Posts Tagged ‘child therapist’

What is a child occupational therapist and what are the signs your child may need one

September 16th, 2011

What’s a child occupational therapist and what are the signs your child may need one?  An interview with Michelle Matteoli Adams, licensed
Occupational Therapist and founder of Pediatric Therapy Solutions, Inc. Bradenton and Sarasota, FL.

What’s Pediatric Occupational Therapy?

A child’s occupation is to learn, play, explore, interact, function, and communicate at an age appropriate level so they can be successful both at home and in school. An OT helps children achieve the goals of functioning appropriately at home and in school environments so children can accept and integrate new knowledge and experiences to learn and achieve.

What are the signs that your child may need to be evaluated by an Occupational Therapist?

There may be delays and the child is not meeting developmental milestones. The child may be struggling in peer groups or at school with emotional or behavioral issues, or a teacher/counselor may notice that the child has delays in development. A child may have sensory issues, they may be hypersensitive (over reactive) or hyposensitive (under reactive) to their environment  and they may react because the environment is too overwhelming.
Some of the common issues children have that suggests they should consult with an OT may include: poor handwriting, picky eaters, issues with potty training, disruptive sleep cycles or difficultly sleeping, bathing/brushing teeth issues, reactive to environment, clothing sensitivities, difficulty self-regulating behaviors and developmental delays such as rolling over, sitting, crawling, walking, bike riding, etc.

Sometimes parents think their child’s problems are just behavioral issues. How do you help them to determine if there is something more such as sensory or processing issues?

With a comprehensive evaluation it is determined and the treatment goals are developed to help best support that child. Let’s say that the issues are sensory related we teach the child and parent sensory protocols, external resources to control and regulate their body. We teach parents how to implement this in the home with what they have, so they don’t have to go out and purchase anything extra. Instead, they can use common household items to help their child calm and attend.  This is often referred to as a “sensory diet.”  A sensory diet includes various sensory protocols such as brushing programs and listening (music) programs coupled with activities that stimulate specific sensory organs that naturally can occur at home with the ultimate goal being to functional appropriately at home/school ready to accept new knowledge and attend and learn and achieve in their environment. Our Pediatric Therapy Services Include:

  • Developmental Screenings
  • Evaluations
  • Treatment Plans
  • Home Programs
  • Speech-Language Skills
  • Fine motor Skills
  • Gross Motor Skills
  • Fine motor Skills
  • Visual-Motor Skills
  • Visual Perceptual Skills
  • Handwriting Skills
  • School Readiness Skills
  • Self-Care Skills
  • Oral-Motor Skills
  • Sensory Integration
  • Self-Regulation/ Sensory Modulation
  • Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s)

What are the typical children you see in your Pediatric Occupational Therapy practice?

The ages range from 0-18 years of age. We treat children with Down’s syndrome, cerebral palsy, genetic disorders, children on the autism spectrum (ASD) including those with Asperger’s, children with attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  Also, children with learning disabilities, developmental delays, auditory processing issues, sensory integration dysfunctions, and behavior and self-regulation issues.

What are some of the results parents can expect when working with a Pediatric Occupational Therapist?

Children who attend Pediatric Occupational Therapy often feel better about themselves and their bodies. They are happier and there is an increase in positive affect because their body is able to move in a more controlled fashion. The families learn how to support their child and help them be successful in multiple environments, they function better in school and there is an increase in academic success, better grades, improved attention, and improved sleep patterns and diet.

What other services do you offer?

We also provide speech and language therapy and Interactive Metronome which is an assessment and treatment tool to improve neurological processing, motor planning and sequencing beneficial for those children with ADD/ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, non-verbal learning disorders, and auditory processing delays.

Our treatment modalities also include:

  • Therapeutic Listening Program ®
  • Oral Tactile Technique
  • Wilbarger Deep Pressure Protocol
  • Handwriting Without Tears ®
  • How Does Your Engine Run? ®

If a parent has a concern about their child what’s the best way to learn more?

You can go to  http://www.pediatrictherapysolution.com/home.html and download the Free Developmental Checklists. You’ll find Checklists for Fine and Gross Motor Skills & Visual Motor Skills, Self-Care Skills, Speech & Articulation, and Language Skills. You can also contact me at or 941.360.0200 or michelle@pediatrictherapysolution.com to schedule an initial phone consultation.

I appreciate all of your generous information Michelle! Over the years we’ve had the opportunity to collaborate together and help children by coordinating our services. Children who come to occupational therapy often benefit from art therapy to reinforce positive expression of their feelings and learn creative ways to manage their behaviors to get their needs met. Many of the children in Art Therapy can benefit from the skills taught in Occupational Therapy. It’s amazing to watch the children and families make remarkable gains when occupational therapy and art therapy are used in tandem!

Thanks again Michelle!!

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Is there something wrong with my child? Does my child need therapy?

September 2nd, 2011

That’s the biggest heartbreaking question a parent can ask themselves, is there something wrong with my child?

You may be wondering about your child’s behaviors or moods, concerned that they are not coping well with problems or relationship issues, worried that they are experiencing problems and you are wondering if your child needs therapy.

A child may go to therapy for various reasons, likely you or someone in your child’s life noticed that your child is struggling and recommend you talk to someone. Often a concerned teacher or adult will recommend seeking help, and you may be reluctant. Don’t worry, not every child who sees their doctor or a therapist needs to medicated. Children can often learn how to cope with their feelings and manage their behaviors in child therapy, without needing medication.

If you are worried ask your doctor, teacher, or other parents to provide you with the names of several child therapists or child psychologists. Call several therapists and find someone you feel understands your situation and can provide therapy for you child or family therapy. Make sure that the therapist you see specializes in working with children, as not all therapists are the same.

Please do not avoid the problem or hope that it goes away. Ignoring your child’s emotional and behavioral problems is neglecting your child’s need for support. Do not worry about the “stigma” attached with seeing a child therapist. These days many children and families come to therapy to improve their ability to communicate, and the therapeutic process is confidential.

Not sure where to start? We can help. Schedule a complimentary Support Consultation by clicking here!

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Child therapy, counseling, psychotherapy, psychology, psychiatry, and pediatrics…oh my!

June 23rd, 2011

Parents often wonder what’s the difference between child therapy, counseling, psychotherapy, psychology, and psychiatry? Don’t worry, for most people it’s a bit confusing to differentiate these professions. I’ll give you a brief overview to make the differentiation easier to understand.

Pediatricians are your child’s primary care physician, if your child is exhibiting developmental issues a developmental pediatrician can provide and in-depth assessment of you child’s development (physical, cognitive, social, and emotional).

Psychotherapy encompasses the various ways your child receives support to improve their mental health, this may include services such as social work, counseling, psychology, art therapy, music therapy, drama therapy, dance therapy, play therapy, and psychiatric nursing and counseling psychology. Essentially psychotherapy is a fancy work fro therapy.

Psychiatrists prescribe psychotropic medication for mental health symptoms and some psychiatrists also provide psychotherapy. In some states Psychologists may prescribe medications with a special license, and psychiatric nurses and your child’s pediatric also can prescribe medications.

Psychologists provide mental health and cognitive assessments/evaluations and may also provide psychotherapy.

Creative arts therapists such as art therapy and music therapy are trained therapists in a specific modality. This requires advanced training and often a board certification to practice these specialized modalities.

Not sure where to start to help your child? We can help. Click here to schedule your child Support Consultation.

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How do I know if my child needs to go to therapy?

June 22nd, 2011

Parents, do you sometimes wonder, does my child need help? Should I take them to therapy? I worry about my child being diagnosed, labeled or medicated.

So here are some signs that your child may be in need of additional support:

  • Your child acts out and become really angry or upset when things don’t go their way, everything is power struggle and it seems like the littlest thing sets them off
  • Your child gets really quiet and disconnected when they feel overwhelmed and stressed out; you’re feeling powerless to help them and you are wondering if they are okay
  • Your child worries about school or friends, they don’t quite “fit  in” socially or you’re worried about their choices and friends, and you’re not sure if it is normal
  • It is a battle to get your child to do homework or chores; you’ve asked them 100′s of times to pick up their things, they just tune you out, and it’s starting to impact your relationship because you find yourself yelling, nagging and complaining
  • Your child gets into arguments at home with you and their siblings and even the littlest things can blow up into a tantrum, or they withdraw into silence and their room
  • You are noticing that they have changed, maybe they’ve begun lying to you or keeping information from you, or things are becoming a power struggle
  • You are concerned that something else may be going on with your child, your child’s teachers or other family members have brought up concerns and you’ve noticed your child struggling and you are worried this may not be normal
  • Your child is anxious, stressed out, overwhelmed, or is having a difficult time coping with loss or changes. You may notice an increase in acting out or withdrawing behaviors as your child attempts to cope

Parents worry that if their child is diagnosed then it may impact their child in the future, such as education and career choices. So what can a concerned parent do?

If your child is having social, developmental, behavioral or relationship problems ask for support from an expert. You can choose to work with a therapist or doctor who provides services and you pay them directly. When you use your medical insurance for therapy or other medical services it is necessary to diagnose your child and their condition must be deemed “medically necessary” for insurance to reimburse you or your health care provider. Meaning, your child will receive a diagnosis to receive support, even if it is typical “adjustment issues”.  If you do not want your child diagnosed talk with your health care provider to see what other options there are to provide your child service without a label.

Here’s when it would be beneficial to receive a diagnosis for your child, when the difficulties they are experiencing are significantly impacting their functioning and a doctor or clinician assesses that medication may be a treatment option, or your child is in need of academic support services that can be covered by the school district if they are evaluated and determined to be in need of these services.

Not sure if your child’s behaviors are normal development or something more?

Seek out assistance from a professional. Based upon your observations and your child’s behaviors (and often times the school’s feedback) a skilled clinician can help you explore support options for your child.

An informed parent is an empowered parent, so ask questions and most of all, “Trust yourself. You know more that you think you do” (The great pediatrician: Dr. Benjamin Spock).

Need some additional help? We do not diagnose your child to give them the support they need. Often when children learn new cognitive and behaviors tools and the parents learn new ways to communicate the problems diminish. We work to rule out if the problems are environmentally based and/or behaviorally based. If additional support is necessary we provide families a comprehensive list of other evaluation options, all while respecting your decisions on how you best choose to support your child.

Click here to schedule a Complimentary Child Support Consultation to learn more>> www.thecreativityqueen.com/schedule

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