Occupational Therapy (OT)

Pediatric occupational therapists help children participate in their daily occupations, such as during play, with school activities, and in self-care to improve independence and well-being. 

OT's specialize in the evaluation and treatment of challenges in areas of:

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

AAC can be used with clients to support existing speech or when speech is absent or non-functional. AAC can include facial expressions, sign language, communication apps, switches, and more - whatever is best for each child! 

Pediatric occupational therapists often work together with speech therapists to improve a child's ability to use AAC. OTs may work on visual motor skills, fine motor skills, positioning, or coordination needed to access their AAC set ups. OTs can also help children to understand how their systems work, what it means to make choices, and how communication can impact their lives. 

Neurodiversity Affirming Therapy

All therapists and administrators at Pace Pediatric therapy do our best to follow and continually learn about neurodiversity affirming approaches. 

What is Neurodiversity?

Neurodivergence means that an individual has a brain that works differently from what is broadly considered "typical". Neurodiversity refers to neurological diversity, similar to how we think about other forms of human diversity.

Neurodiverse individuals may or may not have methods of communication, play, socializing, learning, and expressing emotions that are different from neurotypical methods. 

Some types of neurodiversity include: 

What is Neurodiversity Affirming Therapy?

Other therapeutic approaches may view neurodiversity as a problem to be "fixed" or "cured", with the goal of teaching a child to behave like a "neurotypical" child such as reducing stimming behaviors or maintaining eye contact. These approaches can be traumatic for children and can lead to anxiety, depression, and even PTSD.

Neurodiversity Affirming Therapy is an approach that recognizes and supports neurodiverse humans, and views neurodiversity as a natural and valuable part of human diversity. We celebrate a child's abilities, strengths, unique interests, style of communication, and sensory needs. We listen to Autistic voices and recognize that Autistic adults are the real experts on autism. We respect the differences of neurodivergent people, while acknowledging their barriers to thriving in our current world. We do not teach or condone practices that promote masking or violate the bodily autonomy of our clients. A therapeutic session may focus on adapting the social environment, helping a child understand or advocate for their specific needs, and encouraging safe emotional regulation skills. 

Signs your child may benefit from pediatric OT

Fine Motor

Visual Perception

Sensory Processing


Oral Motor

Gross Motor

Click here to see our Milestones Chart from birth - 6 years old.

Frequently Asked Questions about OT

What are common diagnoses that might benefit from OT?

What happens during the first appointment?

An occupational therapy evaluation is the first step in determining your child’s strengths and challenges. When a child first comes to occupational therapy, we do a 1-hour long assessment, which includes discussing parent / caregiver concerns, asking about your child’s medical history, and observing your child moving and exploring a new environment. Your child might participate in testing to assess their fine motor skills, or you might complete a parent questionnaire for your child's sensory processing. At the end of the appointment, your therapist will discuss their findings with you and may recommend additional therapy services.

What are treatment sessions like?

Treatment sessions are typically 50-60 minutes long, 1 time per week. Depending on your child and family's needs, sessions may up to 2x/week or as infrequent as 1x/month. 

Sessions look like play-time, and include lots of fun activities that address you and your child’s goals. Parents, caregivers, and siblings occasionally participate during treatment sessions. Your therapist will also provide activities that you can work on at home between treatment sessions. 

Make sure to check out our Instagram and Facebook pages for photos and videos of some of our therapy sessions! 

How is pediatric occupational therapy (OT) different from PT? 

OTs and PTs often work with children with the same conditions, and both help with improving a child's quality of life and overall functioning. Both provide hands on care that is individualized based on their client’s needs. Pace Pediatric OT and PTs frequently work together to ensure best practices for each child. 

Occupational Therapy:
An OT takes a holistic approach to assess what meaningful occupations are for their client. Meaning, what occupies the child’s time. This encompasses everything from brushing their teeth, changing their clothes, school tasks, play, eating, and sleeping. OTs use clinical observations and assessments to determine if children have the attention, fine motor, bilateral coordination, sequencing, cognitive, visual perception, and sensory processing skills necessary to engage in their daily activities. Through play and adapting activities or environments they are able to provide their client with the just right challenge to increase their overall independence.

Physical Therapy:
PTs typically focus on body movement and are experts in the musculoskeletal system. Clinical observations and assessments help them determine if there is something impacting a child’s posture, alignment, or ability to safely navigate their environment. Through exercise and play, they work on strengthening, balance, coordination, endurance, and body awareness necessary to improve children’s functional mobility.

How to begin therapy at Pace

Contact Us

Call, text, or email us to ask any questions that you have and to begin the patient intake process. 


We will check insurance benefits, help get a pediatrician referral (if needed), provide intake paperwork, and schedule your first visit.


At your first visit, we will review your child's medical history, assess your child's strengths and challenges, and chat about our professional recommendations.


If therapy is recommended, we will begin sessions that are full of evidence-based treatments and plenty of fun, child-led activities.