Occupational Therapy Department

Pediatric Occupational Therapy provides purposeful activities to achieve independent life skills for play, self-care, and leisure.  When development appears to be below age expectations, the pediatric occupational therapists design a therapeutic program of play activities to aid in the developmental process and help a child to reach critical milestones.

Based on your child’s individual needs, therapy may concentrate on the following areas:

  • Improving oral-motor development and hand skills for feeding and drinking
  • Improving muscle strength, range of motion, endurance, and posture for fine motor hand/finger skills
  • Improving eye- hand coordination for handwriting and academic tasks
  • Advancing self-help and life skills such as bathing, dressing, feeding, grooming, etc.
  • Enhancing sensory processing and behavioral strategies for improved attention, concentration, and behavioral regulation for everyday tasks and play activities.
  • Improving social and play skills for peer interaction.
  • Improving organizational abilities to manage the classroom environment and other community settings
  • Improving visual memory and sequential skills to improve reading and writing skills

Sensory Integration

Sensory Integration Dysfunction occurs when one or more of our sensory systems have difficulties accurately processing environmental stimuli. The result may be subtle or it can be very disruptive for the child and family. A child with sensory processing difficulties may interpret a gentle touch as extremely invasive and react with “fight/fright/flight” reactions. Things that may be interpreted by others as pleasurable may be interpreted as painful to this child. Sensory integration treatment can help this child to process sensory stimuli more accurately to allow for improved function and quality of life.



Therapeutic Listening

Many children who have sensory processing and sensory integration difficulties have listening difficulties. This is clearly evident in individuals with auditory defensiveness or auditory over-reactivity. These children often will cover their ears in response to low-frequency sounds (such as vacuum cleaners, blenders, and hair dryers), or high-pitched or sudden sounds (such as sneezing, or screaming). Therapeutic listening is designed to help improve processing and reduce these sensitivities.


Improvements in:

Decreases in:

Eating habits

Sensitivity to sound



Emotional treatment


Eye contact




Communication skills


Visual perception


Sleep patterns




The Therapeutic Listening® program at CTC
A variety of listening systems are available to deliver auditory/listening therapy. One of the best known is The Therapeutic Listening® program, which is used in combination with OT at the Washington Health System Children’s Therapy Center. The Therapeutic Listening® program was designed to help balance, strengthen, and/or restore a person’s ability to listen to and process sounds across the full auditory spectrum, Therapeutic Listening® (TL) uses the organized sound patterns inherent in music to impact all levels of the nervous system. Auditory information from Therapeutic Listening® CDs provides direct input to both the vestibular and the auditory portions of the vestibular-cochlear system. The emphasis of TL is on blending sound intervention strategies with postural, movement, and respiratory activities. Therapeutic Listening® utilizes a number of specialty CDs that vary in musical style, types of filtering, and level of complexity. The music on Therapeutic Listening® CDs is electronically altered to elicit the orienting response, which sets the body up for sustained attention and active listening.


To learn more about Therapeutic Listening, visit: www.vitallinks.net