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Occupational Therapy for Children

Our pediatric occupational therapists provide interventions to children who have or are at risk of having developmental delays and are experiencing difficulties functioning in one or more areas of their lives. Occupational therapy may include facilitating the performance of coordinated motor skills and/or use of the hands, as well as promoting skills for listening and following directions, self-regulation, social play, dressing, and grooming. Some other areas of focus may include helping children improve abstract reasoning, problem-solving, decision-making, perceptual skills, as well as memory, sequencing, and motor planning. All of these skills are crucial for independent living and success across many environments.

A child’s “occupation” is to play, participate in school, and be independent with self-care activities. Occupational therapists assist children in being successful in all of these areas. This may be addressed through facilitating improvement with:


All of these areas are crucial for development and optimal participation at home, at school, and in the community.

Occupational therapists often use a play-based approach to facilitate the development of functional skills. We help children develop the skills needed to perform everyday tasks by using creative methods to motivate children. We value our relationships with caregivers, teachers, and physicians, and realize that collaboration is essential in creating effective carry-over from the clinic to the home and school environments.

Our therapists treat children with a wide variety of abilities. They specialize in working with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Learning Disabilities, Down Syndrome, and Cerebral Palsy. We enjoy working with any child who needs extra support to meet his/her full potential.

What is Occupational Therapy?

Inspired to be an OT




Call us at (877) 486-4140 or fill out a form. Our friendly, intake specialists are ready to help get you scheduled, verify your insurance, and answer questions you may have.


You will meet with a licensed therapist for the intake. During this time the therapist will gather relevant history and discuss current concerns that have lead the family to seek services.


The therapist will meet with the child to formulate a treatment plan based on presenting issues. Typically, sessions occur weekly. Your therapist will recommend frequency for sessions.

Client Reviews (19)

My 5-year-old son has been receiving OT therapy at NSPT for 2 1/2 years. Could not be happier with his progress. Thank You NSPT!

Barnaby Wilde

My son (now 4) has been receiving OT at North Shore Pediatric Therapy in Glenview for almost a year. He receives a wide array of OT services including feeding therapy, core strengthening, fine-motor work, and balance activities. It is very encouraging to see the progress he has made and how much he enjoys his sessions. The OT truly listens to our concerns and provides us with plenty of resources and activities that we can work on at home to keep his progress going.

Jennifer N

North Shore Pediatric Therapy (NSPT) has changed our lives for the better! My six year old son was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder when he was 3. Getting through a day was a difficult journey for the entire family until we began to get Occupational Therapy services (OT) for him. We see Ellyn, an OT at the Highland Park office, and she acts not only as an advocate for my son helping him strengthen his areas of weakness, but also as a great support system for me (mom). The entire NSPT team has been fantastic. I highly recommend them!


Our daughter is currently 3.5 years old. Since birth, we knew something wasn’t quite right. Her colic lasted nearly a year and when the colic broke, whining/crying/severe tantrums began. She was evaluated at 3 and 24 months by an OT for potential sensory processing issues and both came back inconclusive. We had her seen by a behavioral specialist as well as a developmental pediatrician. No one was able to help our struggled daughter or us. Until Dec 2013 when we came to North Shore Pediatric Therapy in Highland Park….we met Ellyn Kearney. She understood our daughter before she even met her. Ellyn has changed our lives and how we live day to day. Our daughter suffered from severe sensory processing issues despite being a healthy beautiful child. The progress noted from my child is remarkable. Thank you NSPT and Thank you Ellyn.


My 6 year-old son was diagnosed with High Functioning Autism/PPD-NOS around age 3 1/2 years old. After searching and looking for Occupational Therapy services we started coming to North Shore Pediatric Therapy in April 2013. We began seeing Shannon Phelan here at North Shore Pediatric Therapy in Bucktown for his OT services. We have seen a tremendous amount of growth in his OT Fine & Gross Motor skills: holding a pen/pencil, writing his letters and numbers and working on his Sensory Processing Integration. We are extremely pleased with our Occupational Therapist, Shannon and the entire North Shore Pediatric Staff. I would highly recommend coming here if you need Occupational Therapy services for your child.

Melinda V

I completed my first FWII placement at NSPT in Bucktown. I had such a fantastic learning experience that truly helped me to grow my skills and experience. The staff at Bucktown was extremely welcoming and happy to teach, answer questions and allow me to observe outside my discipline to make this an even more well-rounded experience. The orientation/mentor program is great for students and makes heading into FW a much easier transition that sets you up for success. I had a great working relationship with my clinical instructor who helped me develop my treatment planning, documentation and intervention skills as well as teaching me a great deal about being a practicing OT in general! Overall, I couldn’t ask for anything more from a FWII experience!


I completed my Level IIA Fieldwork at North Shore Pediatric Therapy in Bucktown. I am so impressed by the organization of the student program and its emphasis on the reflection process. This reflection process has helped me develop clinical reasoning skills that are significant to treating clients. I also felt surrounded by a professional body of therapists that took on a mentor role, especially my supervisor. The gradual increase in case load was challenging yet manageable, providing me with client-centered intervention experience that will apply to my future endeavors as a therapist. Thank you, North Shore.


Our son Ian has been having sensory issues for a while & we were very pleased with the work that Ms. Dawn had been doing with him to help him deal with his processing issues. We were sad to leave NSPT due to a move out-of-state.

Stephanie Long

I completed my level II OT fieldwork at NSPT and it was a really positive experience. There is a multidisciplinary staff that are all eager to welcome and assist in the learning process. It is a really great location to learn about diverse applications of pediatric OT. All of the staff are passionate about what they do and have creative and exciting ideas to motivate children as they work on a wide variety of skills. NSPT is a wonderful placement for developing skills for pediatric OT and I am grateful to have had this experience!


We are incredibly fortunate to have Mrs. Ellyn’s influence. Even though we have only been here for 6 months, I am seeing a more able, more confident child. Mrs. Ellyn not only has helped gross and fine motor control, coordination and motor planning, but has helped set boundaries and attainable goals for my child. It is great to see him grow so strong.


I completed my final level II OT fieldwork at NSPT and had one of the best clinical experiences I could have expected. The entire staffs’ level of investment in their work motivated me to be creative while also working hard to deliver evidence-based research interventions. The successful stories I often heard from parents regarding their child’s growth reflects the passion and love each clinician at NSPT has for their job. I am so sad to have to say goodbye to the staff and the kids I’ve been working with for the past three months, and can’t express how grateful I am to have been placed here!

Mary Kate Mulry

I completed my Level II Fieldwork at NSPT in Bucktown in 2011. From the moment I walked in on the first day it was clear that NSPT created a supportive environment that would further my development as a professional and as an occupational therapist. The sense of community created a comfortable environment to collaborate with other disciplines. Not only was my clinical instructor invested in my learning, but so was the whole staff. Through this experience at NSPT, I found my passion for working within pediatrics. I increased my clinical knowledge, clinical reasoning and confidence during this time. I would highly recommend this site for occupational therapy students looking for a well-rounded and challenging experience.


I completed my second Level 2 fieldwork experience at North Shore Pediatric Therapy and could not have enjoyed my time more. I learned invaluable lessons about the world of pediatric occupational therapy all in a warm and welcoming environment created by staff members of all disciplines. I would highly recommend this fieldwork experience to anyone interested in working with children.


I was able to complete my Level 2 occupational therapy fieldwork at NSPT. It was a great experience! I was challenged educationally and clinically, and as a result came out of the experience with a greater knowledge about sensory integration, fine and gross motor skills, and how to evaluate and treat a wide variety of children in an outpatient setting. My supervisor and all of the staff made me feel welcome and a part of the team!


I completed my second Level 2 fieldwork at North Shore Pediatric Therapy in Glenview and Bucktwon in the Spring of 2012. I enjoyed my experience so much that I am now an employee at NSPT! Overall, I had a very positive yet challenging learning experience that supported growth in my clinical and professional skills. Not only did I grow my OT skills and knowledge but I was able to learn about and collaboate with many different disciplines including social work, physcial therapy, speech language pathology, neuropsychology, etc. NSPT is able to provide students a unique experience to learn how to treat the whole child to help them function at their fullest potential!

Sara Probasco

I had the opportunity to complete my Level 1C fieldwork experience at North Shore Pediatric Therapy Bucktown. I was incredibly impressed by the knowledge and professionalism of all the staff and their work with the clients and their parents. It was a wonderful learning experience for me and I highly recommend this site for any level 1 or 2 OT student interested in pediatrics. I wish I could have stayed longer.


I cant not say enough about NSPT. I really feel like my child’s occupational therapist changed our lives. My son is a different person from when we began. His focus and attention has increased significantly. The therapist always talked to me about what was going on and suggestions about what I can do at home. Also, my son’s therapist was in touch with my child’s teacher and all around very supportive. I really felt like I had someone who cared in my corner. It was wonderful to have such a knowledgable person on our team. It is also great that they have all different specialist under one roof. If I had a question about something that concerned me there were so many specialist right at my fingertips. I was so impressed at the communication between different therapist. Everyone is truly on the same team. I feel so lucky that I choose North Shore Pediatric Therapy. They are the best!!

Elise Glatz

As a prospective Occupational Therapy graduate student, It’s important to me that I get the shadowing experience I need within the field I desire to pursue, so that I know I’m on the right path. My experience shadowing at NSPT has solidified my dream of going into the field of Pediatric Occupational Therapy. I’ve successfully completed over 100 hours shadowing a variety of occupational therapists at NSPT in Glenview, and that I had the most amazing learning experience — I loved shadowing there so much that it was hard for me to leave!! I think the therapists at NSPT are so knowledgeable, skilled, and passionate about their work. I definitely found a few wonderful role models there that I aspire to be like once I am a therapist. NSPT is such a wonderful work environment as well. And I can’t even begin to tell you how much I have learned while shadowing at NSPT — I have a notebook filled with notes that I know will be helpful for me while I am in OT school, learning about some of these practices in theory. NSPT is truly remarkable and one would only dream to work at such a place with a great philosophy, and be part of such a talented and positive team of therapists. Out of the variety of settings I shadowed in during this past year, I have learned the most from shadowing at NSPT. The therapists at NSPT are smart, helpful, and willing to explain everything to me, and that is truly invaluable. I can’t thank NSPT enough for the experience to learn from the best.

Elana Monahemi

Where do I start? probably by saying that NSPT has changed my life – really! We had a very difficult time with our son when he was younger but now he is the most polite, chatty and loving person ever 🙂 and all thanks to WONDERFUL therapists at NSPT. I am especially thankful to our ST, OT and BT who have been there for us for past 5 years. I love to be greeted by wonderful Ms. Charlene every time we come in – she makes my day brighter. Everyone here is professional, friendly, lovely and eager to help. I just want to say THANK YOU!