Occupational therapy at STAR Institute looks a lot like play. Through therapeutic play children develop capacity to: be regulated, be organized in their bodies, generate ideas and plans for action, problem solve and form relationships. All these skills are necessary for a child to flourish both at home and at school. Playful interactions with parents, therapists and other children in the sensory gym are the perfect context for developing motor confidence, body scheme, impulse control, goal directed actions and social success.
While your child is playing, their occupational therapist is focused on arousal regulation, motor and process skill development and helping your child achieve the "just-right success". The STAR approach is an evidence-based, relationship-based direct intervention informed by principles of neurobiology and psychobiosocial research and theory.
When a child attends STAR Institute their whole family is supported and the parents receive training designed to give away the therapeutic principles that work to support health and well-being for their child.
Therapy at STAR Institute focuses on three inter-related foundations for health: sensory integration, regulation and relationships.
Therapy outcomes are designed to focus on self-esteem, social confidence and establishing joy-filled home and school lives. Generally, therapy includes strategies for modulation and discrimination of sensation as well as increased postural control and motor planning using a sensory integration approach as needed. We also incorporate parent-identified priorities for changes in daily functioning at home, at school, and/or in the community. Always there is a focus on improving parent-child relationships and joie de vivre (joy in life).
The goal of occupational therapy is to enable children to participate in home and school life with confidence and success.
Sensory integration therapy aims to enable children with sensory challenges to accurately detect, regulate, and interpret sensations, and the execution of appropriate motor and behavioral responses to sensations so that children are able to perform everyday activities in a functional manner.
For children, the focus is on play: playing with parents, playing with siblings and playing with friends, enjoying success in school, and completing daily routines such as eating, dressing, sleeping with satisfaction, and enjoying a healthy, fulfilling family life. Parents are coached to work through the natural ups and downs of life with their child so they can live more joyfully together.
Occupational therapists at STAR Institute teach you to understand how sensation is perceived by your child, and how those perceptions affect attention, social and emotional abilities, motor skills, and learning. Your occupational therapist serves as a coach, educator, and role model while you actively participate in every session, and learn productive strategies for home, school, and the community during your child’s OT sessions.
Therapy sessions are FUN and are subtly structured so that your child is challenged but always successful in completing each activity. The emphasis is on developing automatic and appropriate responses to sensation in an active, meaningful, and fun way by interacting in a large occupational therapy room filled with hanging equipment such as nets, ropes, swings, and other sensory equipment.