Our 30-minute handwriting groups are tailored to meet the needs for children that are having difficulty with the physical act of writing. The small group meets once a week to introduce finger strengthening activities, grip strategies, letter formation techniques and compensatory strategies for proper spacing for writing tasks. Following 30 minutes of hands-on work, the parents will be provided a 5-10 minute wrap up in which they will be educated on the lesson that was conducted and the homework for the group members for the week.
Handwriting Individual Support
Children can be experiencing difficulty with handwriting for a multitude of reasons, including fine motor weakness to motor planning difficulties. Individualized Occupational Therapy sessions allow the therapist to evaluate the different aspects of handwriting and address each component individually.
Amazing Kidz Therapy utilizes the Handwriting Without Tears® approach, which includes first learning letter formation with a multi-sensory approach and then progressing to putting pencil to paper. A systematic approach for learning letter formation is utilized to solidify rudimentary skills and then building upon those for more complex writing strokes.
Fine Motor Coordination and Strengthening
Fine motor refers to the use of the small muscles that are located within the fingers. Fine motor skills are required to perform activities such as handwriting, eating, playing and manipulating smaller objects, self-care skills and skills required for success within academic settings.
Strengthening and Postural Control
Core strength is the foundation for an individual’s posture and support of their extremities. When a child is experiencing weakness in their core they are unable to properly support their upper extremities during handwriting and fine motor tasks.
A child that is struggling with weakness within their core and posture will exhibit behaviors such as difficulty maintaining a cross legged position on the floor, prefers to squat or stoop when interacting with items on the floor and slouching back or to the side of their chair when sitting.
Sensory Processing Integration
Everyone’s body processes the sensory input provided from the environment around us differently. Sometimes a person’s body is not interpreting the information properly, confusing their body and making it difficult to interact properly within their environment and learn/master new skills. This can be exhibited in many different ways, from difficulty attending to activities, hyper responsive to sounds/lights/touch and inability to maintain their body within a chair. Through a variety of treatment approaches, Occupational Therapy can work towards helping the body properly interpret the input it is receiving and respond appropriately.
Visual Motor/Perceptual Skills
Visual motor skills are often referred to as hand-eye coordination. This is the body’s ability to take in and process the visual input it is provided from the environment and generate the appropriate movement. Visual motor skills are required to participate and perform activities such as writing, cutting, self-feeding, stacking blocks and manipulating fasteners. Occupational Therapy first teases out the specific deficits within these areas that are effecting the child’s occupational performance, which can include areas such as the way in which a child sees required items/environment to the planning that occurs once the brain processes what it has seen and how to move the body appropriately. Each treatment approach will work towards improvements within the identified areas of opportunity, while also maximizing the child’s strength in these areas to increase their ability to master and perform skills within their environments.
Self Care, Life and Social Skills
Activities of daily living references the daily tasks that one participates in to care for themselves: dressing, bathing, hygiene, eating, grooming, toileting, etc. For some children, learning and developing these skills can be hard and daunting tasks. Occupational Therapy works towards breaking down the steps and skills required for each age appropriate task to assist in increase the child’s independence and build their confidence. Compensatory strategies as well as modification of tasks can be implemented by the Occupational Therapist to assist the child at increasing success.
As children grow and mature they require additional life skills to continue to flourish and expand their independence. Some of these tasks include money management, self-organization and orientation, simple kitchen tasks, vocational preparation and deduction and reasoning skills. Through individualized sessions, OT will assist your child with enhancing these skills and moving along the maturity continuum as well as prepare them for the next stages of life.
Social skills are more involved than the mere act of being able to maintain a conversation. Children are required to react to situations appropriately, regulate their emotions in different situations, show others that they are present in the conversation and impart relevant information that is appropriate for the audience. Occupational Therapy assists children in self-regulation, proper problem identification, body language, eye-contact and problem solving social situations through simulation, strategy implementation and real-life implementation and trials.
Rhythmic Entrainment Intervention (REI)© uses auditory rhythms to effect neurological functions and elicit different responses. Research studies have concluded REI can affect calming, alertness, improved sleep patterns, sensory processing and ability to sustain attention for longer periods of time. REI can have both a short term, immediate effects as well as long term, sustainable effects for individuals with varying diagnosis. REI uses different rhythmic recordings that can be either customized or general, based on the desired outcome.
REI can be used an additional treatment intervention to enhance your child’s progression in achieving and sustaining their goals, based on their individual needs.