Physical and occupational therapy

J. Case-Smith, Sally J Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Occupational and physical therapists are concerned with an infant's ability to perform in object play and manipulation, self-care, mobility, and social function. Within the realm of child psychiatry, occupational and physical therapists contribute to a comprehensive assessment by providing in- depth neuromotor, sensory processing, and functional or adaptive skill analyses. The three theoretic approaches presented in this article represent the current trends within infant and young child assessment in the fields of occupational and physical therapy. In the past, therapists primarily used neuromotor or developmental assessments. Although these assessments have proven to be adequate for discrimination between children with developmental delays and those who are typically developing, they have not been as useful in documentation of progress in treatment or in providing an understanding of qualitative aspects of movement. Qualitative assessments that are more sensitive to change and to the complexity of functional skills have grown with the development of more sophisticated early-intervention strategies. Assessments based on dynamic systems theory allow therapists to quantify abilities, document subtle changes over time, and provide information on the qualitative aspects of movement. Therapists, however, continue to regularly employ assessments from multiple theoretic approaches to complete comprehensive evaluations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-345
Number of pages23
JournalChild and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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