Two Therapies. One Focus: Your Child
Once your child has been evaluated and/or referred, the next step is to schedule an appointment for an occupational therapy session. At The Emerge Center here in Baton Rouge, we offer two types of therapy: individual therapy and group therapy. These two styles offer different benefits for your child, depending on his or her diagnosis.
On average, either type of occupational therapy session lasts approximately 30 to 45 minutes, with your child attending one or two sessions per week. However, the frequency and duration of contact depends on your child’s treatment plan.
Individual Therapy: Working With Your Child One-On-One
During individual therapy, our therapist uses components of our indoor sensory gym to work with your child on the specific goals outlined in the assessment process. We make sure your child is engaged in activities that best suit his or her needs. These sessions focus on improving feeding, workon oral motor skills, encourage bi-lateral coordination, and develop motor planning through a variety of activities.
There are a variety of fine motor skills we target during occupational therapy. Your child’s diagnosis determines which skills we address to improve their functionality. Some fine motor skills we may target include:
Tool usage – We help your child learn to use a fork, spoon, toothbrush, paintbrush, writing utensils, and toys. Being able to manipulate objects independently and logically is a major skill that, when learned, will be vital to your child’s everyday life.
Opening and closing containers – We work with your child to open or use bottle tops, latches, buttons and zippers. This is a fundamental function that will significantly improve the day-to-day actions of your child’s life.
Another aspect of individual therapy is improving your child’s balance reactions. We have a range of exercises designed to test and improve muscles in his or her core and upper body, as well as to coordinate the upper and lower bodies and core as a functioning unit. All of these areas combined are part of a cohesive effort. Being able to use all the parts of the body in conjunction to complete a task is vital to the overall improvement of your child’s functionality.
Group Therapy: Helping Your Child Transition To A “Real Life” Setting
Group therapy involves the same exercises your child learns in individual therapy, but these are now practiced in a “real life” setting. Your child will be challenged to do all of the things they learned in individual therapy, but with many other factors involved. With supervision, children practice these new skills independently amongst their peers with the goal of accomplishing them in a more neutral setting.
These sessions consist of applying their skills with other children, sounds, multiple toys, multiple voices, etc. This gives us the opportunity to get your child practicing for real life. Group therapy works with your child to apply basic skills to a realistic environment.