Occupational Therapy puts the "skill" in Skill-by-Skill
While our cost is far reduced from the average individual OT copay (see our "Cost Comparison"), some may wonder why our cost is more than a typical playgroup. We are NOT your average playgroup. We are a therapeutic group, where your child is receiving the benefits of an occupational therapist as leader, along with the opportunity to consult with an OT about any specific developmental concerns you may have for your child.
As occupational therapists, our education and training is such that we can identify your child's strengths, while also uncovering the skills he/she needs to work on. We do this through assessments and clinical observation. From strength and coordination to problem solving and sensory processing, and many things in between, we pinpoint the individual needs your child has, that may be limiting his/her success in everyday activities. Play, schoolwork, socializing with peers, are all hugely important parts of childhood, and as occupational therapists, we strive to help each child achieve success and find meaning in these activities, or as we prefer "occupations" of childhood.
Once identified, we are able to utilize their strengths to address the needed skills, while maximizing opportunities for success during an activity. This helps children feel a sense of accomplishment and control over their environment, which leads to more positive behavior! We use a child's interests to engage him/her in skill building they may otherwise avoid, and use unique methods of breaking activities down (activity analysis) to individualize for each child. We use a common play activity, and address a specific child's needs through that activity. We may be addressing a different need for each child in the group with the same activity, with different modifications and approaches. We understand the complexity of a child's sensory systems, and how they work together. We understand children's behavior is often a direct result of a struggle with a specific skill or difficulty with sensory processing. What may not be quickly evident to a parent or other, is visible to an occupational therapist, and we can provide parents with the education to carryover strategies to continue work on these skills at home. We may discover needs that are affecting areas of your child's development that you aren't even aware of!
So, yes, our groups are "fun," but they are so much more than your average playgroup! They will promote positive development, advancement of life skills, address need areas, and increase success in childhood occupations (school, play, etc)!