness. If you would like to learn more about this technique, there are helpful resources available online.

Why is OTT used?
A pediatric occupational therapist may choose to use OTT with their patients with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or sensory processing disorder (SPD) who experience issues processing sensory information. While DPPT is particularly helpful for children with tactile defensiveness, OTT is helpful for children with oral defensiveness.

Pediatric sensory issues
Children with autism or sensory processing disorder experience sensory information (sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures) differently than typically developing children. These sensory issues may present as hypersensitivity (heightened sensitivity) or hyposensitivity (decreased sensitivity).

Would you like to learn more about using DPPT and OTT in pediatric occupational therapy?
Chicago Occupational Therapy provides extensive occupational therapy in Chicago for children, including ABA, speech, and therapeutic preschool program.

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