What is Occupational Therapy & What Does It Mean for My Child?
The CFC has brought together some of the finest occupational therapists in the Los Angeles area. We specialize in providing occupational therapy for children and infants, and maintain a full sensory gym at our office in Pasadena, California.
Occupational therapy helps a child achieve age-appropriate functioning and participation in their daily occupations: play, self-care, school activities, and social engagement. Occupational therapy evaluations assess a wide variety of skills that are an integral part of development and learning in order to better understand the factors contributing to difficulties in the child's everyday demands. We recognize that each child has different strengths and weaknesses. When those weaknesses start to interfere with how a child is functioning or participating we want to explore why, and to discover specifically where the child needs support and intervention in order to provide experiences that help the child increase his or her ability, better equip the child for success, and build his/her confidence.
about our brain-based Approach
Our occupational therapists approach each child's struggles with curiosity, partnering with parents to provide the best approach to facilitate change. Behavior is communication, telling us what skills still need to be developed. Because behavior has a purpose and is often a reflection of what is happening in the brain, mind, and body, we need to look at all facets to understand the meaning of the actions. From this lens, we see a person's actions as the beginning of understanding—a place to help us ask better questions about what is taking place in the environment, both relationally and internally, in order to start building skills and make lasting change from the inside out. When we care about kids, our purpose is to change more than behavior. We work at the level of creating new connections in the brain and nervous system in order to make lasting optimal change as development unfolds.
Our occupational therapists operate primarily from a sensory integration framework that recognizes sensory input from the environment drives our movements, responses, regulation, and social interaction. Through this framework the therapist structures meaningful and motivating sensorimotor activities in which the child engages in order to foster success, confidence, skill-building, and to widen the child’s window of tolerance, allowing them to be more resilient, flexible, and have greater ability to handle themselves and their emotions. Children with sensorimotor differences may experience: dyspraxia; dysgraphia; developmental delays; fine motor delays; overresponsivity to touch, sound, movement, or tastes; underresponsivity to touch, sound, movement, or tastes; visual-processing difficulties; and difficulty with transitions and emotional regulation.
about our highly trained ot team
Our licensed occupational therapists are highly experienced and trained in two research-based therapies: Integrated Listening Systems (iLs) and Safe&Sound Protocol (SSP). These therapeutic listening programs interventions with specialized music are shown to calm physiological and emotional states to facilitate improved communication and more successful therapy. By engaging in these programs, as a compliment to ongoing therapy, the child experiences changes in the neurological system that promote improved brain and body organization. The iLs system has several tracks, including: sensorimotor, concentration and attention, reading and auditory processing, and optimal performance. The SSP is designed to improve a child's emotional regulation, social engagement, eye contact, anxiety, and auditory sensitivity. The SSP can also be used in conjunction with other mental health services to help maximize engagement in those sessions.
Several of our occupational therapists have also had extensive continuing education coursework and clinical hours to be certified in the state of California in feeding and swallowing. We recognize that eating is an activity that requires a considerable amount of regulation because it is one of the most intense sensory experiences of our day. Therefore it is important to establish a positive relationship with the child, a positive relationship with the food, and a positive emotional experience around the table. We understand that when a child is not eating adequately in terms of quality or quantity this can place stress not only on the child's nervous system but also on the entire family system.
learn about our sensory gym
If you would like to learn more about occupational therapy, then complete the form below and we’ll reach out to you to schedule a confidential consultation.
Banner photo credit Bernard Hermant & Unsplash.