Occupational Therapy: Out & About at church with Melissa Petcu OTR/L

Monday, Mar 13, 2017 by Child & Family Development

Melissa Petcu MS OTR/L, occupational therapist at the Midtown office of Child and Family Development, emphasizes that pediatric occupational therapy is all about "the job of living". Families can capitalize of events and activities already happening when they are out and about in the community to facilitate development and improve skills. In March, she shares:

Does your child ever get a case of the fidgets during church? Us too.  If he needs more movement or sensory input, try a wiggle seat in the pew or chair for a child that needs more movement. For the auditory defensive child, consider where you sit; Stay away from the direct source of loud sounds (organ pipes, bands, speakers). General tips include bringing a quiet today such as a puzzle, lacing game, coloring pages or snack to occupy your child. This is a great time to sneak in some fine motor practice!

Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Call to schedule a free phone consultation with a  Occupational Therapist

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Topics: Melissa Petcu, C&FD Occupational Therapy Services

Occupational Therapy: Out & About at the grocery store with Melissa Petcu OTR/L

Monday, Feb 13, 2017 by Child & Family Development

Melissa Petcu MS OTR/L, occupational therapist at the Midtown office of Child and Family Development, emphasizes that pediatric occupational therapy is all about "the job of living". Families can capitalize of events and activities already happening when they are out and about in the community to facilitate development and improve skills. In February, she shares:

Think it would be nice to have a helper at the grocery store? Give your child a “job” and watch their attitude change! Your child will enjoy pushing the cart with you (even a smaller one).  Kids will feel proud when they are picking out the items and placing them in the cart. I find that there are less melt downs and negotiations when the focus is on their grocery list, pushing the cart and locating the items.  Maybe the reward is one extra item of their choosing!

When you think about it, a market is a multi-sensory location with lots of opportunity for motor, strength and language activities.  It sounds a lot like the multidisciplinary approach here at C&FD!

Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Call to schedule a free phone consultation with a  Occupational Therapist

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Topics: Melissa Petcu, C&FD Occupational Therapy Services

Occupational Therapy: Out & About at the park with Melissa Petcu OTR/L

Thursday, Jan 19, 2017 by Child & Family Development

Melissa Petcu MS OTR/L, occupational therapist at the Midtown office of Child and Family Development, emphasizes that pediatric occupational therapy is all about "the job of living". Families can capitalize of events and activities already happening when they are out and about in the community to facilitate development and improve skills. In January, she shares:

Mecklenburg County Parks & Recreation offers many locations and programs to the citizens of Charlotte.  Surrounding counties do the same.  For example, Park Road Park has some great options for our children!

  • It has a new age merry-go-round that reduces the number of kids on the equipment to just a few at one time.  This provides great rotatory input for children that seek vestibular input.
  • It has a great motor planning course- full of ropes and bars to climb across and crawl over.  This is a great way to work on motor planning and bilateral coordination.
  • There are swings and sand and stairs and slides- All activities to excite the sensory system.
  • I also like that there is equipment suitable for little siblings as well as the older ones.

Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Call to schedule a free phone consultation with a  Occupational Therapist

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Topics: Melissa Petcu, C&FD Occupational Therapy Services

Occupational Therapy: December Around-The-House with Melissa Petcu

Tuesday, Dec 27, 2016 by Child & Family Development

Melissa Petcu MS OTR/L, occupational therapist at the Midtown office of Child and Family Development, emphasizes that pediatric occupational therapy is all about "the job of living". Families can capitalize of events and activities already happening around the house to facilitate development and improve skills. In December, she shares:

It is so easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of the holiday season. Some children may need a little time and attention to adjust to the different routine and environment (hello big bright Christmas tree!). For the most part, parents and kids can modulate the excitement level and finish out school with good behavior until Santa comes down the chimney with a sack full of toys.

However, we sometimes forget the adjustment AFTER Christmas. Let's prepare for the change back to routine, after the toys are played with and school is about to begin again.  Talk with your children about the end of the holiday season. Have them help you take down the ornaments and décor. Involving them with this process will help them prepare for what's ahead. 

The same can go for house guests. If your children have been anticipating the coming of extended family like grandparents, give them a calendar to mark the arrival and departure of the relatives. Talk during the visit about how many days are left with loved ones.  Involve them in planning activities to do with the relatives prior to them leaving. Preparation for arrival and departure of house guests is key!

One last thought about handling the aftermath of the holidays: there is never a better time to implement a new cleanup/toy organization routine. With the new toy additions, encourage children to  organize toys into bins or cabinets, label them with pictures or words to help ensure success with maintaining the organization. Establish some rules, such as playing with one toy at a time and putting it away prior to starting with a new one.  Practicing the rules during winter break will allow for repetition and increase likelihood of enforcing them, even after the chaos of school, work and extra curricular activities ensue after the new year.

Happy Holidays!

Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Call to schedule a free phone consultation with a  Occupational Therapist

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Topics: Melissa Petcu, C&FD Occupational Therapy Services

Melissa Petcu, occupational therapist, celebrates 3 years at C&FD

Tuesday, Nov 29, 2016 by Child & Family Development

 

Happy C&FD Anniversary to Melissa Petcu 

Melissa Petcu MS OTR/L is an occupational therapist at the Midtown office. She is celebrating years at Child and Family Development this month.   

Melissa has experience working with children with a variety of neurological and physical diagnoses, including seizure disorders, sensory processing difficulties, cerebral palsy, ADHD, autism, Down syndrome, feeding difficulties, fine motor delays, visual motor deficits and developmental delays. She especially enjoys little ones in the birth through 5 year age range. She values input from parent, caregivers and colleagues and uses a collaborative approach when creating treatment plans to ensure activities and progress can easily be carried over in the child’s natural environment. 

A colleague shares:  

C&FD is lucky to have Melissa Petcu on the team!  She works so hard and compassionately for both clients and multidisciplinary co-workers.  She is such a smart therapist who persistently strives to find workable and realistic solutions for clients and their families.  She is always willing to go the extra mile to promote occupational therapy services and support her colleagues. She has a great rapport with everyone!

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Topics: Melissa Petcu, C&FD Occupational Therapy Services

Occupational Therapy: November Around-The-House with Melissa Petcu

Friday, Nov 11, 2016 by Child & Family Development

Melissa Petcu MS OTR/L, occupational therapist at the Midtown office of Child and Family Development, emphasizes that pediatric occupational therapy is all about "the job of living". Families can capitalize of events and activities already happening around the house to facilitate development and improve skills. In November, she shares:

Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away! Now is the time to focus on the things you are grateful for before getting into the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.  With the spirit of thanks on your heart and mind, take some extra time with your children to incorporate their occupational therapy (or just developmental skill building) goals into the season. 

  1. Practice handwriting and written expression by making a list of the things they are grateful for.
  2. Picky eater? Nothing can be better than helping mom make a new recipe. Especially one of those holiday dishes that your child isn’t offered frequently. Being involved with the cooking is great exposure to the new dish.
  3. Use those visual skills by collecting and sorting items for centerpieces. Leaves, flowers, pine cones, berries, and acorns are readily available this time of year.
  4. Children of all ages can help with setting the table, cooking, clearing the table and washing dishes. Involving the children in these chores boosts confidence and provides that vestibular/ sensory"heavy work" that helps us feel centered and organized.

Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Call to schedule a free phone consultation with a  Occupational Therapist

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Topics: Melissa Petcu, C&FD Occupational Therapy Services

Occupational Therapy: October Around-The-House with Melissa Petcu

Monday, Oct 10, 2016 by Child & Family Development

Melissa Petcu MS OTR/L, occupational therapist at the Midtown office of Child and Family Development, emphasizes that pediatric occupational therapy is all about "the job of living". Families can capitalize of events and activities already happening around the house to facilitate development and improve skills. In October, she shares:

Tis the season for raking leaves, pumpkin spiced foods and drinks, and a little bit of spooky décor. Will you be carving pumpkins this year? What about visiting a farm? We will be partaking in our share of fall activities including a trip to the farm to visit animals and pick out pumpkins.  I love that this time of year can pack in such great OT work! Check out the following ideas:

Carving pumpkins:

  • Tactile play with touching the gooey inside, sorting out the seeds to bake
  • Visual motor and fine motor coordination for drawing a face for making a jack-o-lantern
  • Finger play with some fun Halloween songs

Farm visits:

  • Heavy work for pulling/carrying pumpkins
  • Tactile input when petting and feeding animals
  • There’s even some proprioceptive input if you ride in a bumpy wagon

Baking:

  • Have a great recipe that incorporates pumpkin? Baking is a great way to practice following multi-step directions.

Costume Preparations:

  • Find a picture of the character your child would like to dress up as for Halloween. Listen to what their ideas are for creating the costume. Ideating plans is a great skill to practice!

Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Call to schedule a free phone consultation with a  Occupational Therapist

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Topics: Melissa Petcu, C&FD Occupational Therapy Services

Occupational Therapy: September Around-The-House with Melissa Petcu

Friday, Sep 16, 2016 by Child & Family Development

Melissa Petcu MS OTR/L, occupational therapist at the Midtown office of Child and Family Development, emphasizes that pediatric occupational therapy is all about "the job of living". Families can capitalize of events and activities already happening around the house to facilitate development and improve skills. In September, she shares:

"I am so excited for the change of season. This time of year I think that everyone is ready for a cool off. However, with the cool weather comes the falling leaves.  I even have a few trees in my yard that are already dropping leaves. Looks like the Petcus will be blowing and raking leaves every weekend for the next 3-4 months. For us, yard work is a family affair!"

While the adults have a goal of curb appeal, I know the kids are getting great sensory input and strengthening the core and upper body.  The raking, squatting, bending, twisting, lifting, pushing and pulling are all great ways to get in heavy work.  

Try some of these fun activities while taking care of business!

  • Race to make the most or the biggest leaf pile(s)
  • Add some great vestibular and proprioceptive input by jumping into a large pile of leaves
  • Keep score when throwing acorns or pine cones into a trash can
  • Collect some favorite leaves for arts and crafts such as leaf rubbings

 

Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Call to schedule a free phone consultation with a  Occupational Therapist

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Topics: Melissa Petcu, C&FD Occupational Therapy Services

Occupational Therapy: August Around-The-House with Melissa Petcu

Wednesday, Aug 17, 2016 by Child & Family Development

Melissa Petcu MS OTR/L, occupational therapist at the Midtown office of Child and Family Development, emphasizes that pediatric occupational therapy is all about "the job of living". Families can capitalize of events and activities already happening around the house to facilitate development and improve skills. In August, she shares:

Well, it’s not quite the Christmas hustle and bustle but back to school has definitely taken a priority in our household- especially with our oldest going into kindergarten this year! How do they grow up so fast??  While you’re busy getting the kids squared away with book bags, crayons, notebooks, and pencils, I thought I would give an insider's perspective on some of those teachers’ lists.

Book bag: Basically, go for the smallest and lightest option to get the job done. Padded shoulder straps and a waist strap for the highschoolers are best. Elementary school kids typically only need enough space for a folder, planner and a few thin books or chapter books. The days of bringing home textbooks are getting fewer and fewer.

Short pencils: Smaller pencils are easier for small hands to control and help to promote a pincer grasp. The same is true for markers and crayons. The smaller the better.  Hint: mini pip squeaks and broken crayons are great

Crayons vs Markers: There is a time and a place for both! Crayons require more pressure and markers require much less. Depending on your child’s tendencies and the activity, one might have more benefits over the other.

Plain paper vs Lined paper: Once your child can correctly form letters, lined paper is okay. Children learn to correctly size and align letters when using lined paper.

Sensory Diet: Does your child have sensory processing difficulties? Talk with your occupational therapist about a sensory diet for the classroom/school setting. Make sure to share it with the teacher!

Now, what tips do you veteran moms have for me? Will I be a puddle on the floor when I drop off my daughter on the first day? How do you all fit in homework, extra curricular activities, and dinner time into one very short evening??

Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Call to schedule a free phone consultation with a  Occupational Therapist

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Topics: Melissa Petcu, C&FD Occupational Therapy Services

Occupational Therapy: July Around-The-House with Melissa Petcu

Friday, Jul 1, 2016 by Child & Family Development

Melissa Petcu MS OTR/L, occupational therapist at the Midtown office, emphasizes that pediatric occupational therapy is all about "the job of living". Families can capitalize of events and activities already happening around the house to facilitate development and improve skills. In July, she shares:

""Happy Independence Day, Y'all!" Once again, I offer some tips to keep fireworks fun for kids and teens with auditory sensory processing difficulties."

Prior to the event:

  • Prepare your body for the fireworks with "heavy work" calming activities. This can be done by animal walks, or other heavy work such as carrying the drinks to the picnic.
  • Dampen the auditory input by wearing headphones.
  • Cuddle with a weighted blanket. 

During the event:

  • Discuss the BOOM that the fireworks make- I even count “one, two, three, BOOM” as they go off.          

Another thought:

  • Have you tried watching them on TV? If your little one just can’t handle the noise of the fireworks, try hosting a Independence day celebration at your house and allow you child to watch the fireworks on TV.

Tell us your favorite spot to watch the fireworks. Do you go to a country club or Romare Bearden Park? 

An occupational therapist provides practical suggestions for parents and caregivers as part of a home program. 

Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Call to schedule a free phone consultation with a  Occupational Therapist

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Topics: Melissa Petcu, C&FD Occupational Therapy Services

Occupational Therapy: June Around-The-House with Melissa Petcu

Thursday, Jun 23, 2016 by Child & Family Development

Melissa Petcu MS OTR/L, occupational therapist at the Midtown office, emphasizes that pediatric occupational therapy is all about "the job of living". Families can capitalize of events and activities already happening around the house to facilitate development and improve skills. In June, she shares:

"School is out!  As a parent, I don’t find that statement quite as exciting as my kids do. I am thankful I’m not racing around in the mornings or fighting traffic. I am however finding myself trying to be more purposeful with our time at home together. It’s far too easy for us to end up watching TV most of the day. Some children have a harder time during these “free days” as they thrive with consistent schedules/routines that they are accustomed to during each school day. Do you find that your children are having a hard time with transitions or seem to be having more meltdowns than usual?"   

Try avoiding meltdowns by using picture schedules to help your children (and you) know what activities to expect that day. It can be a great way to involve your child in weekly planning of activities too.

To make the schedules I often print and laminate pictures or photographs of events or objects that will be a part of the daily routine.

Examples include: getting dressed, eating breakfast, reading, puzzles, cars, pool, park and shopping. 

Happy Summer!

An occupational therapist provides practical suggestions for parents and caregivers as part of a home program. 

Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Call to schedule a free phone consultation with a  Occupational Therapist

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Topics: Melissa Petcu, C&FD Occupational Therapy Services

Don't Take Our Word For It: improvements from occupational therapy

Friday, May 27, 2016 by Child & Family Development

Melissa Petcu, MS, OTR/L is an occupational therapist at the Midtown office of Child and Family Development.  Recently, a parent sent her an affirming and kind note!  

Here is a paraphrased excerpt: 

It's always a challenge to talk at the end of appointments but I wanted to thank you and tell you how much we appreciate all of the hard work you have put in.  We are really starting to see a lot of good progress and change with him which I'm sure a direct reflection of your OT sessions. His teacher showed me all of the art work he's been doing lately.  The feedback I've heard is he is also participating more.  I've seen a lot of progress at gymnastics. He's doing much better at home too.  He loves playing with Legos and he's getting better at putting the small pieces together.  So, thanks again for all of your hard work and we look forward to continuing on and seeing more great change!

This is what occupational therapy is all about!  

Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Call to schedule a free phone consultation with a  Occupational Therapist

 

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Topics: Melissa Petcu, C&FD Occupational Therapy Services, C&FD Testimonials

Occupational Therapy: May Around-The-House with Melissa Petcu

Friday, May 20, 2016 by Child & Family Development

Melissa Petcu MS OTR/L, occupational therapist at the Midtown office, emphasizes that pediatric occupational therapy is all about "the job of living". Families can capitalize of events and activities already happening around the house to facilitate development and improve skills. In May, she shares:

"Last month a friend talked me into trying Burn Boot Camp. We’re both post-baby and it’s about time to be bikini body ready, right?? So I tried a couple of weeks of 5:30 am workouts and loved it. I quickly decided that I loved sleep more, especially with an 8-month-old that still wakes 3+ times a night.  I’m still trying to find my groove with exercising…"

While our children don’t really have to worry about being bikini body ready for the summer, there are ways to work on strengthening the core and upper body that can easily be worked into play and daily routines. Here’s a few ideas:

Core strengthening activities

  • Sit-ups
    • Use toys to increase interest and endurance
  • Super man catch/throw
  • Foot pass
    • Lay on back hold pillow, ball or other object with feet, then pass to partner’s feet
  • Blanket pull
    • Sit or lay on blanket and have sibling or parent pull with sheet or rope

Wrist and Shoulder Strengthening activities

  • Critter Walks
    • Bear, crab, and wheelbarrow
    • Crab soccer
  • Watch TV in prone prop
    • Lay on stomach, propped on elbows
  • Heavy Lifting
    • Carry, push, pull laundry basket, groceries or other heavy items
  • Sheet Tug-of-war
  • Chores
    • Yard work, sweep floors, fold laundry, wipe down dinner table, clean windows/mirrors or assist with dinner prep
  • Vertical Drawing
    • Draw or write on an easel, tape paper to wall or draw with shaving cream on side of tub

Hand strengthening activities

  • Pop beads
  • Legos
  • "Mr. Money" tennis ball
  • Cotton Ball Races
    • Squeeze a syringe (infant bulb syringe, turkey baster) to blow cotton balls in a race
  • Arts and Crafts
    • Hole punches, scissors
  • Play dough or putty
    • Homemade recipe

FINE MOTOR & VISUAL MOTOR activities

  • String cheerios on a dry spaghetti noodle
  • Make a dry pasta necklace by stringing different shaped pasta on a string
  • Use a baster to fill muffin tin or ice cube tray with colored water
  • Use tweezers to put small pom poms into ice cube tray
  • Put pipe cleaners through holes of a colander
  • Weave ribbon on a kitchen extension rack

OCULOMOTOR activities

  • Use straws to complete games such as blowing a pom poms across the kitchen table or sucking a bingo chip long enough to hold it on the end of the straw and then place in a container

SENSORY PROCESSING activities

  • Follow a recipe to make home-made play dough or something yummy 
  • Pour water, dry rice and dry beans into different containers
  • Use different kitchen tools such as a masher, dropper, fork or plastic wrap to paint

STRENGTHENING activities

  • Flip bean bags with a spatula. You could even make the bean bags with dried beans!

An occupational therapist provides practical suggestions for parents and caregivers as part of a home program. 

Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Call to schedule a free phone consultation with a  Occupational Therapist

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Topics: Melissa Petcu, C&FD Occupational Therapy Services

Occupational Therapy: April Around-The-House with Melissa Petcu

Monday, Apr 25, 2016 by Child & Family Development

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Melissa Petcu MS OTR/L, occupational therapist at the Midtown office, emphasizes that pediatric occupational therapy is all about "the job of living". Families can capitalize of events and activities already happening around the house to facilitate development and improve skills. In April, she shares:

"I’m stuck in the kitchen a lot these days- cleaning bottles, wiping up the baby’s tray after meal time, making snacks, making dinner…. I know I’m not alone with this.  So often I allow my baby to play in the Tupperware cabinet while I’m loading the dishwasher (hey it keeps him out of the dishwasher!) or let him bang on pots. So in the spirit of spending so much time in the kitchen and trying to occupy children, I thought I would send out a list of activities that can be completed with kitchen items.

FINE MOTOR & VISUAL MOTOR

  • String cheerios on a dry spaghetti noodle
  • Make a dry pasta necklace by stringing different shaped pasta on a string
  • Use a baster to fill muffin tin or ice cube tray with colored water
  • Use tweezers to put small pom poms into ice cube tray
  • Put pipe cleaners through holes of a colander
  • Weave ribbon on a kitchen extension rack

OCULOMOTOR

  • Use straws to complete games such as blowing a pom poms across the kitchen table or sucking a bingo chip long enough to hold it on the end of the straw and then place in a container

SENSORY PROCESSING

  • Follow a recipe to make home-made play dough or something yummy 
  • Pour water, dry rice and dry beans into different containers
  • Use different kitchen tools such as a masher, dropper, fork or plastic wrap to paint

STRENGTHENING

  • Flip bean bags with a spatula. You could even make the bean bags with dried beans!

An occupational therapist provides practical suggestions for parents and caregivers in a home program. 

Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Call to schedule a free phone consultation with a  Occupational Therapist

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Topics: Melissa Petcu, C&FD Occupational Therapy Services

What is Occupational Therapy?

Monday, Apr 18, 2016 by Child & Family Development

 

 

Occupational therapy is all about the "job of living". 

The primary role of the occupational therapist in pediatrics is to help children play, grow, and develop many of the skills that will enable them to enjoy a satisfying adult life.  OTs do this through the knowledgeable selection and use of everyday activities (occupations) to evaluate and enhance children’s development and competence.  

We help children, teens and young adults with behavioral, developmental, neurological and physical deficits gain skills and learn to function with as much independence as possible.  Therapy visits might focus on helping kids learn to eat, hold a pencil, write letters and words, cut a straight line, get dressed, brush teeth, stay organized and focused in the classroom or on the playground, manage sensory input and their own behaviors, as well as stretch and strengthen their muscles.  In other words, we help children with everyday activities.  

If you notice difficulties in one or more of these areas, an evaluation and treatment may be appropriate:

  • Behavior
  • Developmental Skill Acquisition 
  • Delayed motor or self-care skills
  • Feeding 
  • Motor Planning
  • Motor 
  • Sensory Processing
  • Visual Perception 

Some of our occupational therapy specialty services are:

Click here for more information on the Child and Family Development occupational therapists at our Charlotte and Pineville offices!

Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Call to schedule a free phone consultation with a  Occupational Therapist

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Topics: Marion Wilm, Jessica Hoffarth, Melissa Petcu, Abbey Wash, Kati Berlin, Megan Bevington, Courtney Stanley, C&FD Occupational Therapy Services, Kim Toomer, Meghan Davidson-Palmer

OT Month reflections from an occupational therapist

Tuesday, Apr 12, 2016 by Child & Family Development

 



April is Occupational Therapy Month and our Melissa Petcu is reflecting on her profession.   She shares: 

Occupational therapists help their clients live a meaningful life, usually as independently as possible. Goals and treatment can look quite different depending on the stage of life a client is in. As a pediatric occupational therapist, play and skill acquisition are critical components of every session as children develop by exploring their environment. One area of importance to all occupational therapists no matter the clientele is the area of Activities of Daily Living (ADLs).  ADLs address self-care skills like functional mobility, feeding, dressing, bathing and toileting.

Looking specifically at the areas of feeding and dressing, skills develop in a progression as follows:


DEVELOPMENTAL MILESTONES FOR FEEDING

AGE RANGE SKILLS
by 12 months Pincer grasp for finger feeding; Dips spoon in food
by 15 months Holds cup with both hands; Scoops with spoon
by 18 months Drinks from cup without spilling
by 24 months Use of utensils is mastered; Pieces food with fork

                


DEVELOPMENTAL MILESTONES FOR DRESSING

AGE RANGE SKILLS
by 12 months                       Begin to assist with dressing by pushing an arm through sleeve or picking up a foot to step in/out of pants
by 24 months                 Undressing of coat develops and continues to help removing pants
by 30 months Putting on t-shirts, shoes, socks with minimal assistance;  Zips jackets (engaged)
by 3 years  Buttons buttons 
by 3 1/2 years Dressing with supervision
by 4 years Independent with zippers and other fasteners including shoe buckles and belts

Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Call to schedule a free phone consultation with a  Occupational Therapist

Read more about Child and Family Development occuupational therapy services here.  

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Topics: Melissa Petcu, C&FD Occupational Therapy Services

April is Occupational Therapy Month!

Friday, Apr 1, 2016 by Child & Family Development

 



April is Occupational Therapy Month and we are celebrating with our team.  Visit our Charlotte and Pineville lobbies to add a note of THANKS for the wonderful work they do! 

MIDTOWN

  • Abbey Wash MOT OTR/L
  • Jessica Hoffarth MS OTR/L
  • Megan Bevington MS OTR/L
  • Meghan Dooley MS OTR/L
  • Melissa Petcu MS OTR/L

 

PINEVILLE

  • Courtney Stanley MS OTR/L
  • Kati Berlin MS OTR/L
  • Katie Haywood MS OTR/L
  • Kim Toomer MOT OTR/L
  • Marion Wilm OTR/L C/NDT

 

Click here for more information on the occupational therapists at Child and Family Development!

Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Call to schedule a free phone consultation with a  Occupational Therapist


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Topics: Marion Wilm, Jessica Hoffarth, Melissa Petcu, Abbey Wash, Kati Berlin, Megan Bevington, Courtney Stanley, C&FD Occupational Therapy Services, Kim Toomer, Meghan Davidson-Palmer

Free Seminar: Let The Children Play! led by occupational therapist, physical therapist

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 by Child & Family Development

Join our next free seminar: Let The Children Play!

“The playing adult steps sideward into another reality; the playing child advances forward to new stages of mastery.” – Erik H. Erikson

Play is crucial to the development of children's gross motor and fine motor skills. Through play, children practice and perfect control and coordination of large body movements, as well as small movements of hands and fingers.  Topics will include:

  • age appropriate motor milestones
  • how to encourage motor and sensory development through play
  • the importance of play for age appropriate skills development

Jill Pfund DPT, Physical Therapist and Melissa Petcu MS OTR/L, Occupational Therapist will lead this discussion. 

Event Details: 

Thursday, May 12, 2016 

6:15-7:15 PM 

Child and Family Development- Midtown office

4012 Park Road

Charlotte, NC  28209

Click here for a printable event poster. 

Space is limited so register online here.  

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Topics: C&FD Physical Therapy Services, Melissa Petcu, C&FD Occupational Therapy Services

Easter eggs = child development skills!

Friday, Mar 25, 2016 by Child & Family Development

Melissa Petcu MS OTR/L, occupational therapist at the Midtown office of Child and Family Development, has an interesting take on a classic Easter activity:  

While the kids are busy hunting for Easter eggs, sit back and smile because your children are working hard on developmental milestones!

Eyes and hands-on visual and fine motor skills: 

  • visual scanning when searching for the eggs 
  • bilateral coordination skills when opening the eggs
  • fine motor coordination when picking up the small pieces inside the eggs

Communication is key!  Talking and listening practice: 

  • expressing themselves
  • following directions 

Throw in gross motor skills and coordination for extra fun by having your child do one or more of these while hunting:

  • hop on 1 or 2 feet
  • skip
  • crab walk

 

If the Easter bunny provides written (or drawn) clues to find the basket or eggs, kids are also improving:

  • reading skills
  • oculomotor skills
  • cognitive processing

Who knew Easter could be so educational!?!   

  Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Call to schedule a free phone consultation with a  Occupational Therapist

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Topics: Melissa Petcu, C&FD Occupational Therapy Services

Occupational Therapy: March Around-The-House with Melissa Petcu

Friday, Mar 4, 2016 by Child & Family Development

Melissa Petcu MS OTR/L, occupational therapist at the Midtown office, emphasizes that pediatric occupational therapy is all about "the job of living". Families can capitalize of events and activities already happening around the house to improve skills. In March, she shares:

"I don’t know about you, but I welcome the warm weather! The promise of spring’s impending arrival is felt with anticipation. While reflecting on this time of year, and the anticipation of spring, I can’t help but draw parallels to a child’s development of Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). These self-care skills prepare a child for independence. As a child masters using utensils, a mother has more time to eat her own food.  Her child is proud and happy that he can eat “all by himself”.  As a child can take off her clothes or get herself dressed in the morning, a whole new world of independence is gained. We have all been subject to the silly outfits our child wears to school, right!?! I encourage you to reflect on your child’s stage of independence and build on these skills. Once self-feeding is mastered, invite your child into the kitchen to help chop vegetables, stir pasta or sprinkle cookies. Practice emergency phone calls and shopping for groceries. These are all life skills that your child will need to be completely independent." 

Have some holiday fun this month by trying out some of these activities:

ST. PATRICK'S DAY:  

  • Tactile Play and exploration with a shamrock art project. Use markers, crayons, colored pencils, paint, glitter and glue to create a decorative shamrock. Practice visual motor coordination for cutting small pieces of colored paper or fabric to glue on the shamrock.
  • Feeding Fun with green food dye. Try turning your scrambled eggs, pasta, or cookies green in the spirit of St. Patrick’s day. Talk about and describe the texture and taste of different green foods.

EASTER:

  • Maze Scavenger Hunt: Practice visual motor coordination skills by creating a scavenger hunt coloring page for your child. Using any utensil (crayon, marker, pencil, pen), the child finds the pathway to the hidden egg. Cutting out and decorating paper Easter eggs also works on this skill.
  • Feeding Fun with Easter Eggs. Is your little one up for an adventure? Put different crunchy or soft foods in a few eggs and blindfold your child. Have your child use his hands or mouth to explore the textures and taste of each food.  Can they guess correctly? Building a willingness to try new things is a super and helpful sensory experience. 

Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Call to schedule a free phone consultation with a  Occupational Therapist

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Topics: Melissa Petcu, C&FD Occupational Therapy Services

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Child & Family Development is a multi-disciplinary pediatric clinic serving the needs of Charlotte area children and their families.

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