One of the great opportunities we have at Little Hands Pediatric Therapy is that we can provide services in the child’s natural environment, be that at home, at school, or in the community. Therapy that takes place in natural environments utilizes the child’s daily routines, materials, and considers their cultural differences.
Below are some examples of skills we may work on in different environments:
- For a child working on feeding skills such as expanding their diet, we may provide feeding therapy at home in the child’s kitchen. This allows the child to help prepare foods that the family would typically eat and try them at their own kitchen table with parents or caregivers, just as they would at mealtimes.
- For a child working on fine motor skills or visual-motor integration, we might see them at their pre-school or private elementary school where they are having difficulty with play or writing tasks. We will work with the teachers, giving them strategies and suggestions for accommodations for the child.
- For a child working on sensory processing skills, we may see them for some sessions at home, others at school, and others in the community. We may run errands with the family and help them navigate challenging transitions.
- For a child working on early language skills, we may see them at home with their parent or caregiver and work on requesting their toys and snacks, pointing to pictures in their books, and following their routines.
As you can imagine, young children who receive therapy in natural environments may generalize those skills more quickly. The child working on feeding be more apt to try the food again once the therapist leaves, since they have ate it at home once before. The child working on fine motor skills at school will continue to practice with the same materials and support all week. The child working on sensory processing will continue to practice skills while moving through all environments each day. And the child working on early language skills will be able to practice strategies learned with their own toys, snacks, and books all week long.