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What does a Pediatric Occupational Therapist do?

Learn all about Pediatric Occupational Therapist duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Pediatric Occupational Therapist.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

A pediatric occupational therapist helps children with physical, developmental, or emotional problems participate in daily activities. They may work with children who have conditions such as cerebral palsy, autism, or attention deficit disorder. Occupational therapists also work with children who have been injured or who have had surgery.

Pediatric Occupational Therapist job duties include:

  • Assess patients to determine occupational therapy treatment goals
  • Develop and implement individualized treatment plans
  • Help patients develop skills for daily living and working
  • Improve patients’ fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination
  • Increase patients’ strength, endurance, and range of motion
  • Promote social and emotional development
  • Teach parents how to support their child’s therapy goals
  • Train caregivers in proper handling and care techniques
  • Collaborate with other health care professionals to develop comprehensive care plans

Pediatric Occupational Therapist Job Requirements

A pediatric occupational therapist must have a bachelor's degree in occupational therapy, as well as a state license. They must also have experience working with children.

Pediatric Occupational Therapist Skills

  • Assessing
  • Planning
  • Intervening
  • Communicating
  • Reporting
  • Documentation
  • Referring
  • Collaborating
  • Supervising
  • Training
  • Consulting

Related: Top Pediatric Occupational Therapist Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Pediatric Occupational Therapist

A pediatric occupational therapist is a healthcare professional who helps children with developmental disabilities to participate in daily activities. They work with children of all ages, from infants to adolescents.

To become a pediatric occupational therapist, one must first earn a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy or a related field. Then, they must complete a master’s degree or doctoral degree in occupational therapy. After completing their academic training, they must pass a national certification exam to become licensed.

Pediatric occupational therapists typically work in hospitals, clinics, or private practices. They may also work in schools or early intervention programs. They work with children and their families to develop individualized treatment plans. Treatment may include exercises to improve fine motor skills, sensory integration activities, and adaptive equipment recommendations.

Pediatric occupational therapists help children to reach their fullest potential and participate in all aspects of life. They are an important part of the healthcare team and make a difference in the lives of children and families every day.

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