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A Helping Hand With Occupational Therapy: June 13, 2011

Mom Jesse Preston noticed a slight delay in her daughter’s preschool skills.

“She knows all of her letter sounds and she's learning basically to read at this point but she was still having a little bit of trouble with handwriting,” Preston says.

The Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida recently opened a new Specialty Clinic in Naples to focus on pediatric therapies.

“There's a variety of diagnoses such as Down's syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism. Some kids just need a push,” says occupational therapist Jennifer Feinstein.

The less apparent delays often go untreated and can put a child behind at an early age. Therapists work on fine motor and self help skills.

From the children's perspective the therapy room looks like a playroom full of toys. But everything is there for a reason. 

“Most of the children don't really realize they're working on their goals or their skills because we make it fun,” says Feinstein.

Karen is working on a bolster swing. Going back and forth and round and round stimulates the inner ear and helps the child’s brain get organized.

Trouble with handwriting could be the result of poor integration of visual and motor skills.

Her mother wanted to address it now, “ to get her caught up before she started school next year.