Improving quality of life for the differently abled Children & Adults


Music Therapy
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 Therapy
Speech/language therapy focuses on remediating speech, language, social communication and feeding disorders in both children and adults.  A speech disorder involves difficulties producing sounds in words, whereas a language disorder involves difficulties understanding words/sentences and communicating wants and needs.  Communication skills are enhanced by using pictures, signs, communication devices and/or words.  Social communication disorders occur when a person has difficulties with the social use of verbal and non-verbal communication.  Feeding disorders include swallowing difficulties, which occur following an illness, stroke or injury, and limited diets, which can be a result of sensory impairment and/or poor oral motor skills.   Our skilled speech team supports the development of these skills through individual and group direct services,  as well as consultation and collaboration with parents and providers.

Feeding Therapy

A Feeding Disorder is classified as a child having difficulties with eating, sucking, chewing and swallowing different foods, a variety of textures and/or refusing to eat. A Swallowing Disorder, also known as Dysphagia, is characterized by a child having difficulties with swallowing food and liquids safely from the mouth into the stomach.

Feeding and Swallowing Evaluations and treatment for these disorders are provided by a Speech Language Pathologist with extensive knowledge in analyzing, interpreting and facilitating nourishment. The Speech Language Pathologist is also skilled in medial issues related to feeding and swallowing in a safe and enjoyable manner. Unfortunately, Feeding and Swallowing disorders can have fatal consequences, thus an appropriate diagnosis and management of these complex disorders is imperative for the child’s overall health, quality of life and caregiver burden.

A variety of feeding difficulties can include but are not limited to:

  • Food and/or Liquid Refusal
  • Limited Food Intake
  • Sensitivity to Food Temperature and/or Texture
  • Dysphagia (Swallowing Difficulties) and/or Swallowing Phobias
  • Oral-Motor Difficulties
  • Mealtime Behavioral Issues
  • Poor Weight Gain and/or Weight Loss
  • Constipation, Recurrent Pneumonias and/or Other Medical Conditions
  • Vomiting and/or Gagging

If you suspect your child is having feeding and/or swallowing difficulties contact L.I.F.E. for a feeding and swallowing evaluation.

Physical Therapy

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
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.

Aquatic Therapy
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. Safety awareness in the aquatic setting will always be emphasized at every session.

Aquatic therapy is NOT a treatment strategy to teach a child how to swim. It is at the discretion of the therapist to incorporate various swim strokes in aquatic therapy sessions to address progress towards gross motor, fine motor, or motor goals. In addition, while a child may love to swim in the water at home, aquatic therapy may not necessarily be an appropriate intervention to address their goals. Swimming recreationally at home has a different purpose than swimming therapeutically with therapist directed requests.




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