Occupational Therapy (OT) for Preschool Children
Preschool occupational therapy is offered to children from infancy until entry into kindergarten. Occupational therapy services are often initiated by a referral from a health care professional. However, anyone may make a referral, including parents.
Occupational therapy services may be offered in a clinical setting, at home or in a child care centre.
How do I know if my child needs occupational therapy?
A child’s motor and sensory skills develop over time and children will reach motor and sensory milestones at his or her own rate. You can request occupational therapy services if you are concerned your child is late in reaching these motor and sensory milestones.
Preschool occupational therapists provide family-centered services to help children develop motor and sensory skills and independence in the areas of:
- Self-care: toileting, dressing, bathing, feeding self, eating, as well as following the home routine and completing simple chores
- Play skills: playing with a variety of toys and different textures/materials; taking turns and copying actions
- Preschool readiness: drawing, colouring, using scissors, building with blocks or puzzles
- Exploring environment: moving around environment safely; participating on playground equipment
- Sensory input: tolerating different sounds; also smells, tastes and textures
Occupational therapists may also recommend equipment, aids or adaptations so that children can be successful within the areas mentioned above.
How can I contact a preschool occupational therapist?
West Prince area
Home care O’Leary
Telephone: (902) 859-8730
Wellington and area
Evangeline Health Centre
Telephone: (902) 854-7259
Summerside and area
Prince County Hospital
Telephone: (902) 438-4480
Charlottetown and area
Queen Elizabeth Hospital
Telephone: (902) 894-2067
Montague and area
Home Care Montague
Telephone: (902) 838-0786
Souris and area
Home Care Souris
Telephone: (902) 687-7096
What if my child is school-aged?
Children who are in school may be eligible for school-based services. School-based occupational therapy can only be accessed through your child’s school.
For more information, visit Occupational Therapy for School-Aged Children.