Therapy services are an integral part of the infant and preschool programs. 90% of motor development in the first year of life, is driven by vision. When a child has limited or no vision, facilitating this development through therapy, is very important.
Types of therapy are:
- Speech & Language
Currently there are many different occupational, physical and speech therapists with an average of 15 years experience each—much of that with children with visual impairments. Expertise is varied and includes advanced training in Neurodevelopmental Treatment (NDT), Cranialsacral treatment techniques, Infant Massage, Sensory Integration, CCDT (Chronologically Controlled Developmental Therapy) and TAMO (Tscharnuter Academie of Movement Organization), Augmentative Communication, Sign Language, and Oral Motor and Feeding Therapy. All of these people and techniques come together to give our children the widest range of possibilities for growth and achieving their fullest potential.
1 -‐ For Infants and Toddlers, therapy is provided under more of a medical model and is funded primarily by DES-‐DDD (Division of Developmental Disabilities), private insurance, ASDB (Arizona Schools for the Deaf and Blind) and AzEIP (Arizona Early Intervention Program).
2 -‐ Therapy for Preschool children is delivered via a school-‐based model. The therapy provided to each child is specifically designed to enhance and support the child’s educational program.
In both settings, the goal is to improve the child's functional skills and to enhance the skills and confidence of caregivers, parents and professionals, by providing information, resources and demonstrations. The FBC team believes that collaboration among team members is essential in achieving the greatest benefit for the child. Therefore, we constantly strive to integrate activities across our services and with the families we serve.
Occupational therapy helps children function at their best in their major life roles (or occupation). This could be learning to sit, to play with a new toy, to feed themselves or to understand the sensory input (touch and movement primarily) they are receiving from the world around them. Occupational therapy with young children tends to focus on play skills, hand skills, self care skills (such as eating and dressing), sensory processing and motor skills (both gross and fine).
The physical therapist tends to focus on large motor abilities such as mobility and balance, gross motor skill acquisition, postural alignment and appropriate use of adaptive equipment. Activities are provided in the context of functional play/school activities as well as providing the child with the appropriate sensory and motor experiences to enable them to develop or enhance their skills and develop their maximum level of independence.
The ability to communicate is a vital part of a young child’s development and subsequent interaction with the world. Speech and language pathologists in pediatrics work with children to enhance their expressive and receptive language, feeding and oral motor functioning, cognition. They can also use augmentative communication, such as sign language, high and low tech adaptive devices or tactile and/or textural communication boards.