Intensive Strength Clinic
Reach for Speech’s Intensive Strength Clinic is a customized program for children who need to build strength and improve functional skills.
It consists of:
- An intensive burst of physical therapy (PT) and occupational therapy (OT)
- Therapy and muscle preparation 2.5 hours a day, 5 days a week for 3 weeks
- Use of pulleys and weights to strengthen muscles
- Daily focus on individualized functional goal areas that are developed in collaboration with the family
- Use of a dynamic suspension/bungee system called the Universal Exercise Unit (UEU) to focus on improving balance, coordination, and sensory/body awareness
Universal Exercise Unit (UEU)
The UEU is an open metal cage equipped with pulleys, weights straps and bungee cords. This dynamic system allows the therapist to isolate and strengthen desired muscle groups to improve very targeted and specific functional movement patterns. This system is often referred to as the “Spider Cage” due to the use of a harnessing belt used in conjunction with bungees to assist in holding an upright position. This helps a child to stand without assistance while allowing freedom of movement and facilitating balance creating pathways for future use.
The Intensive Strength Clinic provides the push a child needs to move to the next level in their development. Three weeks of intensive therapy can bring about progress in a child’s motor skills that may normally take six to twelve months with traditional outpatient therapy. Our program focuses on a child’s individual abilities and works on building their strength and skills to enhance their motor development and take them to the next level and beyond.
The program focuses on repetition of gross motor movements and trains the child’s brain to make these movements automatic. Furthermore, it provides a child with a means of proximal stabilization that allows him or her to improve with fine motor precision and strength. Once a child has mastered a movement, they can use it in their everyday activities of sitting, rolling, crawling, transitioning, walking, and playing.
Who Can Benefit
The program is directed towards children and/or adolescents who would benefit from an intensive burst of strengthening exercise. It may help to achieve a new developmental skill or milestone or recover strength after a surgery or illness.
Appropriate candidates for the program should be:
- At least 2 years old
- Able to have the capability and endurance to participate in 2.5 hours of therapy
- Able to follow simple directions and motivated to work without negative behaviors
- Able to demonstrate active limb movement
- Evaluated by our therapists and recommended as an appropriate candidate
There are a wide variety of diagnoses that can benefit from this program. They include, but are not limited to:
- Cerebral palsy
- Spina bifida
- Acquired brain injuries
- Spasticity, hypotonia
- Developmental delay
- Genetic disorders
In the past, treatment of neuromuscular and developmental conditions such as Cerebral Palsy have been limited to medications, surgeries, and traditional therapy. Reach for Speech offers an innovative, intensive therapy program which utilizes the Universal Exercise Unit that helps families and patients treat these neuromuscular conditions and promote greater independence in all aspects of life.
Intensive Apraxia Treatment
Apraxia of speech is a motor speech disorder that causes difficulty with planning and programming the complex sequenced movements that are necessary for intelligible speech. At Reach for Speech, our speech pathologists have extensive training and use a variety of programs and techniques including but not limited to PROMPT, Moving Across Syllables, the Kaufman Program, ReST, and prosodic facilitation in order to provide individualized therapy to each patient. We offer weekly sessions up to 3-4 times per week of intensive apraxia treatment. We also provide a great deal of parent training and support, as well as homework to encourage generalization.
Interactive Metronome is a computerized therapeutic tool used to improve timing and sequencing, motor planning, attention, coordination, cognition, auditory processing, and control of impulsive behaviors. Metronome therapy is indicated for patients with ADHD, dyslexia, autism, reading disorders, coordination disorder, speech disorders, and auditory processing disorders, among other conditions.
- Working Memory- Memory is critical for word recognition and understanding complex sentences and remembering instructions
- Attention –The ability to focus and ignore distractions
- Processing – how accurately a child can use information they heard
- Sequencing – placing information in order
- Motor Coordination – improve motor planning for doing everyday tasks
This is a team-based approach to helping families whose children have difficulties with food intake. Our feeding team evaluates picky eaters to determine if treatment is necessary and formulates an individualized therapy plan to address goals.
The Reach for Speech Feeding therapy team includes speech pathologists and occupational therapists. The therapists work closely with the parents to help children gain the skills they need to overcome any feeding difficulties.
Our therapists are trained in the Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) approach as well as oral motor and dysphagia based methods.
We are skilled in treating children with oral motor challenges, dysphagia, sensory integration disorders, as well as problem feeders.
Torticollis and Plagiocephaly Clinic
Infant Torticollis and Plagiocephaly (flat head syndrome) are usually correctable when addressed early. Reach for Speech provides quick and local access to proper medical management of these conditions to achieve the best and quickest results. We also offer on-site access to pediatric orthotist for complimentary baseline scans should a helmet be necessary to re-shape the skull.
Therapeutic Listening is a sound-based intervention employed by occupational therapists that is embedded in a sensory integration perspective. Because the auditory system has connections to many parts of the brain, sound is a powerful way to access the nervous system and affect changes.
Therapeutic Listening involves listening to specially recorded and enhanced music on headphones as part of a daily home program. Typically, clients will use Therapeutic Listening twice a day for thirty minutes per session as part of a sensory diet. When combined with other therapy treatment approaches, Therapeutic Listening can have a significant impact on the client’s functional abilities and progress toward treatment goals.
Our occupational therapists at Reach for Speech are trained in the Therapeutic Listening program and are able to guide children and parents through implementing this treatment in their daily lives.
Preschool Readiness Groups
At Reach for Speech, our “Preschool Readiness” group uses a team approach where speech pathologists and occupational therapists work together. It is offered for children between the ages of 2 and 4 years old and targets some of the following skills:
- Improve social skills in order to engage with peers appropriately
- Improve expressive language skills by expanding vocabulary, phrases, and sentence use
- Improve behaviors by following classroom routines
- Improve receptive language skills in following simple directions
- Improve ability to attend to tasks
- Improve sensory modulation skills to participate in a circle time activity
- Improve body awareness to recognize the parts of their body (i.e. hands, head, knees, feet)
- Improve visual motor skills to complete snipping with scissors
- Improve visual perceptual skills to recognize letters in their first name and simple shapes
- Improve feeding skills in order to eat a snack in a group social setting.
When groups are in session, they meet weekly in a small group setting. This group provides an opportunity for your child to become familiar with tasks and expectations that occur in the preschool setting, as it will mimic the structure/schedule of preschool
Social Skills Groups
Social skills group target pragmatic language and are run by 1 or 2 speech pathologists and usually include 2-4 children per group. These groups are meant to improve social skills in order to engage with peers appropriately. A variety of therapeutic methods and activities are used during these sessions including but not limited to:
- Turn taking games/play
- Pretend play
- Learning conversational rules such as initiating and maintaining conversations
- practicing perspective taking
Augmentative and Alternative Communication
At Reach for Speech we believe it is imperative to give your child a way to communicate using a total communication approach while reducing communication frustration. Sometimes verbal communication is not reliable communication option at the present time depending on a child’s current abilities and rate of progress in traditional speech therapy. Our speech-language pathologists are highly trained in the programming and use of various speech generating devices and applications from a variety of companies.
Augmentative communication devices can be obtained through insurance. The speech pathologist provides a detailed evaluation report and the child’s physician provides a script to secure funding for a device.
Speech generating devices have been proven time and again to aid in a child’s ability to eventually become a verbal communicator.
Handwriting Without Tears
This is a curriculum based handwriting instruction program that strives to take the stress out of handwriting and create a more fun experience. It utilizes a multi-sensory approach and a unique teaching order to learn the motor planning of letter formation in order to make handwriting successful throughout all aspects of a child's education.
This program follows a sound activated vestibular-visual protocol that promotes movement, looking and listening. It uses sounds and movement to allow for improved function of the vestibular system which plays a key role in all sensory and movement development. The vestibular system can be affected by many common childhood illnesses (i.e. ear infections, high fevers, allergies, head trauma) or restricted movement. Developing the vestibular system to perform at its highest potential facilitates improved eye movement and control.