Occupational Therapy

At Foundations Therapy, we use a child’s “occupation” of play to provide meaningful and motivating therapy. Our goal is to provide a safe environment where the therapist, child, and caregiver can play together to achieve success.

Does a child have an occupation?

Yes, a child’s “job” is playing and learning, and a pediatric occupational therapist evaluates kids’ skills for playing, school performance, and daily activities (such as getting dressed and eating). The child’s performance is compared with what is developmentally appropriate for his/her age group. OTs will also address social and behavioral skills to build a child’s confidence. Occupational therapy can help improve a child’s cognitive, physical, and motor skills while enhancing self-esteem and sense of accomplishment.

Ways OT can help:

Tools we use:

  • Alert Program
  • Astronaut Training (vision program)
  • Belgau Program/Balametrics
  • Brain Gym®
  • Getting It Write
  • Handling
  • Handwriting Without Tears®
  • Infant Massage
  • Interactive Metronome®
  • Loops and Other Groups: A Kinesthetic Writing System
  • Masgutova Method of Neuro-sensory-motor Reflex Integration (MNRI)
  • Therapeutic Listening®
  • Wilbarger Approach to Treatment of Sensory Defensiveness

Tools Details

Alert Program:

An innovative program that teaches children how to choose appropriate strategies to change or maintain states of alertness. Used before important tests, social gatherings or other stress or “mentally engaging” tasks, this fun and innovative program can help children “tune in” and give their best in any endeavor and environment.

The “Astronaut Training Program”:

This program is a protocol developed by Mary J. Kawar, MS, OTR, and Sheila M. Frick, OTR. It is a sensory integrative protocol that is designed to stimulate and integrate the vestibular, visual, and auditory systems. The protocol should only be implemented by a trained occupational therapist with a fundamental understanding in sensory integration.

Balametrics, aka Belgau Learning Breakthrough Program:

A program that focuses on balance and brain integration. When you execute a movement, visualize an action, or perform any mental acts, millions of neurons fire in your brain. The Learning Breakthrough Program activities refine the firing processes and increase the speed and efficiency of the neural networks.

Brain Gym®:

Movements, exercises, or activities that refer to the original 26 Brain Gym movements, sometimes abbreviated as the 26. These activities recall the movements naturally done during the first years of life when learning to coordinate the eyes, ears, hands, and whole body. This program works to achieve improvements in the following: concentration and focus, memory, academic performance (reading, writing, math, test taking), physical coordination, self-responsibility, organizational skills, and attitude.

Getting It Write:

A six week program which discusses and explores the foundations for neat and legible handwriting, leading to a better understanding of handwriting difficulties. It can be used in a group or as an individual program.

Handling Techniques:

Using this technique, the therapist is “hands on” with a child in order to teach the muscles of the body how to move in a given pattern. This can help with alignment, muscle tone, regulation, and developmental skills. Handling allows the body to learn how to hold a posture and move in various movement patterns.

Handwriting Without Tears® (HWT):

A curriculum that uses multi-sensory techniques and consistent habits for letter formation to teach handwriting to all students, Pre-K through Cursive. In addition, HWT provides parents and teachers the instructional techniques and activities to help improve a child’s pencil grip, body awareness, posture and so much more.

Infant Massage:

This technique is used during the Quiet Alert State. It is a combination of techniques from traditional Swedish Massage, East Indian Massage, Reflexology, and Conditioned Relaxation Response. It provides tactile input to assist with regulation, circulation, gastro-intestinal issues, and bonding between child and adult. It can be used with infants and children throughout the day.

Interactive Metronome®:

An assessment and training program developed to directly improve the processing abilities that affect attention, motor planning, and sequencing. IM, in turn, strengthens motor skills, lengthens attention span, and improves processing functions, such as planning, organizing, and language.

Loops and Other Groups – A Kinesthetic Writing System

This tool uses movement patterns to teach cursive writing in an imaginative approach, which makes learning fun. It has easy-to-remember motor and memory cues to help students visualize and verbalize while experiencing the “feel” of the letter.

The MNRI Method:

This method features the use of specifically trained techniques directed toward the restoration of the brain’s early neuronal circuits. These circuits are developed through the primary motor system, and are sometimes referred to as “primitive reflexes.” Dr. Masgutova’s techniques focus on these reflexes to restore the brain’s foundational structure in which higher level skills, such as academic learning, are built.

Therapeutic Listening®:

A Sensory Integration program that focuses on stimulating and strengthening the vestibular core through music frequencies. TL is an auditory intervention that uses the organized sound patterns inherent in music to impact all levels of the nervous system.

Wilbarger Approach to Treatment of Sensory Defensiveness:

This tool is used on children aged 6 months or older with sensory processing difficulties. It can help children who are over-responsive to sensory input (formerly known as sensory defensiveness) or under-responsiveness to sensory input. Emerging evidence and expert opinion indicate that a deep-pressure proprioceptive protocol may be useful in helping children improve their ability to process sensory information effectively.

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