Chatterbox Pediatric Therapy Center provides our patients with collaborative therapy between our Speech-Language Pathologists and Occupational Therapists to deliver a comprehensive treatment approach. Chatterbox currently employs Occupational Therapists and COTAs (Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants) along with our Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs).
What do Occupational Therapists treat?
- Fine-motor skills (pencil grasp, hand writing, manipulation of objects)
- Gross-motor skills (balance, jumping, skipping, bilateral coordination)
- Behavior (due to sensory issues and attention difficulties)
- Deficits in daily living, sleep, learning, play, and social skills.
Why do we screen for Occupational Therapy during a speech and/or language evaluation?
- Many children referred for speech and/or language therapy have co-existing disorders and symptoms that span across a wide array of developmental areas. For example, a child diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder is likely to have communication difficulties as well as sensory processing difficulties. Also, articulation disorders may have co-existing difficulties with fine-motor skills (both are targeting coordination of small muscle movements).
- Children that have increased negative behaviors in their speech/language therapy sessions may be struggling with a sensory processing disorder, attention difficulties, chronic pain, and/or impaired vision. These can all be identified and addressed by an OT. When these are targeted in an OT setting, the child’s ability to attend to and work through a speech/language session increases.
How do SLPs work together with the OTs?
- Collaborate treatment ideas in order to decrease negative behaviors in speech/language therapy sessions and integrate fine motor skills while working on speech and language goals. Examples:
- While working on phonological awareness-reading skills, have them practice writing out the words – handwriting.
- If negative behaviors increase, find a way to integrate the sensory input the child needs to attend to the task (squeezes, weighted vest, trampoline jumps, swing).
- Collaborate treatment ideas in order to encourage communication within occupational therapy sessions. Examples:
- While working on fine motor skills, require the child to use their words to request for items.
- While working on occupational goals, require the child to use their “good” sounds so they can learn to generalize their articulation skills outside of speech therapy.
- While working on handwriting, have the child practice their grammar and vocabulary skills.