Music therapy focuses on communication, socialization, motor movements, attention span, and emotional awareness through musical interventions. It encompasses musical elements such as structured time, rhythmical patterns, melodic inflection and emotional content to support the goals of speech therapy, occupational therapy, and habilitation in a live musical context that meets each child at his/her current functioning level.
Speech/language therapy helps enhance communication skills via pictures, signs, communication device and/or words. When combined with the knowledge and skills of other professionals, the child can improve developmentally in a more rapid and cohesive manner. The consultation model of therapy provides the child with the consistency and predictability he/she needs to progress and meet their potential.
Pediatric physical therapy is a profession that addresses physical impairments and functional limitations that impact the daily lives of children with special needs. This includes, but is not limited to, problems with balance, coordination, strength, range of motion, gait (walking pattern); motor planning, proprioception (body awareness); and other functional skills such as riding a tricycle or bike, and ball skills. PT’s also assist clients in attaining appropriate assistive devices such as walkers and wheelchairs, as well as foot orthotics to improve function and biomechanical alignment of joints. In pediatric physical therapy we use playful interventions in our sessions to make exercise fun and help children make progress in their gross motor development.
Occupational therapy focuses on helping people achieve independence in all areas of their lives.In pediatrics, such as at the Lauren’s Institute For Education (L.I.F.E.), the occupational therapists are concerned with helping children with disabilities achieve independence in performing their daily activities or ‘occupations’.
Occupations of a child include fine motor skills such as grasping a toy or a spoon, eye-hand coordination skills such as drawing or buttoning, visual-perceptual skills such as handwriting, self-help skills such as dressing and feeding, and sensory processing skills such as calming self down to sit at the table and do homework. These are some of the skills that occupational therapist would typically help the child achieve and become independent with the therapy.
At L.I.F.E. the occupational therapist works closely with the child’s habilitation or ABA/Verbal Behavior specialist and other therapy providers (speech, physical, and music therapist) to communicate the child’s progress and to collaborate on how to best help the child and his/her family and to guarantee the carryover of skills learned in therapy.
Hippotherapy (horse therapy) is a physical, occupational or speech therapy treatment strategy that utilizes equine movement. It is used as part of an integrated treatment program to achieve functional outcomes. For instance, a physical therapist may use the unique dynamic movement of the horse to help your child improve core strength and balance. An occupational therapist may use the movement of the horse to assist with sensory integration or the motivation of feeding/grooming the horse to improve fine motor skills. And a speech therapist may use the unique environment of being on horseback to help with attention span and the child’s intrinsic fascination with animals to motivate vocalization/imitation.
Aquatic therapy (water therapy) is a physical, occupational or speech therapy treatment strategy that utilizes the aquatic setting. It is used as part of an integrated treatment program to achieve functional outcomes. For instance, a physical therapist may use the drag quality of water to provide resistance to your child walking in an effort to increase strength, or the buoyancy quality of water to help assist with standing. An occupational therapist may use the unique sensation of water to work on sensory integration or the motivation of diving for rings to improve fine motor skills. And a speech therapist may use water to help with oral motor skills through activities like blowing bubbles to improve strength or motor planning and the motivation of water play to learn words during speech activities.