Occupational therapists are health care professionals who assess and provide interventions to maximize an infant’s, child’s, or youth’s level of independence and safety during functional activities and routines at home, school or in the community. Occupational therapists focus on participation in everyday activities such as feeding/eating, dressing, personal care, play and leisure, school routines and written output, instrumental activities of daily living (eg meal preparation, shopping, laundry) and work activities, representing the occupations of childhood and youth. Specific challenges related to underlying motor, cognitive, social-emotional and sensory differences may be addressed to help support increased success in daily activities.
During such activities, an occupational therapist may focus on helping a child:
- learn new ways of doing things
- regain skills and/or develop new ones
- use materials or equipment that makes tasks easier
- adapt their environment to work better for them, or
- recommend accommodations to tasks/activities to maximize participation and independence
Occupational Therapy Services
Occupational therapists at Niagara Children’s Centre work directly with children and their caregivers to help children improve their functional abilities to engage in:
- Productivity (i.e. – printing and play skills)
- Self-care (i.e. – feeding, dressing and bathing)
- Leisure activities (i.e. – ways to have fun)
Occupational therapists work individually with clients or as part of a team of other health professionals to deliver services in the following programs:
Services may be delivered individually or as part of a group. Services may be delivered at home, at the Centre or other community locations and at schools based on the needs of the child and the program the child is involved with.
Eligibility and Referrals
Parents/legal guardians and designated community partners can make a referral for children aged 0-4* (*until August 31 of the year the child turns 4). Visit our referrals page.
Parents and primary care providers can refer for occupational therapy through School-Age Active Rehabilitation by visiting our referrals page.
School Board Administrative Staff from publicly funded schools can make referrals for School-Based Rehabilitation Referrals or initiate Tier 1 School-Based Rehabilitation Services for children aged 4-21. Referrals can also be made by Centre therapists providing age 0-4 services upon transition to school.