Pediatric Conditions Requiring Occupational Therapy Assistant Support

Published - December 16, 2014

There are many medical centers, hospitals, and therapy centers that have on staff, trained and experienced Occupational therapy Assistant teams to assist with pediatric issues and needs. These therapists work with children from birth to the teenage years, and evaluate the physical health and condition of their patients and work with premature babies, full-term infants, and other children and teens who suffer from a number of health issues due to disease or injury that impact strength, mobility, and motor skills. Motor and movement dysfunctions exist at birth in many cases, and will need to be addressed in order to ensure quality of life later on.

The goals of OTA treatments are focused on helping children:

  • · Develop and control proper or normal body movements and functions
  • · Attain a pain-free way of life that still allows them as much independence as possible
  • · Be able to navigate normal activities like school, sports, self-care, and so forth


Getting Started

When a child needs help from a physical therapists, the process will often start with a detailed baseline evaluation that will take a close look at the limitations and needs of the child. They will analyze and watch the child as they have them perform certain tasks and actions. The OTA will use that evaluation as a guidepost to determine where to start on the therapy and treatment and what path should be taken. They will develop a personalized and unique plan for physical therapy that will address the child’s needs. The plan will address the necessary therapy, schedule, and frequency and also will set up at home therapy exercises that can be done between on-site sessions and consultations.

Processes Involved

These physical therapy sessions can vary greatly on the specific focuses and methods used, since so much of it is depending on the child’s individual needs, limitations, and unique short and long term goals. Some of the common and basic therapy processes that can be used by an OTA in these sessions include the following:

  • · Working to strengthen and build muscles to enable better mobility and increased flexibility
  • · Specialized equipment to assist with the therapy and treatments
  • · Training children how to properly use crutches, braces, and walkers
  • · Individualized home program sessions that continue daily work and rehabilitation
  • · Aiding in the transition from pediatrics to adult care for teens who need continuing support

Conditions Treated

A range of conditions and injuries can be addressed and treated by an OTA, and some of the most commonly seen are:

  • · Birth trauma – injuries or damage caused during and immediately after birth
  • · Brain, spine, and nerve injuries – pain management and mobility issues
  • · Congenital disorders and deformities – working to help children overcome these issues
  • · Developmental delays – helping children develop skills and get caught back up
  • · Foot disorders – aid in improving walking, standing, an mobility
  • · Gross and fine motor skills – development and improvement of mobility
  • · Musculoskeletal injuries – focuses on bones, tendons, muscles, and joints
  • · Neuromuscular conditions – focuses on issues of connectivity between the brain and the body
  • · Injures – work on rehab exercises and therapy to get children back on their feet
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