Tag Archives: pediatric occupational therapy

School Therapy vs. Clinical Therapy: Is One Better?

School is often the first place that a deficit can be identified. A child struggles with a task and their teacher might suggest in-school therapy. Therapy offered through the school is typically performed by a therapist employed by the school or by a contracted therapist from an outside clinic. These sessions assist kids working on occupations that help complete school-related tasks. An occupational therapist might help a child with handwriting for example. Or, a speech therapist may assist a child in better communicating so that they can effectively participate in class. School therapy is vital to helping a child adjust in their learning environment, but it can be further enhanced by additional clinical therapy.


Clinical therapy refers to therapy outside of the school setting. Here, circumstances allow for longer sessions that can increase progress even more. Also, aside from additional time, therapists in a clinical setting are able to go beyond school-related tasks and work with the child on a more holistic range of occupations that help in all aspects of life, not just at school. In the clinic setting, foundational issues can be addressed that may be impacting a child’s participation or skills in both the school or community environments. The clinic setting, with its equipment and activities, helps with sensory processing by increasing attention span in the classroom. Kids can get the chance to work on core strength, to be able to sit upright in their chairs for longer periods of time. During clinic therapy, therapists are able to get to the root of the problem. In the school setting, a child can be provided with strategies that can help short term until increased skills are developed.


So, to answer our initial question, is one type of therapy better than the other? You might be surprised that the answer is “no”! Both types of therapy are crucial to your child’s success and offer their own unique benefits. Participating both school and clinical therapy maximizes treatment time for your child and allows time to work on increasing function at home and at school. Both are essential to most effectively achieving outcomes.

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What Is The Difference Between PT and OT?

Many parents ask us, “what is the difference between physical therapy and occupational therapy?” Some people think that pediatric physical therapy focuses on gross motor skills, while occupational therapy focuses on fine motor skills. This is not necessarily true. Although they are similar in many ways, pediatric physical therapy aims to treat the impairment or injury and help increase physical function. On the other hand, pediatric occupational therapy helps the child accomplish everyday tasks in light of their impairment. If we think about the word “occupational” or “occupation” we might think of a synonym, a job. Occupational therapy focuses on kids’ “jobs” or tasks like eating, bathing, dressing or grooming themselves. These jobs might be further complicated by a cognitive or developmental disability. Occupational therapy aims to help with navigating life despite these challenges.


The two can work in tandem as well. Pediatric physical therapy can help with muscle strength and flexibility that can greatly improve occupational capabilities. A child may be fitted with orthotics for toe walking (physical therapy) as a side effect of having cerebral palsy. Simultaneously, an occupational therapist could help the child complete daily tasks as a result of the limitation. Occupational therapy also includes treatment for sensory processing so that kids can complete daily activities. Helping kids that have aversions to certain foods, food textures, fabrics, types of clothing or sounds is part of occupational therapy.


If you are still not sure what type of therapy your child might need, please contact us to make an appointment for an initial evaluation at 704-799-6824. Pediatric Advanced Therapy is one of the premeir occupational and pediatric physical therapy facilities in the Charlotte area.


Pediatric Advanced Therapy

2520 Whitehall Park Drive Suite 350 Charlotte, NC 28273

134 Infield Court Mooresville, NC 28117

129 Woodson Street Salisbury, NC 28144








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