Pediatric Occupational Therapy
Pediatric occupational therapy helps children participate fully in the “occupations” of their life, including play, self-care and school. Pediatric occupational therapists take a holistic view of the child and assess how the environment and the skills of the child are affecting performance. Our therapists have advanced training in:
Sensory Processing evaluation and treatment, including administration of the Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests, treating sensory modulation and regulation issues, motor planning and reflex integration.
Specialized classes include:
Neurodevelopmental Treatment (NDT)
Sensory Processing Mentorship with Lucy Jane Miller
Therapeutic Listening/The Listening Program/Integrated Listening Systems
Handwriting without Tears
SOS approach to feeding
Early Start Denver Model (ESDM)
Developmental Movement Patterns (Reflex integration)
What is ABA?
Applied Behavior Analysis is a science which focuses on behavior and its relationship to its environment. The goal of ABA is to provide individualized support based on proven methodologies and strategies supported by research and conceptualized treatments. The United States Surgeon General (1999)
concluded “Thirty years of research demonstrated the efficacy of applied behavioral analysis in reducing maladaptive behaviors and increasing communication, and appropriate social behavior.” ABA provides an in-depth study of the individual, what she/he holds as important and builds and establishes a foundation for learning taking into consideration that individual’s social support.
Who implements ABA?
An initial assessment is completed and an individualized plan is developed for each child following the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). The plan is implemented by trained one-to-one behavior technicians and overseen by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). The Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA®) is a graduate-level certification in behavior analysis. Professionals who are certified at the BCBA level are independent practitioners who provide behavior-analytic services. In addition, BCBAs supervise the work of Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts, Registered Behavior Technicians, and others who implement behavior-analytic
Pediatric Feeding Therapy
Pediatric feeding therapy helps children who are struggling to eat. A feeding evaluation is multifaceted, for feeding issues are complex. The child’s oral motor, postural and respiratory, sensory processing and interests and intrinsic drive for eating are carefully evaluated, along with family routines, preferences, feeding history and medical concerns. Feeding therapy requires close consultation with medical professionals if weight gain is an issue, and children are often referred to a
Pediatric Physical Therapy
Pediatric physical Therapists assess a child’s strength, range of motion and endurance and determine how physical factors are affecting the child’s performance in daily activities. They work through direct treatment, as well as home program exercises, to increase children’s ability to crawl, stand, walk, run, jump and participate in sports.
Pediatric Speech Language Therapy
Pediatric speech Language Pathologists evaluate and treat delays in communication skills. Areas can include articulation, language, social-pragmatic skills, and fluency. Speech therapists work on functional communication skills as well as skills used within the academic setting. Communication may be oral, it may be with assistive communication devices (AAC), and can also includes gestures and the use of language in social situations. Speech and Language Pathologists also evaluate oral motor structures including tongue, lip and jaw movement which can affect articulation, feeding and swallowing.
nutritionist to help determine dietary changes. At Bethlehem Pediatric Therapy Services, Occupational Therapists with advanced training in feeding are the lead evaluators, with consultation from Speech and Language Pathologists and referrals to outside specialists as needed. Behavioral therapists will begin to be part of our feeding team beginning in September 2016.
Feeding therapy is tailored to the needs of the child. Therapy may take place:
Individually, at the clinic or at the child’s home.
In our Food Investigator Group, a group for children ages 4-10 (we group children by age, developmental level
and feeding issues).
Children may begin with individual treatment and move into a group, or begin with group, depending on severity of the issues. 2-3 sessions per week is often recommended.
Behavioral Feeding Approach
Behavior Analysts will be consulted when implementing a behavioral feeding approach. A comprehensive feeding program can be delivered in the home by behavioral technicians or in the clinic or home setting with our Occupational Therapists. This program is in development to be offered in September 2016.
Social Skills Groups
Social skills groups are run periodically throughout the year by our Speech and Language Pathologist. We schedule groups based on the needs and ages of the children. Children learn how to communicate socially with peers in a small fun group setting.
What is the goal of Applied Behavior Analysis?
The basic purpose of ABA is to support individuals learning by using methods for teaching/learning rooted in Skinner’s work on behavior. We focus on behaviors which impede an individual’s ability to communicate and integrate into their community. The targeted goal is reached through specifying the factors controlling behaviors and teaching alternative ways for individuals to get their needs met. The individual is seen as an essential part of their community. Family, friends and pertinent community support are important for lasting behavioral change. ABA does not use tricks in a bag method but rather implements the principles, concepts and strategies which have been shown to decrease
maladaptive/problem behavior while increasing targeted skills. Skill deficits may occur in language and communication, participation in self-care activities, eye contact and social pragmatics, among other areas.
What makes ABA therapy at Bethlehem Pediatric Therapy services different?
We see the child as a whole and therefore, it is of most importance for everyone who is supporting that child to be able to communicate about goals and skills being targeted and provide synchronous interventions for better results. At Bethlehem Pediatric Therapy services Our Behavior Analysts and Behavioral Technicians collaborate with our staff of specialized Occupational,
Speech and Physical therapists to provide comprehensive services. Our Occupational therapists work with ABA technicians on meeting a child’s sensory needs at home, developing feeding programs, work on strength and coordination for self-care and fine and gross motor skills. Our Speech therapists help ABA technicians to address deficits in communication and pragmatics/ social skills. Our Physical therapists and ABA technicians collaborate on the individual needs of the child.