Children's Intensive Therapy NW - Specialists in Habilitation and Rehabilitation

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy at CIT help children improve their ability to perform everyday tasks. They evaluate and treat individuals from infancy through adolescence. Therapy consists of the acquisition of developmental milestones through gross & fine motor play, development of self-care abilities, social skills, handwriting, oral motor, behavior, sensory integrative development and more.

  • Outpatient Clinic serving children, adolescents and adults
  • Facilitate individual and group treatment sessions by providing targeted, evidence-based intervention
  • CIT focuses on purposeful activities related to specific life-skills
  • Develop and participate in the therapeutic feeding group Growing Eaters for children and their
  • caregivers to address feeding challenges
  • Conduct skilled occupational therapy evaluations using standardized and non-standardized methods
  • Recommend and implement appropriate home, school, and community accommodations
  • Create individualized home exercise programs to increase functional carry over while delivering patient and family education
  • Collaborate and supervise occupational therapy services provided by Certified Occupational Therapy

CIT  OT’s also sees children with ADD, ADHD, FAS and Sensory Integration Disorders.  Children with diagnosis such as Autism or children labeled as having behavior or attention problems often have underlying sensory processing problems.  CIT offers direct, ongoing, one on one therapy we can help children and their parents out of what may seem to them an overwhelming and chaotic world.  As they gain the skills to integrate their sensory systems and process the world around them, they begin to have energy left over to concentrate on school work.  They learn to identify and self regulate their activity level, can better control their behavior in a busy classroom, and the many transitions associated with a normal school day often become easier for them to handle.
Common Conditions Evaluated:
  • Developmental Delay
  • Sensory Integration Disorder
  • Feeding and Oral motor problems
  • Down Syndrome
  • Drug Affected/Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders 

Treatments May Include:

  • Fine & Gross Motor Development
  • Balance and Coordination
  • Gym Time
  • Sensory Integration
  • Oral Motor/Feeding Therapy
  • Neurodevelopmental Therapy with casting (coming soon)!
  • Strengthening
  • Splint Fabrication
  • Home and School Equipment Recommendations
  • Adaptation of Daily Activities
  • Parental/ Family Education
  • Teacher Collaboration

Sensory and Autism

A child or adult who has autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often has trouble communicating and interacting with other people; his or her interests, activities, and play skills may be limited. Occupational therapy may help people with autism develop these skills at home and in school.
CIT occupational therapists study human growth and development and a person’s interaction with the environment through daily activities. They are experts in the social, emotional, and physiological effects of illness and injury. This knowledge helps them promote skills for independent living in children with autism and other developmental disorders.
CIT occupational therapists work as part of a team that includes parents, teachers, and other professionals. They help set specific goals for the child with autism. These goals often involve social interaction, behavior, and classroom performance.
CIT occupational therapists can help in two main ways: evaluation and therapy.
The therapist observes children to see if they can do tasks they are expected to do at their ages -- getting dressed or playing a game, for example. Our Therapist will observe how the child interacts with his or her environment so that he or she can better assess the kind of care the child needs. The therapist might note any of the following:
  • Attention span and stamina
  • Transition to new activities
  • Play skills
  • Need for personal space
  • Responses to touch or other types of stimuli
  • Motor skills such as posture, balance, or manipulation of small objects
  • Aggression or other types of behaviors
  • Interactions between the child and caregivers
Once an our occupational therapist has gathered information, we can develop a program for your child. There is no single ideal treatment program. But early, structured, individualized care has been shown to work best.

Occupational therapy may combine a variety of strategies. These can help your child respond better to his or her environment. These OT strategies include:
  • Physical activities, such as stringing beads or doing puzzles, to help a child develop coordination and body awareness
  • Play activities to help with interaction and communication
  • Developmental activities, such as brushing teeth and combing hair
  • Adaptive strategies, including coping with transitions

The overall goal of a CIT occupational therapist is to help the person with autism improve his or her quality of life at home and in school. The therapist helps introduce, maintain, and improve skills so that people with autism can be as independent as possible.
These are some of the skills occupational therapy may foster:
  • Daily living skills, such astoilet training, dressing, brushing teeth, and other grooming skills
  • Fine motor skills required for holding objects while handwriting or cutting with scissors
  • Gross motor skills used for walking, climbing stairs, or riding a bike
  • Sitting, posture, or perceptual skills, such as telling the differences between colors, shapes, and sizes
  • Awareness of his or her body and its relation to others
  • Visual skills for reading and writing
  • Play, coping, self-help, problem solving, communication, and social skills
By working on these skills during occupational therapy, a child with autism may be able to:
  • Develop peer and adult relationships
  • Learn how to focus on tasks
  • Learn how to delay gratification
  • Express feelings in more appropriate ways
  • Engage in play with peers
  • Learn how to self-regulate
You may have heard a lot about sensory integration therapy. That’s because some researchers estimate that eight out of 10 children with autism have problems processing sensory input. For example, they can’t filter out background noise. Other signs of processing issues include:
  • Problems with balance
  • Problems with body position in space
  • Over sensitivity to touch and the feel of certain types of clothing, such as socks with seams
With autism, social, behavioral, or attention problems can be partly a result of these sensory challenges.
Although more research is needed, OT can help with sensory integration and some of the related behavioral problems. Research suggests sensory integration therapy is less helpful in improving academic performance.
Examples of sensory integration therapy include:
  • Being brushed or deeply touched and massaged
  • Compressing elbows and knees
  • Swinging
  • Spinning on a scooter
  • Wearing a weighted vest