Occupational therapy is the use of purposeful activity to maximize the independence of a child who is limited by a physical injury or illness, neurological or cognitive impairment, a developmental or learning disability, or sensory integration dysfunction. For a child, purposeful activities such as swinging, climbing, jumping, buttoning, drawing and writing are considered their "occupation." Occupational therapists use their unique expertise to help children prepare for and perform important learning and developmental activities by facilitating social skills development, motor development, emergent literacy, and the development of adaptive and self-care skills.
Pediatric occupational therapy uses play, which is a child’s natural occupation, to improve foundation skills and independence so that children can participate in daily life activities at home, school, and in the community. Fun and functional activities are incorporated into the therapy sessions to motivate the child to participate in activities that can promote more appropriate adaptive responses and improve the child's abilities.
Occupational therapists work with children who have mental, emotional/social and physical disabilities which interfere with their daily life activities like academics, play and leisure activities.