What is AOTA?

In the field of allied health, there are many different acronyms floating around, so it can be difficult to keep them all straight. If you are a seasoned occupational therapist (OT), you are likely very familiar with AOTA, the American Occupational Therapy Association. If you are new to the field or are a parent of a child in pediatric occupational …

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 …

4 Ways to Help Your Child Brush Their Teeth the OT Way

Self-care skills are incredibly important for young children to learn, but for children with sensory issues or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), 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 …

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 …

Best Toys to Strengthen Children’s Core Muscles

Having a strong core is important for us throughout our whole lives. It first starts when we are infants, learning to sit and crawl. As we grow, our core strength is important to stabilize the trunk of our body and helps us with our posture. A weak core can cause slumping of the shoulders and slouching of the body. It …

5 of the Best Fine Motor Skills Games for Children

Many children seek occupational therapy (OT) to build skills needed to complete daily activities that involve sensory and motor skills, as well as many other skills. While many children may see an occupational therapist in a school or clinical setting, the occupational therapy lessons do not have to stop there. If parents or teachers wish to incorporate occupational therapy lessons …

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 …

5 Signs of a Sensory Processing Disorder

In observing any classroom, you will find that no two students behave in exactly the same way and that every child develops at a different pace. While scientists have established typical benchmarks for development, not every child hits every benchmark at the same time. Some child may also experience delays or a disorder in their development. One common disorder in …