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Early Intervention Services Supporting Children Ages 0-3 and Their Families


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handprint Physical Therapy: Physical therapy can be an exciting adventure for you and your child. Within this service there will be many techniques and methods used to enhance your child’s physical development. These methods will also teach you how to best understand your child and encourage a profound connection to your child’s behavioral and physical needs.

One of the methods that can be done within the EI Program is Infant Massage. It is known that massage therapy has been used for quite some time to enhance people’s relaxation and to remove stress. So, implementing this technique for babies can do the same. Infant Massage can relieve the common discomforts that infants experience; some of these consist of colic, gas, and constipation. It also improves the child’s sleep patterns, thus reducing stress behaviors and strengthening the baby’s digestive and respiratory systems. This can also enhance the parent/baby bonding. It will teach the parents how to build that emotional connection with their child, facilitating long-term positive emotional development within the entire family.

The physical therapist will utilize a posture and movement technique and Neurodevelopmental Treatment in order to assess and analyze the child’s movement and posture. The physical therapist will analyze your child’s current control of his or her movements and fill in the missing components needed to achieve the desired movement. The sessions will lead the child to take on more independent functional movements in their every day life.

Within all of our services we are here for you as primary caregiver, and your child, always working together on your child’s development. We are here to teach you skills that will encourage effective growth and development for your child. Throughout the physical therapy sessions, we hope to help you effectively read your baby’s movements and promote their physical strength and well-being.


 

handprint Family Support: LCARC program staff focus on interventions tailored to meet the individualized needs of the child’s family. The staff work with parents and caregivers to learn family routines, dynamics, and preferences. Our goal is to help each family reach their desired outcome; whether it be cooperative play with siblings, increased independence with self help skills or increased verbalization to name just a few.

At each session, the caregiver or parent will work closely with the teacher or therapist to learn and replicate the techniques to use on their own. There is always time for sharing information and questions. The family is given a detailed progress note at the end of each session.


 

handprint Occupational Therapy: Within the LCARC Early Intervention Program, we provide an Occupational Therapy (OT) service. The core purpose of the service is to provide help and assistance to children in order for them to acquire the ability to perform their every day activities. These can consist of daily living skills such as feeding, doing a simple puzzle, or holding a crayon.

In some cases, we are able to provide therapy for children that have a difficult time feeding themselves. Our goal is to have the child acquire the ability to self-feed, independently. Our Occupational Therapist will work with the children in order for them to use their fine motor skills. For example, holding small items to build control of their motor skills within their hands. This will ultimately provide them with the ability to properly control a spoon in order to feed themselves independently. Another strategy is Play Therapy; the child will manipulate toys or other objects in order to develop skills that will eventually allow them to perform everyday activities like dressing or bathing.

In other cases, there might be a possibility that the child may show common signs of sensory processing problems. These can be negative reactions to touch, sounds, sights, movement, tastes, or smells. Because of such issues, some activities of every day life can be a challenge for a child with sensory processing problems. Brushing his or her teeth or feeling certain materials could irritate some children. Our Occupational Therapist will create activities that improve sensory processing skills. The OT can assess the child’s response to various sensory stimuli from the environment and create a sensory integration plan that will help the child relax and learn in their surroundings.


 

handprint Education: Education or “Special Instruction” works well as a stand-alone service or hand in hand with specialized therapies to maximize the child’s cognitive abilities and prepare him or her for their first formal education experience, pre-school. The EI teacher will work with families and caregivers in the home, daycare, out in the community or any other natural environment the family chooses.

During a session, the teacher will work with the child and caregiver together. They will use toys, puzzles, and games that help the child increase their memory, learn shapes, follow directions and learn how to share and take turns. Books, iPads, songs, and nursery thymes also help with learning colors, letters and numbers.  Children learn by imitation and through cooperative play. The teacher focuses on skills that the child needs to develop in order to be successful across all environments and during all activities. As the child develops, the learning activities the teacher and parents do with them will change as well. The teacher will keep the child engaged and progressing towards age appropriate skills and activities as long as they are in the program.


 

handprint Speech: LCARC understands that communication is key, especially when it concerns your communication with your child. Our Speech Pathologists provide therapy to kids having difficulty developing language skills. The focus of our speech therapy is to work with parents and caregivers on how to communicate more easily with their children. Our speech therapists utilize many different strategies throughout each session. A comman strategy is to label pictures and objects. This helps the child connect the meaning of the word with the object that the word represents.

Having the parents and caregivers involved with their child’s speech process also strengthens the possibilities of further development. Our speech therapists will promote communication between parents and children. One approach is having the parent talk to their child about what is going on, as well as what the child is doing at the time. Parents are encouraged to ask their child questions, then to listen closely to what the child is saying in response. The parent can repeat what was said by the child with corrections of sounds and an expansion of ideas in order for the child to imitate the correct technique of how to verbalize his or her response.

In some cases, our speech therapists will also implement the use of sign language. This could possibly encourage the child to further communicate his or her wants and needs. They will also use picture exchanges to help the child ask for what he or she wants with less frustration for everyone.

 


For more information on the EI program at LCARC and how we can help,
please call 724.658.8515 or email us at lcarc@lcarconline.org.