How Occupational Therapists (OTs) make a FINE difference!

March 21, 2018

If you ever have a chance to observe an Occupational Therapy session, take it! It is fascinating, especially when it is at Crossroads Center for Children.

Occupational Therapists work on a wealth of skills to help a person achieve greater independence in life. Many of the skills and goals for OT involve fine motor work. Here is a peek in with a little boy who is making great gains with his OT, Ms. Kaley.

First off the bat, Kaley makes certain that her student is motivated. She asks him what he’d like to work for, and using his PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) he quickly responds that he’d like to earn some time with her cool Lego game on her department iPad once he’s completed the tasks she requests of him.

She circles back to this interaction throughout the session, offering her student the chance to select a different reinforce and keep him super excited about his work.


If you happen to know Kaley, you already know how positive and encouraging she is with children. So as her student works on the tasks she presents, she reinforces his effort with lots of enthusiasm and praise specific to what he’s done.

 One goal for this little guy is learning to cut with scissors. Kaley is teaching the student to hold the scissors correctly, a skill that is not always an easy one to learn.

Once scissors are well in hand, he snips the paper as she holds it, a step that must be learned prior to cutting on a line or cutting a shape later on.

Another skill addressed in the session was coloring! With proper grasp the crayon or pencil, and then moving the utensil back and forth. has been giving her students projects with a Spring theme, so following his choice to work for the Lego iPad game once again, she gives him a fun Spring coloring sheet she’s prepared ahead of time and starts with the task of moving the crayon back and forth on the paper.

The iPad game is really exciting and reinforces accuracy in itself. But Kaley points out the benefits of the game for fine motor control in moving the objects on the screen to build a pile, as well as addressing other life skills like laundry and face-washing.

So, if you ever get to sit in on an Occupational Therapy session, take it. But if you never get the chance, maybe you’ve learned a little bit now about what one session is like. Crossroads parents are able to schedule “parent trainings” in the classroom and in the therapy settings which helps children with carrying over skills between school and home.

We’re proud of the progress students make at Crossroads Center for Children, and of the work being done every day by Ms. Kaley and the OT department! Learn more about the services at Crossroads:

Stewart’s Holiday Match program grant couldn’t be more appreciated!Enrolling now for the Spring Session!