MoveAbout Therapy Services >> Therapeutic Tools >> Therapeutic Tools

 

 

Children and Family Centred Therapy Services

Therapeutic Tools

Just like a mechanic's toolbox, we have a selection of tools, each best suited to a particular task. Our trained therapists choose the best tools available when working with your child to ensure the best outcomes possible. A description of the tools that we use in therapy with children can be found below.

Play-based therapy

Play-based therapy uses fun activities to achieve therapeutic outcomes.

Play is a powerful tool in therapy with children. Children naturally do most of their learning during play, they learn about themselves and the world around them, about relationships with others, and about the expression and management of feelings all through active exploration in playful activity. Play is fundamental to the learning and development of all children.

Play-based therapy utilises enjoyable and child-directed activity to assist children with challenges. Therapists modify these child-directed activities in a playful manner to provide appropriate challenge for the child, and to achieve therapeutic outcomes whilst the child engages in play.

Play is also highly meaningful and motivating. When an activity is meaningful, the child is likely to be more driven, work harder, and persist in a way that they would not in an activity that they find uninteresting or overly challenging. Activities that are meaningful bring about greater memory and learning of the experience than do activities that are less meaningful.

Play-based therapy at MoveAbout Therapy Services incorporates families into therapy sessions where appropriate. Through including families in play-based therapy sessions, family members have the opportunity to enjoy time together whilst achieving therapeutic outcomes. These sessions also provide an opportunity to model activities that can then be taken home to extend the activities and strategies from therapy sessions into everyday life.

Early Intervention

The importance of early intervention is a common theme of research into therapeutic outcomes, for children with disabilities, developmental delays or children at risk. When intervention is commenced as early as possible, many of these delays can be arrested and development returned to a typical pathway. Whilst therapeutic intervention at a later age is still advantageous, often when targeted therapy is used at a young age, greater, longer-lasting gains can be made in less time and with less effort.

At MoveAbout Therapy Services, we are able to work with children of all ages and recommend appropriate therapeutic intensity to encourage the greatest gains. Our therapists are experienced at working with very young children and their families, and we utilise the knowledge of expert early intervention clinicians from the United States of America to provide additional guidance with more challenging cases.

Treatment Intensives

Intensive blocks of treatment can provide a powerful boost to a child's progress, and are a powerful platform for parents to gain skills to assist their children in everyday life. Research suggests that intensive therapy provides greater opportunity for summative gains in sensory, motor and social emotional performance. Providing occupational therapy in an intensive manner promotes a cumulative effect, where children and parents are able to practice and build on strengthening and skills obtained in previous sessions.

Treatment intensives with MoveAbout Therapy Services include 5 day and 10 day blocks. MoveAbout Therapy Services provides intensive therapy options to families living locally or visiting from within Australia or overseas.

 

Therapressure Protocol

The Therapressure Protocol includes brushing followed by joint compressions and is effective for addressing sensory defensiveness

The Therapressure Protocol is a therapeutic protocol designed specifically to address sensory defensiveness. Sensory defensiveness can present in a number of ways, but is most obvious when children are over-responsive to different types of sensory stimuli. The Therapressure Protocol, sometimes known as the Brushing Program, provides specific, organising sensory input to assist people with sensory-defensiveness to integrate the sensory information in a manner that, over time, results in a decrease in sensory defensiveness.

At MoveAbout Therapy Services we work with families to implement a home-based intensive implementation of the Therapressure Protocol as appropriate. For home-based implementation, we provide families with the necessary training and instruction, and consultation on complimentary sensory diet activities, to ensure the greatest chance for improvement in the areas identified as of concern for the family.

Sensory Diet

A sensory diet is a prescribed set of activities to be performed at identified times throughout the day, to provide appropriate sensory input to support a child (or adult) to achieve an appropriate internal state, which then allows them to participate in a desired range of functional activities. In the sense that a diet of food provides nourishment for the body - nutrition, energy intake and essential vitamins and minerals - a sensory diet provides nourishment for the body (and brain) through the intake of essential sensory experiences.

At MoveAbout Therapy Services, we work with families to develop individualised sensory diets for children. The establishment of a sensory diet includes many stages, from the detective work of finding out what times during a day are most challenging for a child, to determining the precursor events that create these difficulties, and eventually to implementing and refining the sensory diet. MoveAbout Therapy Services therapists guide our families through these steps to ensure an appropriate, effective and manageable diet can be implemented where needed.

 

 

 

Therapeutic Listening™

Therapeutic Listening™ can be used within therapy sessions or as a home-only program

Therapeutic Listening™ is a sensory-integrative treatment approach that utilises specially modified music to stimulate areas of the sensory system and brain, to in turn provide organising sensory input. The Therapeutic Listening™ system includes a number of different music choices, each providing slightly different sensory input that can be used to target different therapeutic goals.

For best effect, Therapeutic Listening™ is implemented as a take-home program, listening twice daily to music selected by your therapist. Therapeutic Listening™ can be thought of as exercise for both the ears themselves, and the sensory system processing this input. Like physical exercise, being consistent each day and avoiding "overuse" will result in the best outcomes.

Research has shown sound therapy, including Therapeutic Listening™, to be effective in improving regulation, tone, and motor planning and sequencing (praxis), and in decreasing sensory defensiveness, especially auditory defensiveness.

Interactive Metronome™

Interactive Metronome promotes improvement in motor planning, sequencing and timing

Interactive Metronome™ is a computer-based treatment approach that is effective in increasing focus and attention, increasing physical endurance and stamina, filtering out internal and external distractions, and improve abilities to monitor mental and physical actions, and progressively improves coordinated performance. When using Interactive Metronome™, children hear a metronome beat and attempt to match the beat whilst performing a number of physical actions.

At MoveAbout Therapy Services, Interactive Metronome™ is implemented in a fun but challenging way to engage children in the learning process. Children may play patty-cake with their therapist, or come up with dance moves in time to the beat. Interactive Metronome™ may be implemented in an intensive, programmed approach where appropriate, but is commonly also used as an adjunct within therapy sessions to enhance organisation and sequencing of actions at appropriate stages in the therapeutic relationship. Children who have benefitted from Interactive Metronome™ include (but are not limited to) children with:

Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC)

Exchanging pictures can encourage development of language process without the challenge of clear vocalisations

Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) describes a range of communication strategies that do not rely on verbal speech. By removing the requirement to produce complex, organised speech sounds, many children with communication difficulties can be more effective in their communication. Common methods of AAC include visual schedules and choice boards, picture exchange systems, electronic communication devices and applications for iPod touch/iPad, and gestural and signing systems.

Therapists at MoveAbout Therapy Services may utilise (or trial) these methods within therapy sessions, and work with families and schools as required to implement appropriate AAC strategies in functional environments. All staff at MoveAbout Therapy Services have received training in the use of Makaton key word signing, with key staff trained in the PECS system, and regular internal training sessions sharing details of other AAC methods.

Therapeutic Dyads

Therapeutic dyads promote social interaction and problem solving with peers.

As children develop, it is important for them to expand beyond the relationship with their family and begin to explore social interactions with peers. For children with difficulties in peer interactions, it is important to provide opportunity to explore these social negotiations with well-matched peers supported by adults outside of the often unforgiving environment of a typical playgroup or school. When guided and supported by therapists, a dyad pair of peers can experiment with social interactions and social problem solving in a managed way that reinforces successful interactions without dire consequences for failed attempts.

MoveAbout Therapy Services therapists actively assess children to determine when appropriate dyad pairs are available, and then discuss directly with parents to establish suitability and scheduling of therapeutic dyad sessions.

Engine Groups

Engine Groups are run periodically at MoveAbout Therapy Services to introduce children to the vocabulary, self-awareness and techniques of the Alert Program. The Alert Program, sometimes known as "How does your engine run?" is a program designed to be taught to children in group or school settings that encourages not only self-awareness of "alert" state, but provides techniques for children to use when they feel their engine is not running at the right speed, and also encourages social interaction with similar peers in the group setting.

The Alert Program uses the analogy of a car's engine to help children understand their own body and their feelings that impact their energy level. Just like a car's engine, a child can be too slow, too fast, or just right for the situation, and the situation will determine what speed is "just right." MoveAbout Therapy Services therapists will let you know if a suitable engine group is available for your child. These groups run typically three or four times per year, and consist of 12 group sessions. Groups are formed with the social match and interaction of the group in mind, so contact your therapist if you want to know when the next suitable group for your child is scheduled.

Functional Skills

Whilst the developmental approach taken at MoveAbout Therapy Services means that we may also focus on challenges underlying skill deficits, it is important that children develop the skills they need to function in everyday life. At times certain skills may be developed to compensate for areas of difficulty and at other times it may simply be that a child is developmentally ready for certain skills but has not had the instruction, or opportunity to practice in the past.

Our therapists determine functional goals on a case-by-case basis with input from the child and parents. As with all therapeutic interactions, skills training is done in the most enjoyable, inclusive manner possible, building the development of skills into functional tasks and games, and rewarding with the satisfaction of achievement.