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Differences Between Physical and Occupational Therapy for Kids

If your child struggles to perform some daily tasks or physical movements, you may want the support of a physical therapist (PT) or occupational therapist (OT) for kids. While these practices share many similarities, they are two distinct fields, and it’s important to identify which type of therapy can best help your child achieve their goals.

Learn more about the difference between occupational and physical therapy and find out which is right for your loved one.

What Is Pediatric Physical Therapy?

A physical therapist focuses on developing and enhancing gross motor skills — skills that require full-body movement and use of the body’s large muscles to complete daily tasks. These tasks can include anything from sitting upright to standing, walking or running. Children who experience challenges moving around, participating in sports, or playing with their friends on the playground may benefit from treatment with a professional physical therapist.

Kids SPOT provides personalized pediatric physical therapy services to help your child improve their mobility and enjoy a higher quality of life.

What Is Pediatric Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapists concentrate on improving fine motor skills, which use the hands’ smaller muscles. Children need fine motor skills to perform many basic self-care and academic tasks, including getting dressed, eating, typing, brushing their teeth, and writing. Pediatric OTs can help children with developmental or cognitive disabilities or those recovering from an injury gain confidence in their abilities to complete essential daily tasks.

With pediatric occupational therapy services from Kids SPOT, your child can fully engage with life and become more independent.

What Is the Difference Between PT and OT?

The goals and methods of physical therapists and occupational therapists are often similar and can even overlap. Both professionals may look at a child’s muscle tone, endurance, range of motion, and more in various settings to help them become more independent when performing everyday tasks.

The primary difference between physical and occupational therapy is that PTs focus on the big picture — tasks that require gross motor skills such as jumping or running — while OTs work on more refined skills that use fine motor skills, like using utensils or bathing.

Contact Kids SPOT Today

If you need help determining whether your child needs physical therapy, occupational therapy, or help with anxiety reach out to the professionals at Kids SPOT. We can help you find the best treatment for your loved one. Connect with our team online today to schedule an appointment and get started with physical therapy for pediatrics.

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