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Occupational Therapy for Children

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Kids grow and develop at their own pace. And, sometimes, they may even need a little help moving forward. And that’s OK.

It can be hard to watch your child struggle to color, connect with others or feed or dress themselves. Occupational therapy for children can give them the support and skills they need. Treatment focuses on how your child interacts with the world around them. And it can help them reach personal goals so they can enjoy the best possible quality of life.

Cleveland Clinic Children’s occupational therapists are ready to explore your child’s potential. They get to know them and communicate with them at your child’s level. They’re experienced at using play-based therapy that seems more like a game than treatment.

Why Choose Us for Occupational Therapy for Children?

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Caring approach:

When your child comes to Cleveland Clinic Children’s for occupational therapy, they’ll work with a team of pediatric providers who have one goal — helping them become more independent. Whether they need help with movement problems or basic day-to-day routines, we’re here with expertise, care and compassion.

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Comprehensive treatment:

Cleveland Clinic Children’s occupational therapists provide in-depth evaluations and personalized therapy plans for your child. We also make sure you get the support and education you need to help you better understand how to help them become more independent at home.

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Skilled collaborative providers:

If your child needs treatment that reaches beyond occupational therapy, we’ll work closely with other Cleveland Clinic Children’s specialists to make this happen. We can build a highly customized care team for your child with providers from any specialties they need.

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Trusted experts:

Cleveland Clinic Children’s has one of the few rehabilitation programs in a freestanding pediatric specialty hospital accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). This means your child is assured of getting the best care during their therapy appointments.

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Virtual visits:

If you need a quick check-in with your child’s therapist between appointments, why not try a virtual visit? You can connect one–on–one online, without leaving home.

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National recognition:

Cleveland Clinic Children’s is a trusted healthcare leader. We’re recognized throughout the U.S. for our expertise and care.

Occupational Therapy Evaluations at Cleveland Clinic Children's

Maybe your child has a genetic (born with it) or neurological condition like cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, ADHD or autism spectrum disorder. Perhaps they have developmental delays or have trouble processing  sensory information. Maybe they need to learn how to play or improve their self-care. They may even have an injury or illness that keeps them from doing daily tasks the way they usually do.

That’s where occupational therapy comes into play. Our team can help improve:

  • Fine motor skills and movement.
  • Learning skills.
  • Social and emotional skills during play activities (self-regulation).
  • Self-care like dressing and feeding themselves.
  • Skills needed for school like using scissors, coloring and writing.

Scheduling an evaluation with our pediatric occupational therapy team is the first step in helping your child move forward. Evaluations help us learn more about what your child can do and how therapy could help them improve or develop skills.

What to expect during your child’s evaluation

A typical evaluation usually takes an hour or two. Don’t worry. You’ll be by your child’s side the entire time.

In fact, you play an important part in the process. Your child’s pediatric occupational therapist will talk with you about what’s been going on and what a typical day is like. Feel free to share as much as you want. And ask any questions you may have, too.

During the evaluation, your child will do things like coloring, eating and playing. This helps the therapist get a good sense of your child’s fine motor skills and behavior. They use what they learn to identify treatment goals and craft a personalized therapy plan. Your child may have goals like:

  • Becoming more independent with their daily routine.
  • Feeling more confident.
  • Boosting fine motor skills.
  • Improving school performance.
  • Learning to play better with others.
  • Using assistive devices.

Meet Our Occupational Therapy for Children Team

Your child will work closely with our pediatric occupational therapists. These therapists will coordinate care with your child’s pediatrician or other primary care provider (PCP). But depending on your child’s needs, our team may also recommend other providers like:


We offer occupational therapy for children at the following locations in Northeast Ohio.

Occupational Therapy Sessions at Cleveland Clinic Children’s

When your child comes to their occupational therapy sessions at Cleveland Clinic Children’s, it won’t be like any other medical appointment. Their therapist will make sure each visit is full of age-appropriate activities to keep their attention. We choose these activities based on your child’s treatment goals and what interests them most. They may play games. Write numbers or the alphabet. Put on socks and shoes.

Our team makes treatment fun and connects with your child at their level. And we select each activity based on your child’s goals. Their treatment plan is unique to them and is updated as they make progress. How often they need therapy and how long each session will be is based on your child’s needs.

Supporting your child during occupational therapy

Occupational therapy for children reaches beyond their scheduled sessions with a therapist. Your child also needs support at home. They’ll have homework between appointments. And their therapist will help you learn how to help your child succeed with home practice. It takes patience and understanding to guide them through exercises and activities — and your therapist will partner with you every step of the way.

It’s important to stay connected with your child’s therapist and have open communication. Our team is here to answer questions and talk about any concerns you might have. We can share ways you can encourage your child when they feel frustrated. And we can help you understand how to measure their progress — and how long it may take to reach their goals.

Taking the Next Step

When your child has trouble interacting with the world or misses developmental milestones, you may worry about their future. It’s only natural. The good news? Occupational therapy can help them learn the skills they need to move forward with more confidence in daily life. Our team will guide them — and you — through what it takes to make this happen. And we do it with care, compassion and an understanding of what kids need to thrive.

Getting an appointment with one of our experts in occupational therapy is easy. We’ll help your child get care.


Getting an appointment with one of our experts in occupational therapy is easy. We’ll help your child get care.

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