Tips from an OT on How to Improve Your Child’s Handwriting

Handwriting is an important skill that children need to perform well academically and also in everyday life. Handwriting can be a difficult task for many children as it involves various components such as fine/visual motor skills, hand strength, grasping skills, visual spatial skills, and attention. There are many ways to help increase all of these skills to improve a child’s …

5 Types of Occupational Therapist-Approved Tactile Play

In pediatric occupational therapy, we often encounter children who experience sensory issues. Children can present with difficulty in any of the seven sensory areas. See the Chicago Occupational Therapy blog post “What is Sensory Processing?” for more information about the different sensory areas and processing skills. Tactile defensiveness is one type of sensory response that can be directly treated in …

Five OT Tips for Helping Kids Who Hate Haircuts

It can be challenging for children with difficulties in sensory processing to tolerate routine grooming tasks, such as haircuts. Not because they are afraid of coming out of the appointment with bad bangs or an uneven trim, but because of the sensory response it evokes. See the Chicago Occupational Therapy blog post “What is Sensory Processing?” for more information about …

Tips for Helping Children with Sensory Issues Sleep Better

Sleep is a critical and important activity for a child. If a child isn’t getting enough sleep, they will likely be inattentive, disorganized, and dysregulated. For children with sensory processing difficulties, sleeping can be a struggle for both the child and their parents. Children with Sensory Processing Disorder have difficulty processing, organizing, and responding to sensory input resulting in atypical …

What is Low Arousal and Sensory Modulation?

What is Sensory Modulation? Sensory modulation refers to a person’s ability to create an appropriately graded response to incoming sensory stimuli (Parham & Mailloux, 2015).  For example, raising the volume of your voice in a noisy environment so people can better hear you, shading your eyes from the bright sun, or walking slowly into a lake, rather than jumping in, …

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 vestibular system plays a …