WHY CHOOSE IRVINE THERAPY SERVICES
Not all pediatric occupational therapy is the same! At our facility, we focus on sensory integration….building connections in the brain to support the development of motor, sensory, emotional, social and play behaviors in the child. Come visit our one of a kind therapy gym and see for yourself!
OUR THERAPY CHANGES BRAIN WIRING
Children with deficits in sensory integration and sensory processing require occupational therapy using sensory integration principles to facilitate the formation of efficient neural pathways. These new nerve connections support the development of skills (ex. gross motor, fine motor, self-care, play, etc.). The correct use of sensory integration strategies thus changes the brain and nervous system.
Therapy is provided within the context of play, exploration and pure fun! Sensory integration focuses on developing and strengthening the child’s sensory processing foundations in the brain so that skills like cutting, coloring and writing, eating, etc develop naturally and generalize across settings. Social participation, emotional regulation and the development of attention are by-products of this therapy. This approach is very different from skill-based therapy in which the occupational therapist focuses only on specific skills such as cutting, coloring or hand writing. Skill based therapy does not change the brain and does not generalize.
OUR THERAPISTS ARE EDUCATED
Many health professions have general practitioners as well as specialists. Occupational therapy does too. An occupational therapist may have been exposed to sensory integration principles while in school or may have taken a continuing education class; however, applying sensory integration principles in occupational therapy practice is a specialty that requires post-graduate education and training. Post-graduate training includes sensory integration, clinical mentorship from an experienced occupational therapist in a sensory integration setting, and SIPT certification. For a pediatric occupational therapist to effectively use a sensory integration (SI) approach to assess or treat a child, she or he requires additional education to understand its theoretical underpinnings and extensive mentorship training to integrate the theory into practice.
An occupational therapist trained in the correct use of sensory integration principles should:
OUR ENVIRONMENT IS DESIGNED FOR YOUR CHILD
Beyond the therapist’s additional training and certification, there are specific “tools” that the therapist needs to practice within an SI framework. The therapist needs an enriched sensory environment which provides for a variety of ways to encourage exploration with each of the senses. A first must have is a plethora of moving equipment, not just one swing, but a variety of swings that allow for movement with the head in a variety of planes, not only upright, but also upside down, side ways, and every other combination. Therefore there should be several places or hooks for suspension of swings. This means that the therapy gym should be very large to accommodate multiple suspension locations/systems. In addition to movement, opportunities for a child to engage in heavy work (proprioceptive) activities, that include pushing, pulling, lifting, carrying, climbing, jumping, building should abound. Let’s consider the visual system. Activities that allow for visual perception tasks, including those in two and three dimensional space should be available. Next, a variety of tactile materials should be invitingly and readily available for the child, not only for hands but also for bodies to be buried and nestled in. These could be large bins filled with balls or beans or other media of varying textures. Games and activities that encourage the use of and exploration with the senses of hearing, smell and taste should invite children to engage and explore. The space should feel like the best play yard or a miniature Disneyland for a young child!
An Occupational therapy clinic environment designed for the implementation of sensory integration principles should have:
TO GET STARTED
We know that good therapy begins with in-depth assessments. We utilize a variety of assessment tools as part of our occupational therapy evaluation process. The first step in the process is to determine if your child can benefit from receiving occupational therapy services at ITS.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Call us at 949-252-9946
A person on our team will get back to you and discuss occupational therapy services at ITS and if your child would benefit from services. We will then send you a link to fill out our intake information that will include insurance information and detailed information about your child.
IF YOU ARE NOT SURE IF YOUR CHILD CAN BENEFIT FROM OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY LEARN MORE HERE