What is Low Arousal and How Can Occupational Therapy Help?

What is low arousal? Arousal refers to our state, consciousness, or awareness at any given moment. Children with low arousal usually under register proprioceptive, vestibular, and/or tactile input. These three sensory systems work together to help the nervous system regulate energy level and the ability to pay attention and respond appropriately to what is going on around us. Symptoms of …

What Are Joint Compressions, and How Do Pediatric Occupational Therapists Use Them?

If you are new to the field of pediatric occupational therapy, “joint compressions” may be a new term, but this therapeutic strategy can be extremely helpful when used safely and appropriately. Joint compressions provide proprioceptive input that helps children know where their body is in their environment. What are joint compressions? Deep pressure applied by the hands to various joints …

What is Sensory Processing Disorder? An Illustrated Guide by Chicago Occupational Therapy!

The newest book in our series of illustrated guides for parents is out! What is Sensory Processing Disorder? An Illustrated Guide, helps both parents and children understand what sensory processing disorder is, how occupational therapy can help, and what to expect from therapy. This fun, child-friendly guide includes a breakdown of sensory processing disorder and the differences between sensory-avoiding and sensory-seeking. …

3 Ways Playing With Food Can Be Beneficial in Pediatric Occupational Therapy

One of the first lessons we learn at the dinner table as children is that we should not play with our food. While this might be the case for some children, playing with food can be a valuable exercise in pediatric occupational therapy. You might wonder if playing with food can actually help in occupational therapy, but there are many …

Strategies to Help Your Child Brush Their Teeth!

Self-care skills are incredibly important for young children to learn, but for children with sensory difficulties, some self-care skills can be difficult to master. If a child has sensory issues, their brain may have trouble processing or organizing information from the senses (sights, sounds, smells, textures, or flavors). As a result of sensory issues, activities such as brushing teeth can …

Top 10 Toys for Pediatric Vestibular Development

Ever wonder why children love getting dizzy, swinging, or playing ‘Ring around the Rose’? Because it makes their vestibular system feel good! The vestibular system helps our bodies know where they are in relation to our world around us. For example, it helps us know if we are leaning forward, falling, or just standing still. The best place for your …

Activities to Strengthen Children’s Core Muscles

Having a strong core is important for children throughout their whole lives. The core muscles are the abdominal, pelvic, and back muscles that move, support and stabilize the trunk. Having a weak core can impact a child’s balance, coordination, gross motor skills, and fine motor skills. Signs that your child might have a weak core are clumsiness, w-sitting, sitting with …

5 Toys for Children That Will Improve Fine Motor Skills

Many children receive occupational therapy (OT) to build fine motor skills which are the movements of the small muscles of the hands and fingers used to complete everyday tasks. While many children may see an occupational therapist in a school or clinic setting, the occupational therapist also recommends parents to continue practicing skills within the home environment for continued growth …

5 of the Best Sensory Skills Games for Children

It seems that each generation is growing up with more technologically advanced toys than the one before. As technology evolves, however, you might stop and wonder whether the high-tech toys are the most beneficial from a developmental standpoint. The same goes for toys used in occupational therapy. Many children receive occupational therapy to build pivotal skills needed to complete their …

Visual Perception and Activities That Can Help

What is Visual Perception? Visual perception calls attention to the brain’s ability to recognize what the eyes see. In other words, it allows us to not just see but understand as well. This is different than acuity, which refers to how clearly a person can see. For instance, someone could have ‘20/20 vision’ but still have difficulty with visual perceptual …