Lemida Be-Rama      Learning & Treatment Center
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Occupational Therapy for Children

 

Occupational therapists diagnose, treat, and rehabilitate children with the aim of ‎strengthening the skills they need for various tasks in their lives. They promote the ‎child’s development, adaptive skills, independent functioning, and quality of life. The ‎occupational therapy at the center is provided in individual and group settings. Among its ‎specific areas of focus are sensory-motor functioning, learning skills, and social skills.‎


Which children are in need of occupational therapy?‎

• Children who evidence delayed motor development, with apparent difficulties ‎planning or executing movements.‎
• Children who have trouble drawing, writing or playing games that require fine ‎motor skills.‎
• Children who have problems with sensory processing and control, evidenced by ‎sensitivity to touch or noise, fear of heights, avoidance of playground equipment ‎that requires climbing, etc.‎
• Children who have trouble forming peer relationships or appear to be isolated, ‎rejected, or introverted.‎
• Children with organizational difficulties, evidenced by inability to perform ‎morning tasks, do homework, or keep an orderly book bag, or to occupy ‎themselves in their free time.‎


Treatment Options

Individual and group occupational therapy is provided by the center. Both types of ‎treatment focus on objectives such as preparation for first grade or the development of ‎social skills.‎


Individual Treatment

The individual work begins with a diagnostic session that examines the child’s ‎functioning in various situations. Interviews are then conducted with the parents and ‎information gathered from the child’s school and other sources significant to the child’s ‎development. After the therapist identifies the child’s difficulties and capabilities, he or ‎she consults with the parents in designing the goals of the therapy. The sessions then ‎commence.‎

The treatment room is fitted with state-of-the-art equipment that presents children with an ‎enjoyable challenge. Parents can also receive guidance for conducting exercises at home ‎between sessions so that their children can practice the skills they acquire. The therapists ‎use a variety of methods--including movement, touch, sounds, and tastes - to provide a ‎comprehensive and effective learning experience. The staff also visits schools, when ‎necessary, to speak with a child’s educators and offer guidance for his or her continued ‎instruction.‎

The therapists also consult with parents and educators before terminating treatment, ‎changing its objectives, or conducting a follow-up analysis. Individual treatment can be ‎followed up with group sessions when appropriate.‎


Group Treatment

The small-group work is structured to resemble that of the grade-school classroom or ‎kindergarten. This format not only allows the children to acquire the specific skills that ‎need strengthening but also bolsters their confidence, teaches them to abide by rules, ‎increases their awareness of their own social behavior, and develops their ability to read ‎the social map. The children learn to be responsible for their actions, belongings, etc.‎



Speech Therapy

 

Ramat Rachel’s speech therapy clinic identifies, diagnoses, and treats speech-and ‎language-related difficulties, and also prevents such problems from developing.‎

Communication is the process of message transfer from one person to another.‎
Language includes vocabulary, linguistic structures, and rules. Children with language ‎impairments have difficulty comprehending and expressing ideas using the structural ‎rules of language.‎
Speech is the motor production of the sounds of language. Impaired speech can affect ‎pronunciation, vocal quality (evidenced by hoarseness, for example), or stuttering.‎

 

Signs that your child may require speech therapy:

• A delay or impairment in language development (difficulty acquiring the rules of ‎language beyond the appropriate age, impediments to speech and/or ‎comprehension.‎
• Difficulty with word retrieval/naming (for words that are familiar to the child but ‎are not readily produced).‎
• Problems with phonological awareness (the child is not aware of or does not ‎relate explicitly to the sounds that make up words).‎
• Difficulty pronouncing letters and letter combinations, beyond the acceptable age.‎
• Learning disabilities related to language (difficulties in reading acquisition, oral ‎and written expression, reading and oral comprehension).‎
• ‎(for children and adults) Voice problems such as hoarseness or stuttering.‎

 

The importance of early detection of language-related problems:

• Language is an important tool for understanding one’s world and coping with it in ‎the spheres of emotion, social relations, and education. Children need assistance ‎to understand the events around them and messages they receive, and to express ‎their needs, thoughts, and experiences in an efficient manner appropriate to their ‎ages.‎
• The first five years of a child’s life are critical for language acquisition. Since the ‎brain functions at an optimal level for language learning during this period, early ‎detection and treatment of problems offers the child the best chance for ‎overcoming them. Early correction of these problems also prevents the emergence ‎of educational gaps in the child’s progress at school.‎
• Many of the children at risk for reading difficulties have problems with language ‎acquisition or control of language components. For normative development of ‎reading and writing, it is essential that the child be aware of and have control over ‎all language components (phonology, morphology, and syntax).‎

 

Diagnostic tools for language and speech difficulties in children:

The diagnostic process is designed according to the child’s individual profile, including ‎his or her age, needs, preferences, and behavior. The therapist usually begins the process ‎by interacting with the child through play (with the occasional participation of parents). ‎While playing, the child provides the therapist with useful examples of natural speech. ‎Formal diagnostic tools, such as language and pronunciation tests, are then administered, ‎and parents and teachers are consulted for additional data.‎

 

The treatment plan:

An individual treatment plan is designed for each child based on the results of the ‎diagnosis and assessment. The sessions are conducted in an informal and pleasant ‎atmosphere, with the use of games and activities. The therapist works with the child in a ‎wide range of communication contexts. The secure, enjoyable, and trusting environment ‎is ideal for learning. Individual treatment can be combined or followed up with small ‎group activities, and/or with counseling for parents.‎

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