Building Skills and Function Through Play and Practice
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
- 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)
- 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
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
Candace E. Coffman
Candace Coffman is the Mansfield Close To Home Center Director of Operations at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
Megan E. McKim
Megan McKim is the Clinical Therapies Behavioral Health Clinical Manager at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
Sara E. O'Rourke
Sara O’Rourke is the Outpatient Occupational Therapy Program Manager at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
Slawomir Sarna is the Inpatient Therapies Program Manager at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
New Patient Resources
- Crossroads Registration (main campus only)
- Parking Information (main campus only)
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Outpatient Clinics
- Helping Hands: School and Illness
- Patient Rights and Responsibilities
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.
Inside Occupational Therapy
Meet Our Team
Our occupational therapists help children gain independence in all areas of their lives. Meet our team of occupational therapists.
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.
You May Also Be Interested In
Getting Kids Ready for Kindergarten Screening with Occupational Therapy
An occupational therapist can evaluate a child’s performance in the developmental areas mentioned below and, if necessary, set up a plan of care that will help to address any skills in need of growth.
Early Motor Milestones: What to Expect in Your Child 0-6 Months
Do you understand how important movement is and when, or how, your baby should start moving? Here’s some insight from a parent — and pediatric physical therapist.
Early Motor Milestones: What to Expect in Your Child 6-12 Months
The other day we discussed early motor milestones for babies from birth to six months. Here are some guidelines for what to look for in your older baby. Six months: By six months, your baby should be able to sit up for brief periods of time without support from you.