Occupational Therapy is all about the everyday. From basic needs such as self-care, to more complex needs such as community or school engagement; Occupational Therapy covers it all.
Sensory Processing is the body’s ability to receive information from our environment through our senses, interpret that information, and to create a meaningful response. We have seven senses in which the body uses to interact with its surroundings. Taste, sight, hearing, smell, and touch are our 5 basic senses, but we also have vestibular and proprioceptive senses as well. Vestibular sensation is the body’s understanding of movement and balance, and proprioception is the understanding of body positioning.
Sensory Processing provides the foundation for complex functioning such as movement, emotional regulation, attention, social interactions, adaptive behaviors and academic learning. The inability to appropriately interpret sensory information results in a Sensory Processing Disorder.
The goal of treating children with Sensory Processing Disorder is to create a playful environment where each individual’s sensory needs can be met and organized. As sensory integration occurs, it sets a foundation for complex functioning leading to improved self-esteem, and the ability to successfully interact in social situations.
Handwriting Without Tears (HWT) is curriculum that uses multi-sensory techniques, such as auditory, visual, tactile and kinesthetic methods, and consistent habits to teach handwriting to all students.
This curriculum is fun and interactive for students at any level who are having difficulty with handwriting.
The goal of Handwriting Without Tears is to make legible and fluent handwriting easier, and to improve self-confidence as well as ability in the handwriting process.
The Social Thinking Methodology teaches the process and strategies for improving an individual’s ability to do social thinking and related social skills. The mission of Social Thinking is to explore the abstract nature of the social world and to teach how others can improve their social interpretation and social competencies using concretely defined frameworks and strategies. The methodology helps each individual develop their social self-awareness, perspective taking, and social self-management skills to meet their personal goals. Social goals can include helping children to learn to relate to others, to work effectively as part of a team, and to learn effectively as part of a group.
The Social Thinking Methodology is a language-based approach best utilized by people with solid language and intelligence ages 4 years through adulthood. It is not designed for any particular diagnostic label. Many with ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders (Type 1 and 2), bi-polar, social anxiety, or who may be gifted and talented may have strong language and academic skills but struggle with social learning compared to their typically-developing peers. The Social Thinking Methodology helps individuals with these struggles, as well as typically-developing folks.
Improving one’s social thinking will help to improve their social skills (social behavior), reading comprehension of literature, written expression, narrative language, playing with peers, working as part of a group, forming peer networks, etc. Much of what we do in school, at work, and as part of the community requires understanding the perspectives of other people and thus – social thinking.
DIR® – Developmental, Individual-differences, and Relationship-based – is a model of therapy that seeks to help children reach their fullest potential through connections, engagement, love, and understanding. Floortime® is a technique that uses this model by following the child’s natural emotional interests and at the same time challenging the child toward greater mastery of their social, emotional, and intellectual abilities. It emphasizes the critical role of parents and other family members because of the importance of their emotional relationships with the child.
DIRFloortime has become most widely known as an approach to support children with Autism Spectrum Disorders although any child can benefit from this approach.
The goals of the DIR Model are to build healthy foundations for social, emotional, and intellectual capacities rather than focusing on skills and isolated behaviors.
Therapeutic Listening® is a sound-based therapy program developed by Sheila Frick, OTR. The program is an evidence-based protocol combining music with sensory integrative activities to effectively treat diverse populations affected by sensory processing challenges. It uses music that has been modulated or filtered to impact and organize all levels of the nervous system. The music is individually chosen for each child by a trained therapist based on the child’s functioning level and desired outcomes or goals. Individuals utilizing a Therapeutic Listening program in conjunction with sensory integrative techniques as part of a clinic and home program experience more rapid therapeutic outcomes.
The program has benefited children and adults with the following difficulties: sleep regulation, restricted diet, inattention and impulsivity, delayed speech development, emotional regulation, irregularities in toilet training, reduced social skills and/or engagement, delayed motor skills, visual perception, autism spectrum disorders, sensory processing, and learning difficulties.
The goals of this program include improvement in self regulation, attention, balance and movement perception, motor planning and sequencing, social skills, communication, and language abilities.
Interactive Metronome® (IM) is a cutting-edge neurological assessment and treatment tool used with pediatric and adult clients. The program provides a structured, goal-oriented process that challenges the client to synchronize a range of hand and foot exercises to a precise computer generated reference tone. IM’s game-like auditory-visual platform engages the patient and provides constant feedback at the millisecond level to promote synchronized timing in the brain. Exercises can be customized to the client and can be altered to increase in complexity. IM can be used successfully with all clients across the therapy spectrum, including those limited by cognitive and/or physical impairments.
Research has shown that IM can help improve function in clients with sensory processing disorder, autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, nonverbal learning disabilities, ADHD, traumatic brain injury, and balance difficulties.
The goals of this program include improvement in attention and concentration, motor planning and sequencing, language processing, behavior, balance and gait, endurance, strength, motor skills, and coordination.
Functional skills include the ability to remain calm and sleep well, pay attention at school or home, play with others, complete daily self-care tasks such as feeding, dressing, oral hygiene, hair care and bathing, accept and eat a variety of foods, develop eye-hand skills for reading, writing, and playing, develop body coordination, comfort with touch, movement and socialization, manage time and money, prepare meals, complete chores and follow directions.
Children who have weak hands or get easily tired while doing fine motor tasks, have difficulty learning or sequencing motor tasks, are over-responsive to sensory stimulation including touch, texture, taste, sound and movement, are under-responsive to sensory stimulation demonstrating decreased reactions to movement, touch and sound, have trouble modulating forceful effort and maintaining an appropriate grasp, have trouble learning how to dress and feed themselves, and have difficulty with coordinating their eye muscles for effective vision.
The goal is to build positive social relationships, acquire and use knowledge and skills, and independence to meet own needs. Building positive social relationships
Play is not automatic, it is learned through our interactions and experiences with others. An important part of our program is assisting the child with engaging in developmentally appropriate interactions at every opportunity. By following your child’s interests, joining what he/she is doing, and wooing him/her with warm but persistent attempts to engage his/her attention, you can enable progress in mastering essential, foundational skills. The role of the child’s natural emotions and interests is essential for learning interactions that enable the different parts of the mind and brain to work together to build successively higher levels of social, emotional, and intellectual capacities.
Any child who demonstrates difficulty engaging and playing with peers and adults would benefit from play-based therapy. Play is especially useful for treatment of children on the autism spectrum from infant through adult. It also benefits children who have other special needs or developmental delays affecting language development or social skills. Our program is based on the DIRFloortime® model created by Dr. Stanley Greenspan. It is a comprehensive framework which enables clinicians and parents to construct a program tailored to the child’s unique challenges and strengths.
Child goals include attending to play with a partner, engagement with others, creative back-and-forth circles of interaction, stimulation of creativity and problem solving, and connection through emotion. Parent goals include discovery of yourself as a participant of play, tuning into your child’s interests, learning to use and read emotional expressions to connect and engage with your child, feeling enabled to help your child, capturing your child’s attention, exploration of interaction circles, staying tuned in and persistant, and experiencing the joy of a parent/child relationship.
For free resources and webcasts to help increase engagement, play, and communication with your child, visit the Profectum Parent Toolbox.
A child’s gross motor ability involves the use of the large muscles of their body, and enables a child to perform major body movements, such as crawling, walking, jumping, and hopping. Gross motor skills tend to develop before fine motor skills. These skills include balance, coordination, body awareness, muscle tone and strength, and postural control.
A child’s fine motor ability is their ability to control the small muscles of their hands to perform small movements. This includes a child’s ability to reach, grasp, manipulate, release, and control objects with their fingers and hands. As a child develops, they can hold and manipulate tools (e.g. spoons, pencils, scissors) and fasteners (e.g. buttons, zippers, snaps, laces) in a controlled manner in order to participate in activities of daily living.
Children that demonstrate difficulty in independently participating in self-care, play, school/handwriting, and leisure.
The main goal for therapy is increasing independence in the daily occupations of the child, including taking care of themselves, playing with others, completing school requirements, and exploring leisure opportunities.
We partner with psychologists and social workers from Anchored Family Psychology and Counseling Associates – conveniently located in our Jenison location – for psychological evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment. Together we determine the best plan of action for your child and the family. Services performed at Anchored Family are billed separately and appointments will need to be scheduled directly with the Anchored Family team.
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Occupational, Speech and Physical therapies are paneled with Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of Michigan, Blue Care Network (BCN), Cofinity, and Priority Health covering a range of diagnoses. We are paneled with all of these providers for autism spectrum services. Clients with other health plans may be able to submit for reimbursement, but payment will be out-of-pocket at the time of treatment.