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My child’s teacher told me that my child might benefit from occupational therapy. What is it?

OT is a health profession whose goal is to help people develop the necessary skills to participate in the activities of everyday life. Occupational therapists (“OTs”) help people identify the issues that are interfering with doing daily tasks. Through goal-based strategies, OTs develop and implement programs to enable people to overcome these barriers.

But Children Don’t Have “Occupations”… So Why Do They Need OT?

Some people may think that OT is only for adults; children, after all, do not have occupations. But a child’s main “job” or “occupation” involves playing, learning and carrying out everyday activities including getting dressed, using scissors, writing and recreational physical activities. OT for children includes intervention aimed at developing the underlying sensory and motor foundations necessary for skill development in addition to the development of strategies that enable children to learn. OT can benefit many children including premature infants, kids with ADHD and typically developing children who are struggling with various school activities.

What types of difficulties do you help children with?

We help children who have difficulties with:

  • Printing
  • Cursive writing
  • Pencil grasp
  • Scissor skills
  • Pre-printing skills
  • Letter formation
  • Spacing of letter/words
  • Reversals of letters
  • Copying from the board
  • Using both hands together (i.e. scissor skills, typing laces, throwing a ball)
  • Posture during written work
  • Organization of work on the page
  • Tying shoelaces, fastening buttons, zipping zippers
  • Clumsy or poor coordination
  • Poor body awareness
  • Gym skills (i.e. balance, hopping, skipping, throwing a ball)
  • Sitting still and focusing
  • Transitions
  • Underreactive to touch, movement, sight, sound, taste interfering with the ability to perform daily activities
  • Overreactive to touch, movement, sight, sound, taste interfering with the ability to perform daily activities

What should I do if I suspect my child has a difficulty?

If you or anyone involved with your child (e.g. preschool, paediatrician) are concerned that your child is not meeting any of their developmental milestones and/or is having difficulty engaging in any of their daily activities and roles, you should seek the advice of an OT. Current research suggests that early intervention plays an important role in enhancing a child’s opportunities. Therefore, the earlier the better. 

My child doesn’t have any SEVERE difficulties, it’s just simple tasks that they don’t seem to be doing like other kids their age. Can OT help?

A majority of the children that we see do not have any severe difficulties. We work with children whose struggles range from minor handwriting problems to medical diagnoses including learning disabilities and autism.

How do I refer my child to Kids Can Do Therapy Services Inc.?

Please call us at 416-843-9950 to make a referral where we will be able to discuss your child’s unique needs.  During this phone call we can discuss some key concerns you are having and determine if we are the right service for you. 

What happens once a referral is made?

We will schedule an assessment session with you to observe your child’s skills. We use a combination of best practice assessment tools with some standardized assessments and clinical observations to obtain a baseline of your child's strengths and weaknesses to help determine priorities for intervention. During this session we will also discuss your concerns and how occupational therapy could be beneficial for your child. 

What happens during a session?

Sessions are usually 45 minutes to 1 hour in length. Carefully chosen fun activities provide the ‘just-right’ challenge for your child to ensure that they achieve success while being challenged to develop their skills in their underlying areas of difficulties. Sessions are individually tailored to suit your child & family’s needs. Parent participation is encouraged throughout the sessions to help provide ‘hands-on’ learning experiences and the opportunity to gain information about how to continue with strategies at home.

What is sensory integration? What does that term mean?

Sensory Integration is used to describe a process that goes on in our brain. It’s our ability to take in information through our senses (touch, smell, taste, sight, sound, movement and body awareness), organize and interpret that information and make a meaningful response. Successful sensory integration is essential to perform daily occupations such as learning in school, riding a bike, and appropriately interacting with friends, teachers, and family members. Sensory integration is a normal phenomenon of central nervous system functioning and provides a foundation for more complex learning and behavior. For some individuals sensory integration does not develop as efficiently as it should. Sensory integration dysfunction can result in motor development difficulties, learning difficulties, or behavioral concerns.

Can occupational therapy help with behavioural problems?

Yes, this is one of the primary reasons that parents are referred to us. We don’t just look at the behavior, though, but at why the behavior is happening. We look at it from a larger perspective and take into consideration all of the factors that contribute to your child’s behavior.

Can I claim occupational therapy on private health insurance?

Please contact your provider for more details about your family’s coverage and entitlements as these can vary between providers.


If you have more questions, we're eager to hear from you: click here to contact kids can do therapy services inc.

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pediatric OT