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Pediatric Occupational Therapy & Physical Therapy

Pediatric Occupational Therapy (OT) & Physical Therapy (PT) are unique practice areas where therapists provide services to children of various ages and diagnoses. At UI Health, we offer both inpatient and outpatient pediatric therapy services.

Our pediatric therapists have advanced clinical knowledge and skills with specialized certification in Sensory Integration, Pediatric Physical Therapy, and Neonatal Individualized Developmental Care & Assessment.

We work in collaboration with the children's families to understand each individual's strengths and challenges, with the goal of optimizing their participation in their ever-changing life activities. 

We are dedicated to generating evidence that pediatric therapy can have a positive impact on the lives of families and children, and several of our staff are involved in conducting and publishing research.

Outpatient Occupational Therapy

Pediatric occupational therapy helps children to develop the required skills to participate in their occupations, such as self-care, play and social skills. Common diagnoses include:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Sensory Integration Dysfunction
  • Developmental Coordination Disorder
  • Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Developmental Delay

Occupational therapy can benefit children who have difficulty with:

  • Self-care skills (feeding, dressing, grooming)
  • Play
  • Social skills and peer interaction
  • Handwriting
  • Cognitive and visual perceptual skills training
  • Fine motor skills and coordination

View Guide to Sensory Processing (PDF)

Outpatient Physical Therapy

Physical therapists work with infants and children to improve gross motor, balance, and coordination skills to optimize participation in life activities. Common diagnoses include:

  • Developmental delay
  • Torticollis
  • Idiopathic toe walking
  • Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, Muscular Dystrophy
  • Developmental coordination disorder
  • Musculoskeletal conditions, including flat feet and scoliosis

Physical therapy can benefit children who have difficulty with:

  • Delayed motor skills or limited mobility
  • Decreased participation in physical activities
  • Decreased functional independence
  • Poor/asymmetric posture
  • Muscle weakness/tightness
  • Poor balance and coordination

Inpatient OT & PT

Inpatient therapy services are indicated for infants, children, or teenagers who have experienced a change from their baseline developmental, functional mobility and/or self-help skills, or for patients who have an anticipated prolonged length of stay (more than one week) and are at risk for associated negative consequences. Inpatient therapy services include:

  • Standardized developmental testing and intervention to promote acquisition of developmental skills
  • Functional mobility evaluation and training (gait, transfers)
  • Activities of Daily Living evaluation and training (self-care, feeding)
  • Play and social participation
  • Bedside feeding assessment and intervention
  • Education for patients and caregivers
  • Assistance in discharge planning, including recommendations for equipment needs, early intervention, and outpatient services