What is Occupational Therapy?
Pediatric occupational therapy supports children to strengthen their skills in order to participate in functional day to day activities, or “occupations.” This includes anything from getting dressed, potty training, and especially playing! Occupational therapy strengthens confidence, self-efficacy, and social participation with each child.
How does Occupational Therapy work?
Occupational therapy at Blue Bird Day is a holistic approach with a strong emphasis on the child’s values, interests, and motivations. OT is the foundation of the intensive inter-professional environment that collaborates to produce complete and cohesive treatment plans for each child. Therapists at Blue Bird Day take a client-centered approach by meeting the child at their level and building trusting relationships that encourage participation to achieve goals. Therapists also work with the entire family unit, conducting caregiver interviews, observations, and parent coaching. Evidence-based strategies, such as DIR/Floortime, Intentional Relationship Model, therapeutic listening, reflex integration, sensory integration, and handwriting without tears are all incorporated to maximize therapeutic outcomes.
How is Occupational Therapy incorporated into the day?
Occupational therapy is an essential element of the intensive therapeutic program at Blue Bird Day. While every day is different, occupational therapists work to establish daily routines to promote the development of functional performance skills. Interventions are offered throughout the day, both individually or in peer-oriented environments. Occupational therapists incorporate sensory integration and sensory-based activities using a variety of equipment and textures, including suspended swings, tunnels, ladders, lycra material, and shaving cream. Therapists take into consideration the tactile, proprioceptive, and vestibular systems of each child and their influence on performance and participation. These activities take place in a variety of multi-sensory gyms and smaller therapeutic treatment rooms, providing natural opportunities for initiation and exploration of their environment to support social-emotional and motor development. OT is used in collaboration with speech therapy, physical therapy, behavior therapy, and nutrition.
What are the goals of Occupational Therapy?
The overall goals for occupational therapy at Blue Bird Day are to promote positive outcomes in health and well-being and to foster participation in daily routines and meaningful activities. Occupational therapists provide adaptations, sensory supports, consultation, and parent education in order to promote independence in meaningful occupations.
Who makes up the Occupational Therapy team?
Our team of occupational therapists are experts in understanding the influence of the person, environment, & occupation and work with children and families to promote sensory integration, motor skills, and social interactions that support independence in everyday activities and meaningful participation in life.
Dr. Laura Mraz (Executive Director) specializes in The Intentional Relationship Model, Sensory Integration, Pediatric Occupational Therapy, and Healthcare Management.
Sarah H (Reginal Clinic Director) specializes in Sensory Processing, Early Intervention, NDT, and Reflex Integration.
Dr. Erin H (Clinic Director, Northcenter) specializes Therapeutic Use of Self and the Intentional Relationship Model, Sensory Integration, DIR/Floortime, Handwriting Without Tears, Yoga for Special Child, Infant Massage, and TEACCH.
Dr. Alexa G (Director of Program Development) specializes DIR/Floortime, Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) Approach to Feeding, Sensory Integration, and The Intentional Relationship Model.
Monal P (Clinic Director, West Loop) specializes in Sensory Integration, Psycho-Social Development, Play Skills Development, Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) Approach to Feeding, Reflex Integration Work, and The Intentional Relationship Model.
Amy M specializes in Pediatric Occupational Therapy.
Cara N specializes in Therapeutic Use of Self and the Intentional Relationship Model, Sensory Integration, Motor Planning and Coordination, and Handwriting Without Tears.
Linda M specializes in Animal-Assisted Therapy and Balance and Movement Disorders.
Grace M specializes in Sensory Integration, Vision Training, Body Brushing, Soft Tissue Massage, KinesioTaping, and Handwriting Without Tears.
Justine C specializes in Sensory Integration, Intentional Relationship Model, and Motor Planning and Coordination.
Renee A specializes in Sensory Integration.
Alexis L specializes in Pediatrics and Sensory Integration.
Krista N specializes in General Pediatrics.
Kayleen B specializes in Neurological Diagnoses.
Linnea V specializes in Pediatrics and Sensory Integration.
Cory C specializes in Sensory Integration, Pediatrics, and Fieldwork Experience in DIR Floortime.
Nicole G specializes in Sensory Integration.
Sarah L specializes in Sensory Integration and DIR/Floortime.
Nicole N specializes in Pediatrics and Sensory Integration.
Kelsey G specializes in Pediatrics, Sensory Integration, and Early Intervention.
Rocio T specializes in Sensory Integration and DIR Floortime.
Melanie K specializes in Pediatrics and Sensory Integration.
Jamie Y specializes in Sensory Integration, DIR Floortime, IRM, and Handwriting Without Tears.
Dr. Joelyn (Joely) A specializes in Pediatric Occupational Therapy and Handwriting.
Olaleye (Leye) O specializes in Occupational Therapy.
Vanessa N specializes in Sensory Integration and DIR/Floortime.
Ann C specializes in Motor Planning, Sensory Processing and Integration, Functional and Occupation-based Intervention, Holistic Approach, Behavior Modification and Management, and Leadership and Management.
Erin A specializes in Occupational Therapy.
Together, the OT team seamlessly collaborates with each child’s entire therapeutic team to address best practices and individualized treatment plans.