Occupational therapy is the only profession that helps people across the lifespan to do the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of daily activities (occupations). Occupational therapy practitioners enable people of all ages to live life to its fullest by helping them promote health and prevent – or live better with – injury, illness or disability. Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes.
Occupational therapy services typically include:
- an individualized evaluation, during which the client/family and occupational therapist determine the person’s goals
- customized intervention to improve the person’s ability to perform daily activities and reach the goals
- an outcomes evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met and/or make changes to the intervention plan.
Occupational therapy practitioners have a holistic perspective, in which the focus is on adapting the environment and/or task to fit the person and the person is an integral part of the therapy team. It is an evidence-based practice deeply rooted in science.
Sensory processing disorder or SPD happens because the brain has trouble organizing information from the senses. Familiar senses are touch, smell, hearing, vision and taste. Other less familiar senses that are extremely important include vestibular, proprioception, and interoception.
If your child is struggling at home or in school because of sensory processing difficulties, we can offer help while developing strategies to better understand your child. Having a clear picture of how one senses the world will aid in modifying or adapting one’s surroundings while also developing accommodation skills.
The Interactive Metronome® (IM) is a computer-based training program that has been shown to improve attention, coordination, motor planning, sequencing and timing for individuals with sensory processing difficulties.
People who may benefit from use of the IM include people with sensory processing disorders, attention deficit disorders, motor planning problems, poor coordination, gross and fine-motor concerns, as well as learning and language disorders. IM can also be used to improve academic performance and a wide range of cognitive difficulties.
More information can be found at interactivemetronome.com.
FITLIGHT™ is an engaging multi-sensory training tool that improves attentional control, vigilance, and processing speed, as well as motor control, coordination and balance in children and adults with neurological impairments.
FITLIGHT™ is an engaging multi-sensory training program that challenges a client to perform a series of gross motor movements to a sequence. As each light is deactivated, response time is measured and real-time feedback is provided. Training data is captured for immediate performance review.
The overall goal of the program is to improve reaction time. When reaction time is improved the brain is increasing the speed at which neurons fire and communicate. Therefore carryover can be seen in both cognitive & motor function. It can easily be combined with other exercises and modalities for an overall larger improvement.
Rhythmic Movement Training (RMT) is a motor training program developed on the basis of the spontaneous rhythmic movements that infants normally do. RMT looks at the integration of primitive reflexes, using reflex strategies to further support neurological development.
RMT helps the brain to make new connections which are needed for further developmental growth to improve attention, emotional and self-regulation.
More information can be found at rhythmicmovement.com.
Visual perception is being able to make sense of what you see. People use visual perceptual processing skills to gather information from the environment. Vision is not only about acuity (20/20 vision) but it is the brain’s interpretation of what the eyes see. There are eight different types of visual processing concerns. Those concerns are:
- Visual discrimination – problems present when one is not able to see the difference between two different objects (b vs d or p vs q).
- Visual figure-ground discrimination – problems present when one is not able to pull out a shape from its background.
- Visual sequencing – problems present when one is not able to tell the order of symbols, words or images.
- Visual-motor processing – problems present when one is not able to use feedback from the eyes to coordinate the movement of other parts of the body.
- Long- or short-term visual memory – problems present when one is not able to recall what they’ve seen.
- Visual-spatial – problems present when one is not able to tell where objects are in space. That includes how far things are from them and from each other.
- Visual closure – problems present when one is not able to identify an object when only parts are visible.
- Letter and symbol reversal – problems present when one is switching letters or numbers when writing or substituting letters while reading after the age of 7. They also have trouble with letter formation that affects reading, writing and math skills.
Lindsey Detten is trained and certified in the Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) Approach to Feeding program. Developed as a method to assist “picky eaters” with increasing the variety and volume of food consumed, the SOS program has helped many individuals develop the neural networks and the tools they need in order to be successful during snacks and mealtimes. The SOS Approach encourages clients to interact with and learn more about a variety of foods. Individuals are encouraged to play with preferred and non-preferred foods in a stress-free manner while the therapist uses a systematic approach that increases toleration of the non-preferred foods. Lindsey is also trained in the Beckman Oral Motor Protocol through Debra Beckman. This protocol improves efficiency and effectiveness while eating by promoting skill development. It increases oral range of motion, strength, control of movement and the functional response to pressure and movement within the mouth. Through the Beckman Oral Motor Protocol, skills such as lip closure, midline crossing, coordination and strength are developed.
Fine motor skill (or dexterity) is the coordination of small muscles in movements – usually involving the synchronization of hands and fingers – with the eyes.
These skills are important in learning and in life. Lack of fine motor skills leads to difficulty with handwriting, self-help skills, crafts, paper-pencil tasks, and other daily activities.
Kinesio Taping is a technique used to help develop motor skills. It may be an option before trying splinting or other more invasive methods of muscle tone management.
To keep people comfortable and optimally functioning and minimize pain, Kinesio Taping techniques are constantly refined and advanced.
A long distance way to assist families and their children through online consultation. Using an online format, we can work together to develop ways to assist with your child’s development.