KidVentures Therapy Services

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KidVentures
Therapy Services

5524 Bee Caves Road
Building L
Austin, Texas 78746
tel 512.327.4499
fax 512.327.4495

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists assist children in being successful with the childhood “occupations” of play, self-care, peer interactions, and school. Occupational therapy addresses these overall occupations as well as the foundational skill areas that influence children’s ability to achieve success in their daily lives. Some of these foundational areas include sensory integration, praxis/motor planning, muscle tone and postural controls, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, bilateral coordination skills, visual motor skills, visual perceptual skills, handwriting, social skills/pragmatic skills, coping skills, self-concept and behavior.

The Texas licensed and NBCOT registered Occupational Therapists at KidVentures Therapy Services work with clients from birth through adolescence. Many of our clients do not have a specific diagnosis but need extra help in the development of functional skills. Some of our clients have specific diagnoses including autism spectrum disorder, developmental delay, sensory processing disorder, motor coordination disorder, dysgraphia, Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy, and feeding disorders. All of our clients receive a tailored evaluation, individualized treatment plan to address their specific needs, and consultation with parents and other professionals. We use a play-based approach and activities that are meaningful to the child to facilitate the development of functional skills. We believe it is optimal for children to achieve their goals while having fun!

Sensory Processing Praxis / Motor Planning Muscle Tone and Postural Controls

Sensory processing is the ability to organize and use information from the senses to plan behavior and generate actions. The senses include the five senses that everyone is familiar with (vision, hearing, smell, taste, and touch). They also include the vestibular sense, which provides information about movement, and the proprioceptive sense, which provides information about joint position. Read more…

Praxis/motor planning is the ability to spontaneously conceive of, organize, and carry out unfamiliar motor actions. There are four parts of praxis: 1) ideation, or the cognitive ability to understand the task at hand 2) planning, or the ability to formulate a plan of action 3) sequencing the necessary aspects in order to accomplish the plan and 4) execution, or the end product. Read more…

Functional range of motion, adequate trunk strength, a stable posture, and good shoulder strength and stability provide the base of support needed to perform fine motor and gross motor activities. When children are weak throughout their trunk and shoulders, their ability to perform everyday childhood motor skills is often impacted. These children often tire easily and may even have difficulty maintaining an upright posture when sitting in a chair or sitting on the floor.

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The proprioceptive, vestibular, and tactile senses play a vital role in childhood development. The ability to process, interpret, modulate, and integrate sensory information underlies the development of motor skills, muscle tone, body posture, body awareness, self-help skills, motor planning, social skills, arousal level, and emotional state.

The ability to process and use sensory information effectively varies among individuals. There is a range of sensory processing that is considered typical and assists us in completing our daily activities. The sensory system typically matures and develops during everyday childhood activities such as play. Some children have more difficulty using sensory information from their environment and their bodies to effectively perform everyday functional activities. The behaviors and/or skill deficits that are manifested from Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) vary from child to child. A child exhibiting one or more of the following symptoms may have Sensory Processing Disorder:

  • Over sensitivity and/or underreaction to 1 or more sense (touch, movement, sounds, visual input)
  • Excessively seeks out 1 or more sensation (movement “on the go”, touch, sounds, visual input)
  • Arousal and attention difficulties
  • Self-regulation difficulties/impulsivity
  • Gross and fine motor coordination difficulties (balance issues, clumsy, trips easily, bumps into things)
  • Motor planning difficulties
  • Difficulties with transitions
  • Decreased strength and muscle tone
  • Social skills and peer interaction difficulties
  • Issues with self esteem and self concept
  • Decreased coping skills and self control
  • Delayed speech and language
  • Poor play skills

If you suspect that your child’s functional difficulties may be due to Sensory Processing Disorder, please speak directly with an occupational therapist specifically trained to address sensory processing.

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Children with praxis difficulties often have underlying sensory processing difficulties. A child with praxis difficulties may exhibit one or more of the following:

  • Appears clumsy
  • Difficulty navigating playground equipment (climbing, sliding, pumping a swing)
  • Difficulty with bike riding, swimming, roller skating
  • Difficulty with motor skills such as skipping, galloping, or jumping rope
  • Difficulty with sports activities such as catching/throwing or kicking a ball
  • Difficulty with sequencing multi-step motor actions
  • Difficulty with play skills with a tendency to jump from one activity to the next without actually playing with toys
  • Tends to watch other children instead of interacting with them
  • Resists new play activities and prefers to play the same thing over and over again
  • Difficulty with self-help skills such as getting dressed or tying shoes
  • Difficulty with keeping classroom materials organized and ready to use
Gross Motor Skills Fine Motor Skills Bilateral Coordination Skills

Gross motor skills involve large muscle movements for activities such as walking, climbing, running, jumping, swimming, ball skills, bike riding, and pumping a swing. Balance, bilateral coordination, eye-hand coordination, postural strength, motor planning, and sensory processing are foundational building blocks for active play. Success in playground activities, PE, sports, and childhood outdoor games are dependent on intact gross motor functioning.

Fine motor skills involve small muscle movements of the hands for activities such as picking up cereal, holding a pencil or a crayon, stringing beads, picking up small toys, and tying shoes. Many fine motor tasks require foundational building blocks of strength, in-hand manipulation skills, and appropriate grasp patterns.

This is the ability to coordinate the left and right sides of the body to perform a motor action. Intact bilateral coordination is required for many gross motor activities such as climbing, jumping, skipping, catching a ball, pumping a swing, riding a bicycle, pedaling a tricycle, and swimming. Tying shoes, buttoning, and stringing beads are examples of fine motor bilateral coordination skills.

Handwriting Visual Perceptual Skills Self-Help Skills / Activities of Daily Living

Handwriting is a complex task that requires the interaction of many foundational skill areas. A child who is having difficulty with handwriting may have deficits in one or more of the following areas: postural controls, shoulder strength and stability, hand strength, fine motor coordination, grasp patterns, eye-hand coordination, visual processing skills, visual motor skills, motor planning and attention. If your child is having difficulty with handwriting, all of the above skill areas will be evaluated to determine the underlying cause of the handwriting difficulty.

Visual perceptual skills are needed to understand or give meaning to what we see. We use visual perceptual skills to perform everyday activities such as putting puzzles together, finding objects in a toy chest or junk drawers, deciphering worksheets, copying from the board, art, reading, writing, and math.

Self-help skills include mealtime/eating, brushing teeth, sleep/wake cycles, getting dressed, adjusting zippers and fasteners, manipulating buttons, tying shoes, and performing chores. There are many underlying reasons why a child may have difficulties with activities of daily living. Treatment strategies will address the underlying deficit as well as the skill itself.

Social & Pragmatic Skills Coping Skills / Self-Concept   

Children can have difficulty with peer interactions in various social environments including school, extracurricular activities and play dates. Such difficulties may include turn taking, manners, cooperation, initiating conversation, making friends, voice volume/speed, eye contact, and solving problems. Other areas that can impact a child’s social skills include difficulties with sensory processing, decreased motor planning skills, decreased gross and fine motor skills, decreased coping skills, and decreased self esteem.

Strategies are provided within the context of therapy sessions when a child is faced with a task or situation that results in poor frustration tolerance, decreased problem solving, decreased behavior, feeling discouraged or giving up easily. Assisting the child with identifying the problem and positive/adaptive coping techniques within a safe/nurturing environment will lead to increased self esteem, mastery of tasks, and overall improved behavioral responses to difficult tasks and/or situations.