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.

Published date: 
September 14, 2021
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