Occupational Therapy

Building Skills and Function Through Play and Practice

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy is a skilled treatment that focuses on facilitating development, enhancing function and maximizing independence in all daily life activities.

For children, the word "occupation" refers to play, self-care, school work and other activities that occupy a child's time.

The focus of Occupational Therapy is to provide services to children with varying deficits or delays, which may include fine motor, sensory motor, self-care, cognitive and oral motor/feeding skills.

Programs & Services We Offer


  • Hand Therapy
    • Custom Splints and Pressure Garments
  • Constraint Induced Movement Therapy
  • Activities of Daily Living (ADL)
  • Sensory Integration
  • Visual Perception
  • Aquatic (Pool) Therapy
  • Handwriting
  • Feeding and Oral/Motor
  • Brachial Plexus
  • SMART Social Skills Groups
  • Summer Therapy Groups
  • Instructions for Home Exercises


One key to an effective Occupational Therapy program is a complete evaluation. We consider the child’s age and diagnosis when we decide which abilities to test. Skill areas may include:

  • Motor, mental, social and behavioral skills
  • Muscle tone, strength and reflexes
  • Feeding, swallowing or speaking skills
  • Thinking, feeling, hearing and learning disabilities
  • Self-care and independent living skills
  • Sensory processing and/or modulation difficulties
  • Need for special equipment, which may include adaptive seating, splints, casts or other devices

Who We Serve

We provide services to children of all ages, from newborn through the teen years. Some of the diagnoses and problems we help with are:

  • Delayed development of mental, motor and social skills
  • Nervous system problems
    • cerebral palsy
    • spina bifida
    • Guillian-Barre syndrome
    • brain and spinal cord injury
  • Sensory/Motor Processing difficulties
  • Conditions that require casting or splinting
  • Babies born too early
  • Problems brought on by long-term conditions such as BPD (bronchopulmonary dysplasia)
  • Burns
  • Arthritis
  • Feeding problems
  • Problems with learning and coordination (handwriting, cutting with scissors, daily self-care)
  • Decreased strength, or limited movement in the shoulder, arm or hand
  • Conditions that involve the use of certain bones or muscles (including hand injuries)
  • Childhood cancer

Our Clinics

Occupational Therapy maintains both inpatient and outpatient clinics on the main campus of Nationwide Children’s Hospital, as well as at other locations in Ohio.

Meet Our Leadership

Nationwide Children's Hospital Medical Professional

Candace E. Coffman

Candace Coffman is the Mansfield Close To Home Center Director of Operations at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Megan McKim

Megan E. McKim

Megan McKim is the Clinical Therapies Behavioral Health Clinical Manager at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Sara O'Rourke

Sara E. O'Rourke

Sara O’Rourke is the Outpatient Occupational Therapy Program Manager at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Slawomir Sarna

Slawomir Sarna

Slawomir Sarna is the Inpatient Therapies Program Manager at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.


New Patient Resources

Shadow or Observe a Therapist

If you're interested in observing or shadowing an occupational or physical therapist, please complete our online application form. A representative will contact you within approximately 30 days.

Therapist and baby on balancing ball
Training Program

Pediatric Occupational Therapy Fellowship

The Nationwide Children's Hospital Pediatric Occupational Therapy Fellowship is an AOTA-approved 53 week clinical fellowship that begins in July.