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Occupational Therapy

Occupation Therapy

Margaret McLoy OTR/L: One of the owners of Welch & McLoy Therapy Services, Margaret has been working in pediatrics since 1987. This has included work in an out patient hospital setting, at home, in the public school system and in pre-schools. At present she works exclusively in the clinic she started in New Port Richey in 1992. Margaret earned her degree in occupational therapy at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee in 1985. She has attended many continuing education courses including training in NDT and completed the certification process for the administration of the Sensory Integration and Praxis Test in 1992. In 1993 she completed the Training of Occupational and Physical Therapists in Early Intervention (TOPSEI) course through the graduate school at the University of Florida. Margaret attends continuing education programs regularly to stay abreast of current theories and practices in the treatment of children.

We also have an excellent occupational therapist treating children at the Dade City office:

Kelly Partain OTR/L graduated from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in 1995 with a degree in occupational therapy. She has specialized in pediatrics and completed the Training of Occupational and Physical Therapists in Early Intervention (TOPSEI) course through the graduate school at the University of Florida in 2000. Kelly also attends continuing education courses to stay abreast in current theories and practices in the treatment of children.

Evaluations: Evaluations are needed to determine a child’s level of functioning so that a treatment plan can be individualized for each child. Evaluations look at the areas of gross motor skills, fine motor skills, visual-perceptual and visual-motor skills, ability to follow objects with the eyes, handwriting and sensory processing. Evaluations generally take ½ to 1 hour for younger children and up to 2 hours for older children. The SIPT takes 2 to 2 ½ hours to administer. Once the assessments are scored, results are discussed with the parent and a plan of treatment is made (as appropriate).

Treatment: Treatment consists of ½ to 1 hour sessions for 1 to 4 times a week depending on the level of functioning on the child. A play-based, sensory integration approach is used to elicit improvements in skill levels. Each session is oriented to the child’s specific abilities and needs. Fun is encouraged as we all learn the best while we are having fun.

Children who qualify for occupational therapy often present with the following concerns:

Poor fine motor skills – this affects the child’s ability to perform expected activities such as drawing, playing with manipulatives, cutting, writing and fastening clothing.

Poor attention span and concentration – some children have difficulty staying on task for more than a few moments. This can even be true with an enjoyed activity. Children with poor attention span and concentration tend to move quickly and are distracted easily.

Perseverative activity – This is seen when a child only plays in one way, they have very poor ability to tolerate change or substitution of another toy. It is often seen with lining up toys or becoming upset if someone attempts to join in the play.

Poor visual-motor and/or visual-perceptual skills – Deficits in these areas affect the child’s ability to perform age appropriate fine motor, reading and writing skills).

Sensory motor processing – if a child has difficulty processing tactile, visual, auditory, vestibular, proprioceptive or kinesthetic information the child will have difficulty performing fun activities in a successful way. Children with these difficulties tend to present with poor self-confidence and/or behavioral problems. The child may become aggressive or withdraw from the situation as a defense mechanism.

Handwriting Difficulties – Once the underlying deficit areas are identified and improved, handwriting improves.

“If it wasn’t for Margaret, OT, my son would have never been able to write.” A thankful parent – Rita W.