© 2017 Gather & Grow - Portland, OR

I am worried about my child's development. What should I do?

  • Trust your instincts. You know your child best and your concerns should be heard.

  • Talk to your child’s pediatrician about any concerns.

  • Complete the ASQ Questionnaire to monitor your child’s general development.

  • Contact Gather & Grow to discuss concerns and potentially schedule an evaluation.

  • Request an Early Intervention evaluation. Early Intervention is a statewide program that provides special services to children ages birth-three years with delays/disabilities (or risk of delays) and their parents. For more information click here.

My child already receives Early Intervention.How is this different?

One of the primary objectives of the Early Intervention program is to consult with caregivers about ways to best support their child’s development. Depending on your child, Early Intervention services may adequately meet their developmental goals. There are times when the frequency or type of services your child receives is not enough to meet their needs and your child may benefit from additional services to supplement Early Intervention.

 

In addition to Early Intervention services your child receives, Gather & Grow can provide in-home occupational therapy treatment to your child, with frequency based on individual needs while also providing caregiver support. 

What is Occupational Therapy?

Pediatric occupational therapy supports children at risk for delays or those with conditions impacting development. Occupational therapists address aspects that influence a child's ability to participate in life. Common underlying issues that can impact a child's ability to eat, play, participate in daily routines, or engage with others might include one's motor skills, sensory processing abilities, cognition or state regulation. Other influences include the environment (ex: parent support and physical space), as well as the challenge of specific activity. The goal of pediatric occupational therapy is to enhance development and minimize potential for delays through direct treatment and supporting caregivers to meet the needs of their child.  

Your child may have a formal diagnosis or might simply have delays in one or more area of development. As a pediatric occupational therapist, Sarah is able to discuss your family's needs and goals, develop a treatment plan and make recommendations for ways to support your child’s development.

 

Why is therapy provided in the home?

  • Occupational therapy home visits allow for treatment within a child’s natural environment.* This is important to best understand how your child engages in their most familiar context with the caregiver present to promote understanding and address specific challenges.

  • Providing pediatric occupational therapy in the home to children who may be immunocompromised, medically fragile or have equipment such as ventilators or other medical equipment can be safer, and house calls can be more convenient for families than seeking therapy outside the home.

  • Assessing a child’s daily routines within the home or community provides a more complete picture for determining the best treatment plan. Depending on individual goals, pediatric occupational therapy may take place in a variety of contexts. Examples may include (but are not limited to) the park, daycare or preschool.

*If you prefer to NOT have services in your home, sessions can be provided in a space in SE Portland. Please inquire.

What does a typical session look like?

It primarily looks like play. Type of play varies depending on age, developmental abilities and interests. Kids learn best through play and therapeutic activities will be geared towards each child based on goals established in initial evaluation. Caregivers are an integral part of development and participation in sessions is encouraged.

Do I need to have special toys or equipment for therapy sessions?

Not at all. Utilizing what is available in the home is preferred as these are the play tools your child can access regularly. Sarah may bring a few toys with her to engage your little one in novel play, though generally speaking, “less is more” when it comes to play equipment in order to allow for freedom of exploration.*

*Sarah is sensitive to concerns with germs and all items brought into the home will be sanitized before and after use.

Who might benefit from my services?

  • Infants born preterm or those who experienced an extended NICU stay

  • Babies and toddlers who are slow to meet developmental milestones (or those who skip motor milestones, such as crawling)

  • Individuals with developmental disabilities, such as Down Syndrome, Spina Bifida, Cerebral Palsy, brain injury, genetic syndromes, and more...

  • Babies with head flattening or strong one-sided head turn preference

  • Brachial plexus injury or other birth trauma

  • Feeding issues (bottle, breast or solid food)

  • Babies who dislike "tummy time" or have strong positioning preference

  • Minimal interest in toys or play for age

  • Difficulty with transitions (rigid need for the same routine)

  • "Over-sensitive" or avoidant of sensory experiences, such as touch, movement, lights, sounds, smells or tastes

  • Intense reactions during daily routines, such as diaper changes, clothing changes, bathing and other care activities

  • Minimal eye contact or social engagement with family

  • Difficulty manipulating toys or coloring for age

  • Poor coordination or balance, may appear "clumsy" or fall frequently for age

  • Children who appear "weak" or tire easily during play for age

 

There may be other signs your child is having challenges fully participating in aspects of their life. Reach out for support early if you have concerns. 

 

CONTACT ME

Sarah Reppenhagen, OTR/L

sarah@gatherandgrowpdx.com  

Tel: 503.683.7700 

 Fax: 855.278.9367

Schedule your FREE 30 minute initial phone consultation to discuss your child’s needs and determine if Gather & Grow would be a good fit.