Orian P Occupational Therapy Helps With Fine Motor Skills

“At the start of his care, Orian appeared clumsy (tripping, falling, and bumping into objects within his environments),” adds Meredith. “That all resolved by the time of his discharge.”

Orian Perez was born April 19, 2017 and first came to Children’s Specialized Hospital (CSH) when he was 18 months old to begin early intervention services, including speech therapy and occupational therapy. “He wasn’t saying any words by the time he was a year old, so I knew something was off,” shares his mom, Sariana Ramos. “I had known about Children’s Specialized Hospital from working as a medical assistant, we had referred patients at our practice there, so I was happy to be able to get Orian evaluated at CSH. They diagnosed him with Autism and we started with a therapy plan.”

Autism is something that Sariana is familiar with, sharing that she has a cousin who has autism and believes that her older son may also be on the spectrum, “I know it’s something I have to have patience with.”

Once he received the official diagnosis, Orian began seeing his Occupational Therapist, Meredith Kilduff, and Physical Therapist, Janet Burns, for sessions twice a week at our Hamilton location. “Meredith did such a good job with him,” shares Sariana. “The difference from his first session to now is remarkable.”

Orion Perez“Orian was such a pleasure to work with,” shares Meredith. “I would greet him in the waiting room and he would say ‘go play!’”

Orian’s sessions focused on improving social engagement, play skills, seated attention and developmental learning activities, such as tasks using two hands together, for instance beading, interlocking large pop beads, and cutting with scissors.

“Orian especially became more social on swings, and we used a variety of swings throughout his episode of care to provide novelty,” Meredith continues. “On the swings we sang motivational toddler songs that required movements for imitation. He would sing with me and do the movements of the songs, and I always loved how excited he got with the songs and performing them with me in the large open gym space. We also did a lot of obstacle courses to improve his motor planning and body awareness.”

“He loved the obstacle courses,” says Sariana. “Meredith created this obstacle course that helped him learn his letters. There was also an activity with cars, which he loved.”

“At the start of his care, Orian appeared clumsy (tripping, falling, and bumping into objects within his environments),” adds Meredith. “That all resolved by the time of his discharge.”

Orion PerezWith virtual sessions, Sariana shares how great the experience was and how interactive and flexible the team was. “With the virtual option, it’s provided great flexibility for our schedules. It also allowed me to be more interactive during the sessions.”

“Although Orian was primarily seen onsite, he did receive a few sessions of telehealth occupational services where we used household items to recreate our obstacle courses within the home,” shares Meredith. “It was a great way for Mom to be able to learn firsthand how to reimagine these common household items for therapeutic benefit, and for Orian it was a new way to have fun in his home!”

“I would watch the activities that Meredith planned for him during his sessions and once she showed me what she was utilizing, I’d go out and buy them so we could continue practicing at home. I’ve learned so much,” shares Sariana.

After finishing up occupational therapy and speech therapy back in January 2021, Orian continues to receive occupational therapy and speech services offered by his school, and has only a few weeks left of physical therapy. “His behavior is ok, and he has advanced more than expected,” shares Sariana. “By the end of his therapy program with CSH, he was able to meet many of his goals, including holding scissors correctly. He’s going to be re-evaluated in six months and I would love for him to go back to CSH for therapy! Obviously it’s great that he hasn’t needed to, but it was such an asset and tool.”

Orion PerezAn energetic and active four-year-old, Orian loves the movie Cars, especially character Lightning McQueen, and cannot pass a Starbucks without requesting a cake pop. “I can’t go by Starbucks because he associates Starbucks with getting a cake pop,” laughs Sariana. “I’ll just get close to the one by where we live and he’ll say from the backseat, ‘cake pop?’ It’s the same with the pancakes at McDonald’s. He loves pancakes in general, but especially the ones from McDonald’s. I’ll make him pancakes in the morning and he’ll say, ‘McDonny’s pancake?’”

When asked what her greatest hope is for Orian, Sariana shared that she would love to get to the point where she can have a conversation with her son. “I want to be able to ask him how his day was and have him be able to tell me it was good or it was ok and why. He understands what I’m saying, but he can’t respond the way I want him to.” She also shares that she looks forward to seeing Orian continue working on his fine motor skills with things like grasping crayons.

Orion PerezSariana shares that her family’s experience with CSH has been so positive and she’s hopeful moving forward. “Everyone I’ve seen and interacted with there has been amazing. They know what to expect with our kids and are so nice and understanding. They have a great idea of each individual child’s developmental age and are able to set goals to keep moving forward. Children’s Specialized Hospital is the best.”