Our speech, physical, and occupational therapists are trained to treat many different adult and pediatric skills. While we work to improve a variety of functional skills through fun activities, these are some of the common skills we address:
Using both sides of the body together to complete a task. For example, using both hands to put on your shoes.
MOTOR PLANNING & DYSPRAXIA
Our ability to come up with an idea for, and carry out, a new motor act or task. Children and adults who have difficulty with motor planning or praxis may appear clumsy, have difficulty learning new tasks, may be accident prone, or may prefer sedentary activities.
Forming speech sounds clearly. For example, being able to make the sound “Th” to say the word “This”.
Getting along with others, knowing how to solve problems and negotiate, maintaining conversations, greeting others, and more!
FEEDING & ORAL MOTOR
Our therapists are trained to work with children and adults who may be picky eaters or problem feeders. Many skills can impact feeding. Oral motor skills such as coordination and strength of the tongue and cheeks, for example, can make speaking and eating difficult. Being more sensitive to food tastes, textures, or temperatures can also impact feeding and eating. Not only do our therapists work with those with limited diets, but they also help children with self feeding, such as using a fork and spoon, cutting with knife and fork, using a straw, or drinking from a cup.
Sensory processing refers to our ability to take in various sensations, organize them, and use them to make sense of our environment and our bodies. Some with sensory processing challenges may be very sensitive to movement, sounds, or touch, while others may seek out those sensations and have difficulty sitting still or being safe in their environment.
Our ability to notice internal sensations (ex: pain, hunger, thirst, needing to use the bathroom, emotional states) and connect meaning to them
BEHAVIOR & REGULATION
The ability to manage our emotions and activity level allows us to display age appropriate behaviors that are important for social emotional development. Difficulty with regulation can impact a child’s ability to participate in tasks at home, school, and in the community. Children who have frequent and intense tantrums, meltdowns, or who have difficulty controlling themselves may benefit from occupational therapy.
Just because we can see clearly (acuity), doesn’t mean that we are able to use our eyes together or make sense of what we see. There are many visual related skills that often go untested and therefore, children and adults may struggle with tasks unnecessarily. Visual skills are important for many other skills, including catching a ball, handwriting, paying attention, and more. Our occupational therapists are specially trained to assess and treat visual motor skills, visual perceptual skills, and oculo-motor skills.
FINE MOTOR SKILLS
Fine motor skills involve the small movements we must make with our small muscles. We use our hands for many tasks including gripping a pencil, picking up coins, and tying our shoes.
Our occupational therapists have experience working with children who need to improve their handwriting, for example, learning how to form letters correctly, writing quickly, neatly and clearly, and developing a mature pencil grip.
SELF HELP SKILLS
Self-help skills or activities of daily living (ADLs) often include tasks that children are expected to do on their own at a certain age. We address tasks such as self feeding, simple cooking and meal preparation, shoe tying, getting dressed, putting on shoes, brushing teeth, and more.
STRENGTH & POSTURE
Difficulty maintaining certain positions, like sitting or standing. Children with decreased strength may have difficulty moving their bodies or may fatigue easily. Children who have difficulty with posture may easily lose their balance, slouch in their chair, or lean on things/people.
Understanding what is read and combining it with information you already know.
VOICE & FLUENCY
The pitch, volume, and quality of our voice and how smoothly we join sounds together when we are speaking. For example, stuttering.
Does your child use or need support to speak, such as a communication device? Our speech therapists can help your child with his or her communication device.
PLAY & ENGAGEMENT
Does your child have difficulty playing with other children, choosing ideas for play, or finding interest in age appropriate play? Our therapists use play based approaches to improve play skills and engagement. Addressing a child’s ability to stay engaged with other people and activities is often an area of focus when working with children on the Autism spectrum.