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“Every time he wears an oversized sweatshirt, he has behavioural problems.”

This astute observation came from a teacher who noticed that every time a little boy in her class wore an oversized sweatshirt, he became disruptive and unable to participate in learning. Following an assessment, he was diagnosed with a sensory sensitivity that was interfering with his ability to function. 

With the help of occupational therapy, he is now less sensitive to clothing and his parents and teacher learned that he needs tighter fitting clothing rather than anything loose that may tickle him and cause him to be disruptive and unable to sit still or focus. 


Child at school after occupational therapy

What is occupational therapy?


Occupational therapy (OT) focuses on improving an individual’s function or ability to participate in the activities of daily living. For children, this may include their ability to learn, play, and socialize.

We help children of all ages and abilities, including those with developmental delays, sensory processing disorders, physical disabilities, and behavioral or emotional challenges. Your child may benefit from an OT assessment if they display any of the following behaviours:


  • Become easily overwhelmed by sensory input such as sound, light and deep touch, smell, movement, or taste.

  • Have difficulty sitting still and need to constantly move, fidget, or squirm.

  • Are unable to concentrate to complete tasks.

  • Struggle to read, draw, print, trace, or copy information.

  • Are unable to tie shoes, open zippers, or get dressed.

  • Frequently trip, fall, or stumble.

What is an occupational therapy assessment?


An OT assessment is highly individualized according to needs. The purpose is to identify the underlying reason behind your child’s specific challenges and develop strategies to improve their overall function and abilities. 
Some assessments can be completed online, while others take place in person. Depending on the needs, your child may be assessed for the following:


  • Sensory processing abilities including response to texture, sound, light, movement, and noise.

  • Perceptual skills and the ability to interpret, organize, and make sense of information received through the senses.

  • Gross motor skills such as movement, balance, and hand-eye coordination.

  • Fine motor skills such as cutting, tracing, printing, and drawing.

  • Overall functional abilities such as dressing, grooming, eating, and socializing.​

What can I expect from occupational therapy?


Following an assessment, we develop an individualized treatment plan that addresses your child’s specific needs and functional goals. Some common therapy approaches include:


  • Direct therapy and activity-based interventions to help your child better tolerate different textures or materials, process sensory input, or develop motor skills.

  • Education and training to better understand how to meet or compensate for your child’s needs.

  • Specific recommendations to support your child’s ability to function. For example, if your child is overwhelmed by too much information on a page, we might teach them how to cover up some content in order to move through the page more easily. If your child requires movement in order to concentrate, we might recommend they do a physical activity before they are expected to sit still or concentrate on a task.

  • Adaptive equipment, technology, and environmental modifications.

  • At-home activities and programming to support the functional goals.

In summary, occupational therapy is a personalized therapy that considers the whole person and helps children achieve greater independence, participate more fully in daily activities, and function to the best of their abilities. 

We also offer occupational therapy for adults. Learn more >>

Occupational Therapy: Services
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