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Occupational Therapy

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What is Pediatric Occupational Therapy (OT)?

Pediatric OT focuses on supporting participation in everyday occupations as well as enhancing quality of life! Children's occupations include everyday activities such as:

  • Self-Care (dressing, bathing, grooming)

  • Learning/School (attention, processing information)

  • Social Participation (making and keeping friendships)

  • Sleep

  • Play

OT at Foundations

OT at foundations looks a lot like play-  Playful interactions with parents, therapists and other children in our sensory gym are the perfect context for developing motor confidence, body awareness, improve impulse control, and support social success. We treat each child as an individual, no matter their diagnosis or presenting problem. We have experience working with a wide variety of diagnoses including, but not limited to:

  • Sensory processing disorders

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Developmental Delays

  • ADD/ADHD

  • Anxiety Disorders

  • Cerebral Palsy

  • Torticollis and Plagiocephaly

  • Dyspraxia/Developmental Coordination Disorder

  • Emotional/Behavioral Problems

  • Learning Disabilities

Our occupational therapists are trained in the DIR®/Floortime™ methodology. DIR®/Floortime™ is a research-based approach that includes meeting each individual at their developmental level, then providing the “just right” challenge to ensure the child feels successful and confident as they work on areas of concern. DIR®/Floortime™ is also a family-centered approach. Therapists encourage parent/caregiver participation as much as possible. Sessions often include parent/caregiver training with tailored home programs. The overarching goal is to help children achieve their goals and progress outside of the therapeutic environment. We respond to the unique needs of each family dynamic!

 

If OT sessions look like “just playing” on the surface, then therapists are doing their job correctly! Our therapists are trained to follow the children’s lead, promote their interests, and insert therapeutic strategies within motivating activities. Our therapists have extensive education in a wide variety of evidence-based modalities and therapeutic protocols, thus tailor your child's plan of care to their needs, strengths, and what works best for them as individuals!

Our therapy outcomes are designed to focus on developing intrinsic motivation, confidence in one's motor skills, improved self-esteem, and enable children to participate in home and school life with confidence and success!

What are some Red Flags that your child may need OT?

Below is a general list of potential red flags that indicate need for further assessment. Take advantage of our free 30-minute consultation if you have specific questions or concerns.  

  • Delayed achievement of gross/fine motor milestones

  • Difficulty falling and/or staying asleep

  • Clumsiness/Poor Coordination

  • Toe walking

  • Poor handwriting

  • Difficulty with fine motor skills like cutting/buttoning

  • Sensitivity to touch, noise, smell, movement, or light

  • Under-responsive to touch, noise, or movement

  • Poor body awareness

  • Seeking constant movement and input

  • Difficulty performing or tolerating grooming activities

  • Poor emotional regulation

  • Frequent or long temper tantrums

  • Aggressive behavior

  • Hyperactivity

  • Impaired attention

  • Anxious or easily overwhelmed

  • Difficulty making and/or keeping friends

  • Weakness/excessive fatigue

  • Lack of intrinsic motivation

  • Perfectionist tendencies/Rigid in thinking

  • Cautious/Fearful when feet are off the ground

  • Difficulty with hand-eye coordination i.e. catching

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Methodologies & Protocols We Use

ALL therapeutic activities are guided by research

DIR®/Floortime™:

DIR®/Floortime™ is a therapeutic approach that is child-led. Following the child’s lead is a way to understand the child’s emotional viewpoint and the first step to bringing the child from an insular world into a shared world. After a child is brought into a shared world, the therapist can then start to introduce challenges to help the child master the fundamentals of relating, communicating and thinking with the ultimate goal of helping them be empathetic, creative, logical, and reflective individuals.

Sensory Integration:

Sensory integration refers to the way in which the nervous system receives messages from the senses and the body’s response to it. Sensory integration therapy uses activities to help the child modulate sensory stimulation, develop adaptive responses and feel more comfortable within the world around them.

Integrated Listening Systems (iLs):

iLs is a multisensory program developed by Dr. Minson, a board certified psychiatrist and neurologist. The system involves the child wearing specialized headphones that send gentle bone conduction frequencies through the body, while listening to music and engaging in movement activities. The purpose is to activate multiple neural pathways used for processing of sensory information. Children requiring speech therapy can benefit from the iLs Interactive Language Program, designed to improve auditory processing and language skills.

Safe and Sound Protocol:

The SSP is another listening program by iLs that is designed to reduce auditory sensitivity and stress and enhance social engagement. It calms the sympathetic nervous system, enabling improved communication and therapeutic outcomes for functional participation in everyday life.

Reflex Integration:

We utilize Masgutova Neurosensorimotor Reflex Integration (MNRI method), a manual approach to facilitate sensory-motor and cognitive development. Primary movements and reflex patterns are expressed by every individual and are key elements of human development. Many of these reflexes are necessary for survival during periods of stress and danger. They are also neurological building blocks for all learned movements and skills including motor development, coordination skills, cognitive skills, and other primary reflexes. Certain life events experienced before, during and after birth may affect the ability of these reflex patterns to be fully integrated and used effectively.

QRI™ Quantum Reflex Integration:

QRI™ combines the effects of a cold laser (low level laser therapy), sound, and reflex integration techniques, to strengthen neurological connections. It is a methodology for using low level laser therapy on specific acupoints to achieve reflex integration and calming of the nervous system, via repairing cells and making transmission of impulses along nerves more efficient. Integrated reflex patterns can impact many areas, including learning, physical movement, development, and behavior. QRI™ is effective with conditions such as Autism, ADD/ADHD, Cerebral Palsy, T-21/Down Syndrome, brain injuries, and learning disabilities.

Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT):

LLLT is a phototherapy that utilizes low level lasers or non-laser light emitting diodes (LED’s) to restore cellular function, promote healing, and diminish pain in a variety of disorders.

Astronaut Training:

This protocol can be helpful for children with impaired balance, sensory issues and coordination disorders. It is designed to stimulate and integrate the vestibular, visual, and auditory systems.

Bal-a-vis-x:

The beanbag and racquetball activities involved in Bal-a-vis-x enhance brain/body integration. They target bilateral coordination, visual-motor skills, balance, and auditory processing (rhythmicity).

Brain Gym:

 Brain Gym is a movement based learning program. Regularly using Brain Gym activities will enhance the quality of attention and concentration, motor coordination, handwriting skills, memory, organization skills.

Pet Therapy:

We have a trained service dog, Bere, for use in individual OT sessions. Bere is trained to remain calm and still, which affords opportunities to desensitize your child’s fear for dogs, which can often be a safety concern while you’re in your communities. For children struggling with anxiety, Bere’s presence often has a calming and relaxing effect, which enables enhanced participation in therapeutic activities.

Reiki:

Reiki is a healing technique developed by a Japanese Buddhist that is based on the principle of channeling energy to support the body’s natural healing abilities. Energy healing is provided through touch or hovering of hands over clients to promote deep breathing, relaxation, pain relief, and overall well-being.

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