In person therapy can be safe for children, say pediatric therapists.
In person therapy has been the standard procedure for many, many years.
Parents of children who need occupational therapy are understandably struggling to decide whether to postpone services, try remote therapy or choose therapy in-person.
Bacharach’s pediatric therapists see value in both remote and in-person therapy, with in-person therapy recommended when it is a good fit for the child and the family.
In Person Therapy
In person, the occupational therapist can evaluate the child’s strength, dressing skills, fine motor skills and visual motor skills. By watching the child fasten buttons, tie shoes, and cut, write, and draw, the therapist can see the areas of concern that may need to be addressed.
Bacharach’s pediatric gym also has a wide variety of specialized equipment. There is a suspended swing used to control strengthening, balance, sensory processing, and to help children calm themselves.
There is a special “quiet” room to reduce distractions, and there are dozens of climbing, moving, pushing and strengthening toys, to motivate the child and make the therapy fun.
Occupational therapists are always working on a ‘just-right challenge’, a challenge that is not just fun stimulation, but that has a functional goal of making a brain connection. The child may be reaching for a beanbag and throwing it at a target, which works on balance, strength, coordination and following directions.
Cerebral palsy, attention deficits, delayed motor skills, and Down Syndrome are just a few of the conditions that benefit from occupational therapy. Children with low muscle tone and coordination issues are also appropriate.
Parents are partners with the pediatric occupational therapists. They learn techniques to reinforce at home.
Many children receiving occupational therapy are also having speech or physical therapy. There is a great deal of collaboration among the therapists across the disciplines, to work toward mutual goals and outcomes.
Parents will be happy to know that everything in the pediatric gym – all equipment, toys, surfaces – is thoroughly sanitized between patients according to CDC guidelines. Therapists wear full PPE at all times and there are clear guidelines regarding limiting family and visitors. Anyone who enters the building is screened before doing so.