Occupational Therapy

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational Therapy is a profession devoted to helping individuals functional optimally in their daily occupations or activities. The occupations of children include play, self-help skills, learning and social interactions. When working with children, Occupational Therapy facilitates the development of age-appropriate sensory and motor functions to promote a child’s ability to play, learn and interact in their environment. 

Therpist working with girl and blocks

Services include:

  • Comprehensive Evaluation
  • Individualized treatment programs based on Clinical assessment and parent concerns
  • Comprehensive Home Exercise programs and Sensory diets
  • Consultations with families, schools and agencies (when appropriate)
Therapist and teenage boy on scooter boards

Skills addressed by Occupational Therapy include (but not limited to):

  • Basic Activities of Daily living (ADLS)
    • ADLs are any essential activity a person engages in each including dressing, grooming, hygiene, feeding and more.
  • Core strength and stability 
  • Motor planning and coordination 
    • Motor planning is the ability to create, plan and execute an action. It is a complex process that is essential for many daily activities including brushing your teeth, navigating through classroom or playground and getting dressed each day.
  • Fine motor skills development
  • Bilateral coordination 
    • Bilateral coordination is the ability to use the right and left sides of the body together at the same time. These skills are essential for dressing, eating, handwriting, scissor skills, climbing stairs, running, skipping, most sports and much more.
  • Oculomotor skills
  • Sensory Integration
    • Sensory integration is the process whereby the brain interprets information taken in by the senses in order to make a meaningful response. Sensory experiences include sight, taste, touch, smell, sound, sense of body position, and the pull of gravity. Sensory integration is an activity that is automatically performed by the brain. For some this process is inefficient and causes difficulty in performing everyday activities.
  • Executive function skills 
    • These include memory, organization, time management, multitasking, and decision making and attending to tasks.
  • Social interaction/participation
  • Handwriting
  • Attention and self-regulation
Boy learning to ride bike with therapists

Why are our therapists different?

At TLC, we strive to use a team approach to treatment. We recognize that the most successful approach is collaborating with the team. A child’s team includes all people who impact that specific child’s life, and may include but is not limited to: parents, caregivers, siblings, doctors, school staff, speech therapists, physical therapists, and BCBAs. Treatment sessions at TLC not only focus on building blocks required for improving a child’s skills, but also focus to improve a child’s independence and self-confidence in home, school, and recreational settings. 

Our therapists continuously seek out educational opportunities to ensure your child receives the latest and best evidence-based interventions. Our therapists are trained in:

  • Therapeutic listening
    • Therapeutic listening is an evidence-backed protocol that combines a sound-based intervention with sensory integrative activities to create a comprehensive program that is effective for diverse populations with sensory challenges. Therapeutic Listening can impact sensory modulation, attention, behavior, postural organization, and speech and language difficulties.
  • Interactive metronome 
    • The Interactive Metronome (IM) is a brain-based assessment & treatment program developed to directly improve the processing abilities that affect motor planning and sequencing. IM promotes and enhances brain performance and recovery. This is accomplished by using innovative neurosensory and neuromotor exercises developed to improve the brain's inherent ability to repair or remodel itself through a process called neuroplasticity.
  • The Sensory Processing Measure
  • Astronaut training (vestibular/auditory/visual protocol) 
  • Reflex integration
  • Beckman oral motor protocol
  • Handwriting without tears
  • Sensory integration
  • SOS feeding program
Therapist with boy putting on socks

FAQs

Who has problems with SI?

  • Problems with sensory integration are found in individuals throughout the lifespan, in all intellectual levels and throughout all socioeconomic groups. Examples of individuals who may have difficulties with sensory integration may include premature birth, autism and autism spectrum disorders, developmental delays, learning disabilities, ADD/ADHD, and stress related disorders. According to independent research studies approximately 70% of individuals in schools with a learning disability has difficulties with sensory integration.
  • Signs of sensory processing disorders?
    • Some signs and symptoms of sensory processing disorders may include:
  • Decreased attention to task
  • Easily distracted
  • Always on the move – unable to sit still
  • Picky eater
  • Behavioral concerns such as aggression or impulsiveness 
  • Low tone, slouched posture while seated
  • Dislikes grooming activities including brushing teeth, brushing hair, getting haircut, etc...
  • Spinning, spurts of running, thrill seeking behaviors
  • Social and/or emotional difficulties
  • Difficulty making transitions
  • Delays in speech, language, or motor coordination
  • Inability to calm self
  • Clumsiness
  • Activity level that is unusually high or low
  • Mouths, licks, chews non-food items
  • Difficulty making eye contact
  • Difficulty following multi-step directions
  • Has a need for routine or sameness
  • Poor handwriting or awkward pencil grasp
Therapist assisting boy on rock climbing wall

What is a sensory diet?

A sensory diet is a list of activities that can be performed on either a daily or weekly basis. These activities are scheduled into routines to assist the individual to obtain an optimal state of arousal to aid that individual in learning and developing functional skills. A sensory diet also assists the individual in developing body awareness. A sensory diet is developed by an occupational therapist, but can be carried out by family, educators, or the individuals themselves.

OT Griffin

What is a HEP?

HEP stands for “home exercise program”. A home exercise program consists of activities to use outside of the clinic to help progress towards their goals. We are aware that majority of a child’s time is spent outside the clinic, which is why an integral part of a child’s therapy is parent education and completing activities as part of a HEP. 

What will a child gain from OT services?

  • Increased confidence
  • Increased attention
  • Decreased impulsivity
  • Decreased aggression and self-injurious behaviors
  • Increased tolerance and independence with ADLs
  • Increased independence with transitions and tolerating new situations
  • Increased body awareness
  • Improved handwriting skills
  • Increased ability to regulate emotions
  • Decreased sensory seeking behaviors
Therapist and two boys working on core strengthening