Current Environment:

The Occupational Therapy Service at Boston Children's Hospital provides direct outpatient care to patients ranging in age from newborns to young adults.


Patients are referred to occupational therapy by their pediatrician or a specialist. At all of our Boston Children’s locations, our occupational therapy staff works with a variety of diagnoses and reasons including, but not limited to:

  • pre-operative (before surgery) management and/or post-operative (after surgery) management
  • care for traumatic or congenital hand injury
  • difficulty with fine motor tasks (using their hands)
  • difficulty being independent with self-care skills and engaging in leisure activities
  • difficulty with pre-reading and pre-writing tasks: drawing, puzzles, coloring, building with blocks
  • need for adaptive equipment for access to daily routines and environments

Goal of outpatient occupational therapy

Goals are established on the initial evaluation, which are specific, measurable, and achievable within the occupational therapy plan of care. After the first appointment, your occupational therapist will determine an appropriate frequency for services and discuss how often a patient will need to return for occupational therapy visits. Your occupational therapist will also make recommendations for the duration of treatment, on an individual basis and based on limitations found during the initial evaluation.


Our staff is specially trained to deal with a variety of pediatric medical conditions and frequently encounter patients with extensive and complex problems, such as:

  • musculoskeletal, orthopedic, or neurologic disorders or injuries
  • upper extremity traumatic injuries and sports related injury
  • spasticity and movement disorders
  • congenital hand differences
  • chronic pain conditions
  • neurodevelopmental conditions
  • motor planning and coordination difficulties
  • sensory processing difficulties
  • neurologic/movement disorders
  • visual perceptual difficulties
  • infant torticollis and plagiocephaly
  • delayed gross and fine motor development
  • sdaptive equipment needs
  • treatment related to acute or chronic conditions

Plan of care


We receive referrals from within our Children’s system, as well as from outside pediatricians and other medical providers.

Treatment approach

Our therapists work with each patient and family to create a customized program to address each child’s individual needs. Each patient will receive an individualized evaluation by their therapist, to identify their impairments and functional limitations. Based on the evaluation findings, the occupational therapist will create an individualized treatment plan to help patient’s make a full recovery, return to their previous level of function, or learn to adapt and work within their functional limitations.


A major part of each treatment plan in the outpatient setting involves education to patients and families on how they can progress with their specific plan of care at home. Patients and families are shown and educated on a home exercise program, and provided written instructions, when applicable. Our therapists are available to answer any questions that may arise once they are at home.


Once our patients have met their goals for occupational therapy, they are discharged from outpatient services. At this time, each therapist will discuss the importance of continued compliance with health and wellness activities, and provide any further suggestions, if needed. Typically at discharge, it is anticipated the patient will continue with some element of home exercise program, to continue to maintain the gains from their occupational therapy plan of care.

Contact us

For more information about our Outpatient Occupational Therapy services, please call the Physical and Occupational Services Department at 617-355-7212.