Alaska Children's Therapy is specializes in the following treatment areas:
Sensory Integration is a term that describes the brain's ability to take in information from the senses, organize it, and respond to it during experiences of daily life. Children with sensory processing challenges may behave in ways that may seem unusual. They may avoid bright lights, loud noises or certain textures. Children may also be over-responsive (hypersensitivity) or under-responsive (hyposensitivity) to sensory stimuli. Conditions or disorders connected to sensory processing challenges may include Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), ADHD, Schizophrenia, sleep disorders, developmental delays, and brain injuries.
Visual motor skills include the ability to interpret visual information and respond with a motor action. Another way to think of this is eye-hand coordination. When a baseball is thrown, you need to interpret the visual information and respond by moving your hand to catch the baseball. These visual motor skills are also essential for copying visual information, reading, drawing, and handwriting.
What are gross motor skills? Gross motor skills involved the use of the larger muscles in our arms, trunk, or legs. These larger movements help us carry bags, throw a ball, run, jump and walk up the stairs. I like to think of them as whole body (core stabilizing) movements. Children with gross motor difficulties commonly display avoidance or general disinterest in physical tasks.
What are fine motor skills? They involve the use of small muscles in our wrists, hands, feet, fingers, and toes. Poor coordination & fine motor skills can affect eating, writing, putting a puzzle together, etc. As an occupational therapist, we specialize in evaluating and treating fine motor skills.
What is self-regulation? Self-regulation is the ability that helps us to control our behavior in the long run, rather than in the moment. These self-regulation skills, also known as emotional regulation, helps us manage our emotions when we’re disappointed, angry, or frustrated. All children have tantrums from time to time, but children with emotional regulation issues often have tantrums more frequently and for a longer time than their peers and become easily upset without a clear cause. OTs help by problem-solving with parents to address difficulties with emotional regulation.
Social skills are the skills we use everyday to interact and communicate with others. Social skills are essential in enabling an individual to have meaningful interactions and relationships. Children with Autism, developmental delays, emotional regulation and sensory processing challenges may need assistance to learn these essential social skills. Occupational therapists may utilize video modeling, peer groups, social stories among other strategies to help kids learn these essential social skills.
Self-care skills, also known as self-help skills, include the skills a person needs to use on a daily basis to live independently. In children, this may include tying his or her shoes, brushing one’s teeth, getting dressed, and using the toilet. Many children with disabilities need additional assistance to develop these essential self-care skills and occupational therapists assist children learn these essential skills.
Below are some of the treatment techniques utilized by Alaska Children's Therapy:
Handwriting Without Tears® utilizes a multi-sensory developmental approach for effective teaching of handwriting. The Handwriting without Tears® curriculum is designed to make legible and fluent handwriting an automatic, mastered skill.
Yoga is described as a practice or state of connection between the mind and body. The practice of yoga is believed to increase awareness, presence, and mindfulness. Mindfulness is the practice of purposely bringing one's attention in the present moment. Benefits of utilizing yoga and mindfulness strategies may include increased concentration, memory, feelings of happiness and contentment, reduction in depression and anxiety.
Parents and/or caregivers play an essential role in helping children meet their goals and are an active part of the intervention process. Parents help guide each child’s treatment and interventions. We welcome parent feedback, suggestions, and parent participation is encouraged.
Sensory integration therapy is designed to help children with sensory-processing problems (which may include children with Autism, ADHD, and other diagnoses) cope with difficulties they have with processing sensory input. Therapy sessions are play-based and may incorporate deep pressure, weighted vests, heavy work (i.e. wheelbarrow walking), swinging, etc. Because services are in the child’s home, an emphasis will be made for these sensory integration techniques to be part of the child’s routine for optimal functional and participation in the child’s everyday life.
The Alert Program uses the analogy of arousal states to car engines. A student’s arousal state can be High (overexcited, hyper, antsy), Low (sluggish, tired, low energy), or Just Right (ready to learn, play, get along with others). Students first learn how to identify their alert levels, then learn strategies with structured learning opportunities and exploration to change their alert level. The goal of the Alert Program® is for the students to utilize their unique strategies to help regulate their unique arousal levels for increased engagement in daily activities- at school, home, and at play!
DIR®, also known as the Developmental Individual Difference Relationship Based Model, uses an individualized, comprehensive, child-directed, and family-centered approach geared towards improving generalized and spontaneous communication, meaningful relationships and higher-level thinking skills. Floor time literally refers to getting down on the floor and playing with your child in a way that provides opportunities for him/her to advance. DIR/ Floortime® is an evidence-based approach effective for guiding interventions for children with Autism and other developmental challenges.
This treatment approach is typically used by physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists. NDT utilizes therapeutic handling techniques to facilitate improved sensorimotor performance, achievement of functional goals, and enhanced participation in meaningful activities. During treatment interventions, repeated experience in movement ensures that a particular movement pattern is readily accessible for motor performance.
Many conditions benefit from these treatment techniques and services, including:
If you are looking for a pediatric occupational therapy provider, visit our New Client page to see if Alaska Children's Therapy would be a good fit!