Occupational Therapy Treatment
Occupational therapists help individuals restore or develop functional performance skills in areas that “occupy” that person’s time. For children, these areas include play, self-help skills, school performance, and social interactions. Our trained and Texas licensed Occupational therapists provide one-on-one sessions, which are play based in nature. Our services are provided in our state-of-the-art, fully equipped sensory motor gym located at Hillcrest and LBJ freeway or at our satellite sensory motor gyms located at Oak Hill Academy and The Winston School. Your child will love developing their skills in these fun, supportive, and enriching environments.
Our therapy sessions are 1-hour standing appointments. Therapy consists of 50 minutes of direct one-on-one treatment time with 10 minutes of parent education and feedback. A variety of treatment techniques will be utilized in order to address the areas identified on the initial evaluation and by the goals set by the parent and therapist, as well as overall functional performance. Areas that may be addressed include: Fine motor skills, gross motor skills, postural control, sensory processing skills, reflex integration, praxis, self-help skills, visual perceptual and visual motor skills, handwriting, social skills, coping skills, self-concept and behavior.
In conjunction with therapy, ongoing parent education is important in order to provide consistency between treatment sessions. This service is provided at no additional cost in order to support our families and help facilitate optimal collaboration between the parents and therapists. We spend time at the end of each session discussing progress, concerns and home program ideas. Oak Hill Academy and The Winston School parents are contacted and a method of communication is agreed upon, whether it is by e-mail, phone conferences, or written notes. In addition, parent conferences are included in the cost of the initial evaluation and is crucial for parent education and effective treatment planning. Parents may also request a parent conference at any time during the treatment course for a small fee.
Based on your child’s age, functional performance, and your primary concerns, the following areas may also be addressed within the OT evaluation or treatment:
Visual Perceptual Training
Visual perception is the ability to take in visual input, organize it, and interpret it. It is important for a multitude of functional tasks such as putting together puzzles, building with legos, finding objects in drawers, writing, reading, and math. We work to develop the foundational visual perceptual skills and also use compensatory techniques in order to maximize your child’s abilities.
In addition to the sensory and motor concerns identified during the initial assessment, some children also have difficulty with functional self-help skills that allow them perform in their daily lives. Examples of these skills include: shoe tying, buttoning, putting on and taking off clothing, using utensils for eating, putting on and taking off shoes and socks, cutting food, and brushing their teeth. These occupations are important in daily life and provide the child with confidence in their skills. Occupational therapists are trained in ways to help facilitate development in these areas. Please be sure to communicate any concerns about your child’s self-help skills during the initial evaluation or at any time during treatment.
Sensory Feeding Therapy
Some children have tactile or gustatory sensitivity in or around the mouth, which may cause them to have limited food preferences. This can cause stress at family meal times and can limit the child’s nutrition. Often, these children benefit from sensory integrative therapy in addition to sensory feeding strategies in order to decrease sensitivity and increase food choices.
Home and School Programs
As part of our SPOTS treatment strategy, we provide comprehensive home and/or school programs as needed in order to help facilitate development of motor and sensory processing skills outside of therapy sessions. Your therapist will provide suggestions, based on your child’s abilities and challenges, and will help to adjust those suggestions as more information is gathered. Examples of home programs include sensory diet strategies, fine and gross motor activities, reflex integration exercises and handwriting and/or visual perceptual homework.
Functional Vision Screen
Eyesight is your visual acuity, but there is much more to vision than eyesight! In order for children to be able to engage in sports, read text and toggle between far and near point tasks, functional vision skills must be working properly. We are qualified to screen for functional vision deficits in the areas of smooth pursuits, saccades, and convergence. If one of these skills is identified as deficient, a referral to a trusted developmental optometrist in the area may be given. Often, the recommendation is to incorporate visual tracking exercises into Occupational or Physical therapy sessions. However, sometimes more intense work is needed to help the child better process visual information and vision therapy may be recommended.