Our occupational therapy staff focuses on children and young adults. The occupations of infants include sleeping, eating and exploration of their physical, social and cultural worlds. As we grow, we add occupations such as play, socialization, self-maintenance, and school. Adolescent and young adult occupations also add preparation for adult employment, forming intimate relationships, social engagement and community involvement, and managing tasks of life independently such as money management and transportation.At Functional Kids Clinic we start with the idea that play is children’s work. We believe the best results will come when children participate in activities that are engaging and meaningful to them. That often includes play. Our treatment spaces are set up to be motivating and encourage climbing (for strengthening, body control, and calming) and swinging (for calming, regulating & organizing our body, coordination, postural control and balance), to name just a couple.Our highly skilled therapists strive to meet the “just the right challenge” while building confidence, integrating the sensory systems, and promoting motor development.
We effectively evaluate and treat children who have a variety of symptoms and clinical presentations. These include a range of subtle symptoms interfering with functioning through medical diagnoses such as autism spectrum disorder, pervasive developmental disorder (PDD- NOS), ADD/ADHD, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, development delays, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, feeding issues, and sensory processing difficulties. Each child is unique and is treated with an individualized treatment plan developed with the family/caregivers.
The occupational therapists at Functional Kids Clinic have a broad range of training, experience and, when appropriate, certification in many different treatment approaches.
These Include: ✓ Activities of Daily Living (ADL) and Instrumental ADL (IADL) training ✓ Gross and Fine Motor skills development ✓ Neurodevelopmental treatment ✓ Sensory processing and modulation skills ✓ Postural motor skills ✓ Motor planning (praxis) building ✓ Perceptual and Visual Motor Integration ✓ Handwriting & pre-academic skills ✓ Building social skills and relationships/friendships ✓ Oral motor and feeding skills
Specific programs we are trained to use:
Wilbarger Touch Pressure Protocol
Berard Auditory Integration Training (AIT)
Kawar Protocol/Astronaut Training
Interactive Metronome (IM)
CranioSacral Treatment (CST)
Brain Gym (Educational Kinesiology)
Sequential-Oral-Sensory Feeding (SOS)
Relationship Development Intervention (RDI)
Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests – SIPT evaluation tool.
Alert Program – How Does Your Engine Run?
Primitive Reflex Integration
Rhythmic Movement Training
Handwriting without Tears
The brushing program is an intense therapeutic modality that was developed by Patricia and Julia Wilbarger to address sensory defensiveness. Sensory defensiveness is a variety of symptoms throughout one or more sensory systems that cause the body to over-react to sensory stimuli that are typically non-noxious. This may cause people with defensiveness to exhibit avoidance, seeking behaviors, fear, anxiety, and aggression. The program consists of intense tactile input to the skin using a specially designed brush, followed by joint compressions
Therapeutic Listening (TL) is an auditory intervention that uses the organized sound patterns inherent in music to impact all levels of the nervous system. TL is an expansion of sensory integration as it enhances brain processing through sound vibration to the inner ear and body. The emphasis of TL is on blending sound intervention strategies with sensory input such as vestibular (movement), proprioception, core development, and respiration activities. This is to sustain grounding and centering of the body and mind in space.
During Berard Auditory Integration Training or Berard AIT, music from a CD player is sent through a specialized electronic device, called an Earducator. The electronic device randomly filters the frequencies from the music source and sends these modified sounds into the trainee's ears through a set of headphones. This leads to reorganization at the brainstem level which improves auditory and sensory processing capabilities.
This is a sound activated vestibular-visual protocol. Vestibular enhancement has always been central to sensory integration practice. However, the importance of administering precise vestibular input that is integrated with specific sound and vision input is only beginning to be acknowledged. This program uses enhanced understanding of the developmental and neurological processes of the Vestibular-Auditory-Visual Triad. Understanding how these three systems work together with the body’s senses creates a foundation for achieving competency in applying specific intervention strategies
Interactive Metronome® (IM) is an evidence-based training and assessment tool. IM is shown to improve cognition, attention, focus, memory, speech/language, executive functioning, comprehension, as well as motor & sensory skills. The Interactive Metronome® (IM) challenges your clients to synchronize a range of whole body exercises to a beat. A score is provided in milliseconds. IM’s game-like features engage the client with auditory and visual guidance and provide real-time feedback while encouraging him/her to improve their scores.
CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle, hands-on approach that releases tensions deep in the body to relieve pain and dysfunction and improve whole-body health and performance. It was pioneered and developed by Osteopathic Physician John E. Upledger after years of clinical testing and research at Michigan State University where he served as professor of biomechanics. Using a soft touch which is generally no greater than 5 grams - about the weight of a nickel - practitioners release restrictions in the soft tissues that surround the central nervous system. CST is increasingly used as a preventive health measure for its ability to bolster resistance to disease, and it's effective for a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction.
Paul E. Dennison, Ph.D., is a professional educator, a pioneer in the field of kinesiology, and an authority on the breakthrough attainment of cognitive and academic skills. Brain Gym is a movement-based learning program that has helped people of all ages turn their learning challenges into successes; the program is committed to the principle that moving with intention leads to optimal learning. These activities recall the movements naturally done during the first years of life when learning to coordinate the eyes, ears, hands, and whole body.
Bal-A-Vis-X is a series of some 300 exercises, most of which are done with sand-filled bags and/or racquetballs, all of which are deeply rooted in rhythm. Requiring multiple thousands of mid-line crossings in three dimensions, these exercises are steadily rhythmic, with a pronounced auditory foundation, executed at a pace that naturally results from proper physical techniques. Bal-A-Vis-X enables the whole mind-body system to experience the symmetrical flow of a pendulum.
Developed by Dr. Kay Toomey, the SOS (Sequential Oral Sensory) Approach to Feeding program is an effective way to address problematic feeding behaviors in a variety of settings and populations. The SOS Approach focuses on increasing a child’s comfort level by exploring and learning about the different properties of food. The program allows a child to interact with food in a playful, non-stressful way, beginning with the ability to tolerate the food in the room and in front of him/her; then moving on to touching, kissing, and eventually tasting and eating foods.
Relationship Development Intervention (RDI) is a family-based, behavioral treatment which addresses the core symptoms of autism. It focuses on building social and emotional skills. Parents are trained as the primary therapist in most RDI programs. RDI helps people with autism form personal relationships by strengthening the building blocks of social connections. This includes the ability to form an emotional bond and share experiences with others. RDI builds on the idea that “dynamic intelligence” is key to improving quality of life for individuals with autism.
The Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests (SIPT) help us to understand why some children have difficulty learning or behaving as we expected. The SIPT do not measure intelligence in the usual sense of the word, but they do evaluate some important abilities needed to get along in the world. They do not measure language development, academic achievement, or social behavior, but they assess certain aspects of sensory processing or perception that are related to those functions. They also evaluate praxis or the child’s ability to cope with the tangible, physical, two- and three-dimensional world.
M.O.R.E. is an acronym for Motor components, Oral organization, Respiratory demands, and Eye contact and control; elements of toys and items that can be used to facilitate integration of the mouth with sensory and postural development, as well as self-regulation and attention. The program presents a theoretical framework for the treatment of both sensorimotor and speech/language problems, methods for evaluating therapeutic potential of oral motor toys, and activities designed to improve integrated development of sensory/postural and speech/language functions.
The Alert Program™ is a cognitive and experiential sensorimotor approach to teach children how to change and maintain levels of alertness necessary for any given task during their day (i.e., how to self-regulate). Sherry Shellenberger and Mary Sue Williams were the first OTs to marry a child-friendly vocabulary with sensory motor strategies to help children recognize when their sensory systems are running too slow, too fast, or “just right.”
Primitive reflexes are automatic/involuntary movements fundamental for the development of muscle tone, sensory integration, head control and overall development. As a baby grows, these primitive reflexes will slowly disappear as the infant’s brain develops and matures and the infant’s movements become more voluntary and controlled. When primitive reflexes have not integrated within the appropriate time frame, it is very important to revisit the development stages that were missed. These activities can actually rebuild the foundation and create a new neural pathway.
RMT is based on the work of Kerstin Linde, a Swedish movement training specialist, who developed movements based on her observations of how infants are meant to move. Rhythmic movements are gentle rocking and reflex integration movements that stimulate neural pathways and promote learning, emotional balance and ease of movement.
The Kinesio Taping® Method is a definitive rehabilitative taping technique that is designed to facilitate the body’s natural healing process while providing support and stability to muscles and joints without restricting the body’s range of motion as well as providing extended soft tissue manipulation to prolong the benefits of manual therapy administered within the clinical setting. The Kinesio Taping Method is designed to facilitate the body’s natural healing process while allowing support and stability to muscles and joints without restricting the body’s range of motion.
Handwriting Without Tears helps students build essential skills for emergent writing and handwriting success. Children who master handwriting are more likely to succeed in school, writing with speed and ease in all subjects. But without a strong foundation, bad habits take root. This curriculum nurtures writing automaticity through direct, explicit instruction along with guided and independent practice. The Handwriting Without Tears® curriculum draws from years of innovation and research to provide developmentally appropriate, multisensory strategies for early writing. The program follows research of how children learn best and includes materials that address all styles of learning.
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