Occupational therapy when used for sensory integration helps to develop the neurological systems of the child. As this system develops, the child is able to be present in the world around him, keep calm, and have decreased anxiety. An occupational therapist can assess behavior of children and understand the why’s of the behavior and help the children meet those needs through the use of jumping, heavy muscle work, yoga, and other methods. At Arbor School our staff of therapists and teachers provide for the sensory needs of our students through the use of one-on-one therapy, listening therapy, hide outs/quiet space, outside breaks, bean bags, and fidgets.
Children who receive individual occupational therapy services, participate at least 2 times per week for 30- minute sessions. Therapy goals are established to facilitate growth within academic, sensory processing, and social domains. Treatment takes place both in one-on-one sessions within the therapy room and in small groups within the school setting. In order to further enhance sensory processing and modulation, Therapeutic Listening is utilized on a daily basis.
Therapists guide children through whole body sensory experiences by following the child’s lead. The therapy room is set up to promote initiation and problem solving skills. Our students frequently utilize these skills along with heavy muscle work when setting up equipment for obstacle courses. Therapists often lead students through simple scenarios which require problem solving skills in order to get from point A to point B.
OT schedules are created with blocks of time available to allow therapists to collaborate with teachers in the classrooms and facilitate carryover of sensory strategies. Teachers and therapists work together to provide children with sensory input throughout the day. Alternate positioning is encouraged throughout academic tasks in order to address postural strength / stability, body awareness, attention, and sensory processing in general.