Providing pediatric therapy services in the Austin-area since in 1990, Children’s Therapeutics of Austin was founded in 2002 with the goal of creating a welcoming and comfortable environment for both patients and their families. A BBB A+ accredited business, Children’s Therapeutics received the OpenCare Patient Choice Award in 2014, being recognized as one of the top Austin Physical Therapy Clinics.
Clinicians working with each child at Children’s Therapeutics use a holistic approach to the child, working in an interdisciplinary manner to facilitate the highest level of motor, language, and sensory processing function for a positive outcome.
Therapists use a variety of techniques and strategies specific to the individual needs of the child and family, while providing both emotional support and challenge.
Types of Therapy Sessions
Physical, Occupational, and Speech therapy differ remarkably due to the different areas of development they address; however, our therapists maintain similar philosophies regarding the best ways to treat and care for the challenged child. The therapists first identify each child’s needs and then provide both fun and challenging activities to develop the areas targeted for therapy. Emotional support and encouragement are incorporated throughout each session and are an important part of therapy. Our site offers brightly lit gyms with a wide variety of equipment and movement opportunities. Therapists also use a wide variety of games and toys in therapy sessions to facilitate development and more organized behavior. Depending on a child’s needs, children participate in carefully supervised therapy with peers, that provides positive social experiences which can actually contribute to a child’s developmental progress. It is an important life skill to function in social situations. In addition, the therapy provided at our site often relates to children’s ability to perform academic tasks; for example, writing skills, focused attention, ability to follow directions, completion of tasks, etc.
A Typical Therapy Session
A typical sensory-motor session may begin with the Wilbarger Deep Touch Protocol, which involves rapid and firm pressure with a therapeutic brush on the child’s arms, hands, legs, feet and back. Gentle joint compressions are then given to arms, legs and chest. The benefits of brushing and joint compressions are to assist children in becoming alert, focused, calm, and ready to learn. The children are then encouraged to jump on a trampoline, crash into a pillow pit or ball pit, which are proprioceptive activities that help the child be at an optimal arousal level for the treatment session. Vestibular activities include the use of a variety of swings and movement opportunities provided by other mobile equipment such as scooter boards, bolsters, and balls, etc.
To increase body awareness and body position, which deals with the proprioceptive sense, the therapists incorporate activities such as climbing, crashing, jumping, and heavy work into therapy sessions. Activities that provide strong, firm pressure to the body include crashing into a ball or pillow pit.
The children also engage in hand work with manipulatives which assist in improving fine motor skills. Some of these activities include using tongs to pass coins, hiding beads in putty, and pushing pegs into foam boards.