Children's Hospital Colorado
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Rehabilitation Medicine

Occupational Therapy for Children and Teens

At Children's Hospital Colorado, our Occupational Therapy Program helps children, teens and young adults develop "skills for the occupation of living." This includes the ordinary, familiar and meaningful activities that kids and adults do every day – from eating and getting dressed to going to school or work.

When you choose Children's Colorado for your child's occupational therapy evaluation, treatment planning and intervention, our occupational therapists focus on helping your child achieve and maintain health through meaningful participation in life activities. Our experts work with children of all ages, from the tiniest of newborns to teens and young adults.

What is occupational therapy?

A child's life is made up of "occupations," or daily activities that include playing, learning and socializing. Pediatric occupational therapists work with children and their families to help them succeed in these activities throughout the day. At Children's Colorado, our Occupational Therapy Program supports children of all ages by incorporating the occupations that are most important to them.

Occupational therapists use a variety of functional activities to promote skills in the areas of:

  • Self-care independence and safety for tasks such as feeding, dressing and bathing.
  • Motor coordination for handwriting, zipping or buttoning clothes, eating with a knife and fork, playing on playground equipment, and coordination for games and sports.
  • Oral motor function for eating, managing food, taking milk from a bottle, and tolerating different food textures and types.
  • Self-regulation and organization for completion of routines and transitions such as bedtime, getting ready for school, mealtime and outings.
  • Visual perception for tasks like puzzles, construction games, pre-reading and pre-math.
  • Community integration and social behavior to help participation in home, school and community activities.

Our occupational therapy team will also explore adaptive devices and assistive technology that may help your child achieve his or her maximum potential.

Occupational therapy treatments and techniques focus on skills your child needs to achieve optimal success and independence at home and in the community. Each patient's needs differ, which is why a customized occupational therapy plan is so important.

Conditions treated with occupational therapy

Our occupational therapists are highly trained and experienced in providing family-centered and innovative treatment for the following diagnoses:

Occupational therapy may be needed for a number of other conditions and may be recommended in conjunction with physical therapy.

Occupational therapy services we provide

Occupational therapy evaluation and treatment is offered at the Anschutz Medical Campus and at several therapy care centers. We provide individual therapies, a variety of focused groups, specialized camps and both inpatient and outpatient services. Our occupational therapists also work with specialists in a number of multidisciplinary clinics, programs and camps, including:

Group treatment programs and rehabilitation summer camps are also available to support social skills, feeding, mobility, handwriting and success in daily activities.

Your child's first occupational therapy visit

Children whose lives have been affected by developmental conditions, illness or injury can benefit from occupational therapy (OT). At Children's Colorado, we start by providing an occupational therapy assessment, which includes developing an "occupational profile" for your child. As part of this assessment, we look at your child's skills, abilities and environmental demands. We then determine what adaptations are needed to address impairments or concerns.

The therapist will also gather information about your child's specific illness, injury or condition, as well as review medical reports that help them understand your child's history.

For these visits, it's important that the child's parent or primary guardian is present, as this ensures consistent communication and care at home. After the initial occupational therapy visit and assessment, our team will create a treatment plan in connection with your child's other medical providers. This will include inpatient or outpatient services, home therapy plans and education.

Meet our occupational therapy team

Our team consists of licensed occupational therapists and licensed occupational therapy assistants. They are skilled professionals who use research and scientific evidence to ensure that therapy helps your child achieve his or her goals. Many of our programs are complimented by skilled therapy aides who support our treatment services.

Why choose Children's Colorado for occupational therapy?

The Rehabilitation Program at Children's Colorado offers exceptional occupational therapy services with highly specialized therapists on staff. Many of our therapists are certified in sensory integration, neuro-developmental treatment, manual therapy and feeding and swallowing dysfunction.

The occupational therapists at Children's Colorado also focus on family involvement in their child's occupational therapy program. This includes helping families set goals for their child, attend therapy sessions and follow through with occupational therapy exercises at home. Communication and educating your child and family is as important as the treatment your child receives at the hospital. We value sharing information and depend on a partnership with your family.

Additionally, we encourage multidisciplinary collaboration and work with physician partners to ensure continuity of care for patients outside of our program. because our therapists are some of the best in the field, our team is on the forefront of occupational therapy research and regularly presents at national conferences.

Contact us

To reach the Occupational Therapy Program, please call 720-777-6655.

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