Occupational
Therapy

About Occupational Therapy

OT helps children enhance the skills required for physical, cognitive, and social development. In early child development, the first 3 years are critical as the child’s brain develops rapidly during this phase. 

Our occupational therapists, using a play-based approach, engage your child in activities that develop important sensory, motor, behavioural, and thinking skills. Development in these areas improves performance in various daily activities, including dressing, feeding, writing, academic skills, play, and social participation.

Who Should Avail This Therapy:

Occupational therapy can help significantly with your child’s daily activities and challenges. Here are the signs that suggest your child might need to see an Occupational Therapist

1) Difficulty Achieving Age-Appropriate Milestones:

  • Absence or delay in development of head and neck control, rolling, crawling, walking on time
  • Difficulty in understanding and following instructions
  • Lack of appropriate communication skills.

2) Inadequate play and social skills:

  •  Lack of initiating play
  • Not exploring toys in appropriate way
  • Repeatedly doing one type of play for hours 
  • Problems with imitative play
  • Prefers to play alone or does not join other kids when playing.
  • Not staying with one activity, but jumping from one interest to another.
  • Does not understand the concept of sharing and turn taking.
  • Trouble adjusting to new environments
  • Problem coping in school.
  • Difficulty in interacting with peers 
  • Avoids appropriate eye contact.

3) Difficulty in gross and fine motor skills:

  • Gross motor skills involve whole body movement wherein large (core stabilizing) muscles of the body perform everyday functions like standing, walking, running, and sitting upright. This includes eye-hand coordination skills like ball throwing, catching, kicking. A child with low body tone and strength will display movements that are clumsy and uncoordinated. They may also have difficulty with:
    • Climbing up and down stairs (age-appropriately)
    • Coordinating both sides of the body
    • Poor balance and coordination
    • Poor endurance gets tired easily and avoids physical games and activities
    • Difficulty in understanding the concept of right and left
    • Difficulty in ball rolling, throwing, catching, or kicking
  • Fine motor skills include writing, cutting, holding different sized objects, picking up a spoon, tying shoelaces etc. The development of these skills relies on the age-appropriate development of gross skills of core muscle strength, postural /trunk control, and shoulder strength.
    If your child is struggling with fine motor skills, they may have difficulty with:
    • Developing hand dominance
    • Using both hands appropriately
    • Manipulating toys and puzzles
    • Gripping a pencil, crayon/scissors appropriately
    • Poor handwriting (letter/number formation)
    • Colouring, Drawing, tracing, pre-writing shapes
    • In dressing using buttons, zippers, typing shoelaces
    • In tasks and games that require fine movements of fingers and wrists

4) Sensory Processing challenges involve decoding the information that our senses provide (smell, sound, touch, vision, body movement and position). If your child often seems very sensitive to their environment, it may be a problem with sensory processing.  Common problems include:

  • Reacting intensely to touch, movement, or sound
  • Constant jumping, bumping, moving, and crashing.
  • Trouble handling changes in the environment.
  • Showing less than normal response to specific sensations, like a high tolerance for pain or not noticing cuts and bruises or trouble in hair / nail cutting, head and face wash.
  • Generating appropriate responses when upset 
  • Getting distracted too easily by sights and sounds.
  • Reacting with very strong emotions.
5) Learning challenges 
  • Easily distracted
  • Reversing letters and numbers, even after age 7
  • Controlling impulsivity poorly
  • Struggling to concentrate and focus in the classroom
  • Difficulty in learning new information 
  • Being either hyperactive or low energy
  • Falling behind with homework
  • Exhaustion after schoolwork
  • Trouble figuring out directions and finishing task.
6) Children with following diagnosis are referred for OT services:
  • Birth injuries or birth defects
  • Sensory processing disorders
  • Learning disabilities
  • Autism/Pervasive developmental disabilities
  • Developmental delays
  • ADHD/ ADD
  • Spina bifida
  • Down Syndrome
  • Severe hand injuries
  • Other neurological and genetic disorders.

Benefits

  • Occupational therapy helps children become as functional and independent as possible. Therapists take a holistic approach where therapy is family centred.
  • Therapists first determine the child’s strengths, challenges, and the various tasks that they find challenging. After which, they create a program of activities for the child made to achieve set goals directed toward the child’s independence.

  • OT helps children develop the following skills:
    • Fine motor skills (writing, self-care, brushing, dressing, buttoning etc.)
    • Gross Motor skills (balance and coordination, throwing and catching a ball, riding cycle.)
    • Visual perceptual skills (visual attention, visual memory, figure – ground perception, visual closure, which is required for reading, writing and play activities)
    • Motor planning (hand-eye coordination skills, like writing and copying, holding, and writing with a pencil, organizing skills)
    • Self-regulation skills (child’s responses to sensory inputs)
    • Play and social skills (functional play, turn taking, sharing, expressing emotions, understanding social cues)
    • Executive functioning skills (attention, organization, initiation, sequencing, memory to improve academic performance and ability to complete daily routine independently).
    • Also provides sound guidance to caregivers and teachers. Home programmes help the child carry over skills learned in therapy to the home and classroom.

Process

  • History taking via parent interaction and observing the child in a therapy setting area, without structured activities (1 hr session). The formal / informal assessments are done according to the needs of the child.
  • Before commencing the therapy sessions, 3 months goal setting with parents, according to the child’s need and family concerns.
  • Sessions are 45 – 50 mins long. Every session is closed with a 10 mins interaction with the parent(s)· Goal setting and therapy for the child, including home programmes.

* Parents are an integral part of all therapy sessions and goal settings.

Know your therapists

RIDIMA

Head of Occupational Therapy

RAFIA AHMED

Senior Occupational Therapist

DIPA PRIYA PRASAD

Occupational Therapist

Occupational Therapy

Click to Book an Appointment

Fernandez CDC Online Services

Our online consulting service enables you to have your child’s consultation from the convenience of your home, via video call.

RIDIMA

Head of Occupational Therapy

Ridima obtained her master’s degree from Manipal University and is certified in Brain Gym and
Handwriting Without Tears. She has extensive experience in working with children with special
needs and her innovative therapy approaches have brought her many awards.

She brings with her over 10 years of work experience.

RAFIA AHMED

Senior Occupational Therapist

Rafia Ahmed obtained her master’s degree in Occupational Therapy, specializing in Orthopaedics. Rafia has worked extensively with children with different learning disabilities, sensory processing disorders, ASD and down syndrome. Her work includes programs such as forming groups of children with multiple disabilities to help them enhance their social interaction and designing economically viable tools for children with learning disabilities to use at home. Her focus of interest lies in enabling a child to become functionally independent in society.

DIPA PRIYA PRASAD

Occupational Therapist

Dipa Priya Prasad completed her Master’s in Occupational Therapy (Orthopedics) from the National Institute of Locomotor Disabilities (Divyangjan), Kolkata. Dipa has also undertaken courses like Continuing Occupational Therapy Education [COTE] on ‘Sensory Integration: Occupational Therapy Perspective,’ NILD, Kolkata. As an occupational therapist, she has conducted various evaluations to identify clients’ specific needs to devise individualized rehabilitation plans.

Nisha Printer

I-Can India Hub Coordinator

With over 30 years of experience, Nisha’s professional career has been primarily as a Clinical Therapist in the areas of Rehabilitation and Counselling in India and the UK. As Head of the Rehabilitation Department at HOSMAT Hospital, Bengaluru, and Deputy Director of the Indian arm of Action on Disability & Development, a U.K-based NGO, she has acquired experience in strategic planning and managing rehabilitation programs in the healthcare and social service sectors. She has completed her Master’s in Applications of Psychology from the University of Wolverhampton, UK, and is a certified counselor. Nisha set up the Fernandez Child Development Centre, Hyderabad, and now provides Program Development and Strategic Planning for the same. She is also the Coordinator for the Indo-Canadian Autism Program at Fernandez CDC.

DR. DEDEEPYA PUSKUR

Developmental Paediatrician and Clinical Head

Dr Dedeepya completed her MD in Paediatrics and her Fellowship in Development and Behaviour Paediatrics from SRIHER, Chennai. Her interest lies in the field of early detection and early intervention of global development concerns.

While working with Neurology in her previous stint, she felt that there is a lacuna in the Development Sector and believes that she can contribute to this sector and become part of this change. Heading the clinical team in FCDC, her focus will be on existing concerns in physical/mental development, educating and counselling parents in early detection & intervention and providing suitable treatment options and follow through.

PRIYANKA MUSALAY

Head of Operations

Priyanka Musalay is an Organizational Psychologist who has spent her career engaging with young people in developing their skills to work as a team. She has a specialization in Human Resource Management and is a certified Six Sigma Green belt. She is also a counsellor, a certified Motor Skills Learning Coach from the Motor Skills Learning Academy, Switzerland, and a certified Therapeutic Art Life coach.

Prior to Fernandez, Priyanka worked as a faculty member at St. Francis College for Women, as well as served as a Coordinator for the American Corner and PG Diploma Psychology Counseling Skills course. She was also a Project Manager for a specialized course on Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults in collaboration with the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, and St. Francis College.

As part of her leadership roles she has delivered several training interventions that included outbound training and community outreach programs, programs on stress management, personal branding, time management, Interpersonal Relations, Social Skills, Communication skills and Organization citizenship behavior.

CHAKRAVARTHY B

In charge Physiotherapist and Early Intervention Therapist

Chakaravarthy B has over 11 years of experience. He completed his bachelors in Physiotherapy and a postgraduate diploma in early intervention for special needs from the National Institute for the Mentally Handicapped (NIMH). He also obtained a master’s degree in Psychology from S.V. University. He is experienced in treating children with Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, and developmental delays. One of his core areas of specialization is working with children who are autistic and have learning disabilities.

Chakravarthy has been a training resource for many programs in NIMH and has also trained special educators of SSA on early intervention. He was a key member of a core group charged with training grass-root special educators in government agencies on the identification and management of disabilities. He has a keen interest in in designing cost-effective aids for children.

DR. LATHA SASHI

Head of Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics

Latha has over 18 years of clinical practice. She also teaches post-graduate students and serves as a research guide to PhD scholars.

Latha was selected for the Young Scientist Award by the Nutrition Society of India in 1997. She has earned  recognition at the National and International Fora, and has established herself in the academic circles as a passionate researcher.  She is a nominated member on the Board of PG Studies, Anwar Uloom College and Women’s College, Koti, Osmania University.  She has contributed immensely towards raising awareness on Diet and Nutrition as a panelist for various TV channels and print media, and her articles appear regularly in leading publications.

Dr. E Madhavi

Clinical Psychologist and Behaviour Therapist

Dr.E.Madhavi is a licensed Clinical Psychologist with the added expertise of a  Speech therapist and  Special Educator from the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI). She obtained a Diploma in Communication Disorders from Ali Yavar Jung National Institute of Speech and Hearing, a B.Ed. in special education (Hearing Impairment) from Andhra Mahila Sabha, Osmania University, a Professional Diploma in Clinical Psychology from Sweekar Academy of Rehabilitation Sciences, Hyderabad and a Ph.D. from SV University, Tirupati. Madhavi has over 20 years of experience in working with children and adolescents with developmental, behavioural and academic difficulties. Her core areas of expertise are psychological assessment and diagnosis of children with developmental disabilities such as Intellectual Disability, Autism Spectrum Disorders, ADHD & Specific Learning Difficulties, Interventions & Behaviour Modification and  Assessment & intervention of adults with mental disorders.

She has presented 11 papers at National and International conferences and received the best paper award for her presentation on Autism. She published 8 articles in National and International Publications.

Madhavi has conducted training programs for upcoming psychologists on assessments, counselling skills and has trained around 5000 software employees on stress and time managements. She has also conducted training programs for parents of children with special needs on behaviour modification techniques, speech and language stimulation, auditory training and special education.

K CELESTIAL LYDIA

Speech and Language Therapist

Lydia, has a specialization in Speech  Language Pathology from All India Institute of Speech and Hearing (AIISH), Mysuru. Pediatric population is one of her main interests. Her experience as a Speech therapist in Rajendra Institute of  Medical Sciences (RIMS), Ranchi and a posting at Niloufer Hospital, Hyderabad widens the range of cases observed in children with multiple disabilities. She is energetic and passionate towards her work.  Lydia, has completed Level ’A’ in Indian Sign Language and has Bachelor’s in Audiology and Speech language Pathology from Ali Yavar Jung National Institute of Speech & Hearing Disabilities (Divyangjan)-SRC.

Ms. Hemalatha

Billing Executive

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

Contrary to popular belief, Lorem Ipsum is not simply random text. It has roots in a piece of classical Latin literature from 45 BC, making it over 2000 years old. Richard McClintock, a Latin professor at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, looked up one of the more obscure Latin words, consectetur, from a Lorem Ipsum passage, and going through the cites of the word in classical literature, discovered the undoubtable source. Lorem Ipsum comes from sections 1.10.32 and 1.10.33 of “de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum” (The Extremes of Good and Evil) by Cicero, written in 45 BC. This book is a treatise on the theory of ethics, very popular during the Renaissance. The first line of Lorem Ipsum, “Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet..”, comes from a line in section 1.10.32.

G. Jyoti

Yoga Therapist

Jyoti has completed her training from Vivekananda Institute, Bengaluru and Yocures Yoga Institute, Hyderabad. She also has a certificate from Prafull Oorja Yoga for Special Needs Children, Bengaluru. She is a passionate yoga instructor with over 15 years of training experience. Besides providing assistance to children with special needs she also conducts yoga classes for an MNC in Hyderabad.

SALEEM UNNISA

Remedial Therapist and Special Educator

Saleem Unnisa has 22 years of experience in education of which 7 years are in the field of special
needs. Saleem has worked in the United States, with Savannah Chatham County as a special
educator, and in India. She was the Head of the Department for Special Needs in Meridian School,
Hyderabad and is experienced in handling students with diverse developmental needs which include
autism spectrum disorders (ASD), dyslexic SLD and hyperactivity, and developmental delays in the
age group of 2.5 to 19 years. Saleem holds master’s degrees in Education, Psychology and English, a
diploma in LD and B.Ed in Special needs (MR).

DR. RAVIKANTH

Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist

Dr Ravikanth Tangella has 9 years of experience in various government and private psychiatric institutions. He has completed his super-specialization from PGIMER, Chandigarh and trained with the National Institute of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (NIEPID) and National Institute of Mental Health and Neurological Sciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore. He exclusively focuses on children and adolescents with mental health needs. His areas of expertise are Autism, ADHD, Learning Difficulties, Behavioural problems, Childhood-onset Mental Health Issues, Preventive and Promotive Child Mental Health. He is a visiting consultant at several child development centres and children’s hospitals across the twin cities.

SANDESH M

Senior Executive

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

Contrary to popular belief, Lorem Ipsum is not simply random text. It has roots in a piece of classical Latin literature from 45 BC, making it over 2000 years old. Richard McClintock, a Latin professor at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, looked up one of the more obscure Latin words, consectetur, from a Lorem Ipsum passage, and going through the cites of the word in classical literature, discovered the undoubtable source. Lorem Ipsum comes from sections 1.10.32 and 1.10.33 of “de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum” (The Extremes of Good and Evil) by Cicero, written in 45 BC. This book is a treatise on the theory of ethics, very popular during the Renaissance. The first line of Lorem Ipsum, “Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet..”, comes from a line in section 1.10.32.

SANDHYA VARUDHINI

Head of Audiology