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Occupational Therapy

What is Occupational Therapy and how can it help my child?

Occupational therapy focuses on what matters to you and not what is the matter with you.  Therapy focuses on the use of everyday activities that limit your independence and self-satisfaction.  They address activities such as play, eating, dressing, and self-care through strengthening, adaptations, and sensory regulation. In a child’s life, this looks like a change of plans without a meltdown, being able to color in the lines, being able to dress, or making safe choices in play.

Sensory processing disorder is a condition in which the brain has trouble receiving and responding to information that comes in through the senses.

Formerly referred to as sensory integration dysfunction, it is not currently recognized as a distinct medical diagnosis.

Some people with sensory processing disorder are oversensitive to things in their environment. Common sounds may be painful or overwhelming. The light touch of a shirt may chafe the skin.

Others with sensory processing disorder may: be uncoordinated, bump into things, be unable to tell where their limbs are in space, be hard to engage in conversation or play.

OT treatment seeks to stimulate the brain in a sequence with the correct amount and type of sensory input, allowing the child to better process the information.  They will work closely with the parents to help them understand how their child currently processes sensory information.  By use of a home program/ school program, these techniques are integrated into everyday life.

At TLC we consider the child’s physician an important part of the team.  While we would love for you to contact us, we also request that you contact your child’s pediatrician and let them know of your concerns.  Together you can determine if the evaluation may be necessary?  We will be happy to assist you and your physician in obtaining the referral and of any other questions that arise.  If you would like to speak with us about an outpatient referral, please call 870-932-4245 ext. 9374.  If you are inquiring about the EDIT program, please call Christy at 870932-4245 ext. 9355.

The child will be taken to the therapist’s treatment room, and the parents are welcome to come.  Using toys and play, the therapist will ask the child to perform a series of tasks i.e., copy a shape. These are typically items found on a standardized test.  The test is given to “qualify” your child for therapy under insurance guidelines. The therapist may also ask you to fill out a questionnaire. Just do your best to answer the questions, there are no right or wrong answers. Often children are evaluated and treated where another child or two are nearby. Children typically are less anxious when they see another child playing and enjoying themselves.  The therapist will often ask you several questions throughout the evaluation.  At the end of the evaluation, the therapist may or may not be able to tell you whether or child qualified.  This is a good time to ask any questions of your therapist.  If you are not able to find out that day, the therapist, or their case manager if they are enrolled in the center-based programs, will contact you.

We feel that parents play a very crucial role in the progression of occupational therapy treatment.  We will often use letters and or videos of your child and what they are doing in occupational therapy, so that you may carry over the work at home.  If you have questions or concerns, please contact us! Our email addresses are listed on this website or call the center directly.

Is mealtime a battle?  Do you find yourself wondering if your child is “just a picky eater” or if there really is a problem?  If your child eats 30 different foods or more, your child is classified as a picky eater. They typically eat at least one food from most nutrition and texture groups.  Although these children are reluctant, you can place new foods on their plate, and they will touch and often taste them.  They are willing to eat a meal with other family members at the table.  It is normal for a child to want to eat food multiple times, and then just stop eating it completely.  This is called food “jagging”.  However, if your child’s food choices are restricted to less than 20 foods then there might be a reason to seek help.  “Problem Feeders” often refuse entire categories of food or textures.  They often scream and fall apart or gag when new foods are presented.  They almost always eat different foods and often at a different time and place than other family members.  TLC utilizes both speech and occupational therapy in the treatment of Problem Feeders.   With the use of multiple treatment techniques like those practiced in food chaining, SOS, Oral Beckman, sensory processing as well as many others, they customize a treatment plan with their goal being to make mealtimes happy, stress-free, and nutritious daily occurrence.

Difficulty with coloring or writing may be caused by many different factors.  It could simply be a weakness in the hands or shoulders. It could something more complex, such as a vision or sensory processing issue.  Through testing, the OT will be able to determine the cause of your child’s struggle to write or color.  The therapists at TLC utilize many different treatment techniques.  Handwriting Without Tears is a multisensory approach to handwriting that incorporates play, textures, and songs to develop prewriting and writing skills in your child. This is a research-proven technique that is implemented by the teachers in our preschool as well.

Occupational Therapist

Occupational Therapist

Occupational Therapist

Occupational Therapist  

Vicenta Teel

Occupational Therapist

Occupational Therapist

Occupational Therapist

Occupational Therapist

Occupational Therapist

Occupational Therapist

Occupational Therapist

TLC is a team of professionals whose goal is to help each child reach his/her maximum potential in their personal development.