Helping Hands Pediatric Therapy is proud to offer a wide variety of services to meet the needs of our clients, please navigate below to learn more about what we offer as well as different programs!
Occupational therapy is a form of intervention in which the therapist and child work to develop or improve the necessary skills for daily living through activity. Therapy can target skills needed for coordination, school readiness and performance, self help such as feeding, dressing and grooming, safety, focus and attention, play/social interaction, eye-hand coordination, calming and regulatory behaviors and more. We use a variety of treatment approaches, one of which is Sensory Integration, the ability of the brain and body to take incoming sensory information and create an efficient motor output. We also use the Handwriting Without Tears program for handwriting issues, and the Food Chaining approach to treat eating/food issues. Your therapist will develop appropriate home programs and family education in addition to direct treatment of your child.
Reasons Your Child May Need Occupational Therapy
- Overly sensitive to certain sensations
- Poor attention
- Poor fine motor skills
- Immature gross motor skills
- Difficulty calming self
- Exaggerated behaviors or reactions
- Limited play skills
- Poor social development
- Limited Independence in self care skills
- Difficulty transitioning or accepting change in environment or routine
What We Offer
- Handwriting Without Tears Program
- Sensory Integration Therapy
- Developmental Therapy
- Fine motor skills development
- Coordination/Gross Motor skills
- Visual/Perceptual therapy
- Oral motor & feeding therapy
- Interactive Metronome
- Sequential Oral Sensory Feeding Program
Physical TherapyOur physical therapists apply the science of anatomy, neurology, and physiology to observe and assess how a child moves from one position to another; as well as, how strength, range of motion, tone/spasticity, balance and coordination affect a child’s movement patterns. A basic understanding of typical motor development and skills is essential to successfully teach or re-teach a child the foundations of movement. Physical therapists at Helping Hands use family oriented, play-based and goal-oriented interventions to motivate a child towards successful participation and achievement of goals.
Reasons Your Child May Need Physical Therapy:
Developmental delays/Coordination/gross motor skills
Torticollis-from birth or acquired from trauma
Neuromuscular disorders-Cerebral Palsy, Brachial Plexus, Spina Bifida, Muscular Dystrophy, CHARGE syndrome, Downs Syndrome
Musculoskeletal disorders-Osteogenesis Imperfecta, Scoliosis, Genetic disorders
Cardiovascular disorders-VSD, ASD, Trilogy of Fallot, transplantations, POTS
Pulmonary disorders-Cystic Fibrosis, Pectus Recurvatum/Excurvatum
Post-surgical conditions-orthopedic and musculoskeletal
Other services we offer:
Orthotics management-bracing for legs
Assistive devices management-crutches, canes, walkers, etc.
Taping-for positioning, muscle re-education, and pain management
Pediatric Speech Therapy
Pediatric speech and language therapy provides assessment and treatment of your child’s communication skills. These include speech, language, play and interaction development. The focus of treatment may be on oral-motor skills, stuttering, tongue thrust, voice or augmentative communication. As a parent, you are provided with strategies to help your child to communicate better at home and in the community. Speech and language therapy can help your child to:
- Improve understanding and expression of language
- Improve speech/sound production
- Decrease stuttering behaviors
- Improve swallowing patterns to reduce tongue thrust
- Improve communication through the provision of augmentative communication systems
- Improve eating and swallowing skill development
- Promote age appropriate play skills
The Speech Therapy staff of HHPT hold a Masters Degree and are licensed by the State of Georgia. They hold Certificates of Clinical Competence from the American Speech Language and Hearing Association.
Reasons to refer a child for Speech Therapy
Toddlers often have trouble with pronunciation and difficulties putting sentences together. A child between the ages of 18 months and 3 years will generally mispronounce many words. It’s perfectly normal to have to play a guessing game to figure out what your child is saying, and at times you may have absolutely no clue what she’s getting at. That’s okay If the problem is not pronunciation but rather that your child isn’t talking or is talking very little, you should act a little more quickly. You should have your child evaluated if he or she is doing any of the following:
- Doesn’t react normally or consistently to sounds. (May be overly sensitive to sounds such as vacuums or hair dryers yet seem indifferent at other times when people call their name.)
- Mispronounces vowels, saying “coo” instead of “cow”.
- Uses one catch-all sound or syllable to name most things (“duh” or “duh-duh”).
- Doesn’t point to common objects in books.
- Uses a word once and then doesn’t use it again frequently.
- Still says single words only, and not two or three word sentences.
- Answers a question by repeating part of your question.
What happens during speech therapy?
A speech therapist will test your child and find out the types of speech and language skills that he or she needs to work on. Speech therapy includes training and repetitive exercises and use of devices that can make it easier for some children to speak. Speech therapists also work closely with the parents so that they may help their child. The therapist works one-on-one with your child or in a small group. During therapy your child may do a variety of age-appropriate fun activities.
- Language exercises: During these exercises the therapist plays with and talks to your child. The therapist may model the correct way to say words and have your child repeat words and sentences.
- Articulation exercises: Articulation means the making of sounds. The therapist will do sound exercises with your child by making the correct sound or syllable of a word for the child to repeat. Your child is shown how to make the sound with his or her mouth and tongue. Your child may use a mirror to watch how the mouth and tongue move to make the correct sound.
- Relaxation and breathing exercises: Breathing techniques and relaxation exercises may be done to help your child relax the face and mouth muscles.
How does IM work?The IM is a Pc-based interactive system based on the traditional music metronome. Hand and foot sensors are used to objectively measure a user’s planning and sequencing performance during a variety of tapping exercises. The program analyzes exactly when in time each tap occurs in relation to the reference beat and instantaneously transposes this timing information into special sounds that are heard in headphone and the taps are occurring. Like training wheels on a bicycle, the sounds are used by the individual to more accurately synchronize the tap with the steady metronome beat.
What improvements are seen with IM?Documented studies have indicated improvements in the areas of attention, motor control, coordination, language processing, reading, academic achievement, and the ability to regulate aggression. Over the course of the treatment, patients learn to:
- Focus and attend for longer periods of time
- Increase physical endurance and stamina
- Filter out internal and external distractions
- Improve ability to monitor mental and physical actions as they are occurring
- Progressively improve coordinated performance.
- Sensory Integration Disorder
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Cerebral Vascular Accident (CVA)
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Cerebral Palsy
- Non-verbal Learning Disorder
- Balance Disorders
- Limb Amputation
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
What Is Sensory Integration?
- Ability to process sounds into language, music, or the wail of a siren
- Ability to process sights into works, pictures or faces of people you know
- Ability to process touch into the soft feel of a silky blouse, the itch of a garment tag on the back of your neck, or the light touch of a bug on your arm
- Ability to process tastes and textures in the mouth into the sweet taste of ice cream, the bumpy texture of tapioca, the tingle of a stick of cinnamon gum, or the sour crisp of a pickle
- Ability to process moving through space into the gentle lull of a boat ride, the plummet of a roller coaster dip, or the alert to danger when stumbling
- Ability to process smells and feeling associated with the aroma of hot bread, the fragrance of a flower, or the stench of a boys locker room
Sensory Integration DisordersSensory integration disorders represent a group of developmental disabilities that emerge when the brain consistently fails in its ability to analyze and interpret sensory data. They include:
- Developmental dyspraxia-a disorder of the ability to coordinate movements of the body
- Sensory Defensiveness- a disorder of the ability to assess the intensity of the sensory input so that an over-reaction occurs
- Various other disorders of mood, attention, and activity level
Therapeutic Listening® (TL) is an expansion of Sensory Integration (SI). It is an auditory intervention that uses the organized sound patterns inherent in music to impact all levels of the nervous system. Auditory information from Therapeutic Listening® CDs provides direct input to both the vestibular and the auditory portions of the vestibular-cochlear continuum. The emphasis of TL is on blending sound intervention strategies with vestibulo-proprioceptive, core development, and breath activities so as to sustain grounding and centering of the body and mind in space and time. Providing these postural, movement, and respiratory activities as part of the TL program is critical. Therapeutic Listening® utilizes numerous CDs that vary in musical style, types of filtering, and level of complexity. The music on Therapeutic Listening® CDs is electronically altered to elicit the orienting response which sets up the body for sustained attention and active listening. Above taken from Vital Links 2006 Newsletter Therapeutic Listening® coupled with SI tends to speed the emergence of:
- Organized Behavior
- Self regulation
- Postural control
- Bilateral coordination
- Fine motor control
- Oral motor/articulation
- Social skills
- Visual motor integration
For more details on the Therapeutic Listening® program including case studies see this brief introduction to Therapeutic Listening. There is a new peer-reviewed article on the effectiveness of Therapeutic Listening in the March/April 2007 issue of The American Journal of Occupational Therapy. In this article, Leah Hall (MS, OTR/L) and Jane Case-Smith (EdD, OTR/L, FAOTA) explored the effect of Therapeutic Listening® on children with sensory processing disorders and visual-motor delays. Therapeutic Listening has always been embedded in the sensory integration framework. This article provides new evidence for the wisdom of that approach. Highlights of the article are provided below. CLICK HERE for a two-page printable summary (in PDF format). CLICK HERE to go to the AJOT website and view an online abstract, or to print the full article.
Handwriting Without Tears Program
- Engaging techniques and activities that help improve a child’s early self-confidence, pencil grip, and body awareness skills
- Multisensory techniques and consistent habits for letter formation to help all children learn handwriting—from preschool through cursive
- Instructional methods that use fun, entertaining, and educationally sound principles