As we make way into 2015, we are constantly looking for ways to take steps forward in our lives. Whether this is personally, professionally, or philanthropically, the start of a new year provides each of us with the opportunity for new adventures and growth.
At Intermountain, growing in service is integrated into our work. You have made it possible for us to provide occupational therapy to a growing number of children – helping to keep them and their families healthy!
You may initially think of occupational therapy as something only for adults; kids, after all, do not have occupations – a child’s main job is playing and learning.
At Intermountain, occupational therapists work with the entire family to address a variety of skill sets that are important for children to have in everyday life. A few examples include fine motor coordination and dexterity for academic work, social skills necessary for positive relationships, and sensory processing awareness in order to engage with the world without fear or hesitation.
For a number of years, we have offered occupational therapy to the children in our residential treatment and day treatment programs on the Helena campus. In June of 2014, we excitedly opened our doors to the children and their caregivers in the community so they can receive these services in an outpatient setting. You have helped us meet this need, and families are already experiencing the positive impact occupational therapy can have in a child’s life. One parent writes:
“The Intermountain Occupational Therapy Clinic is the best thing that has happened to our family this year. After months of searching and waiting for a program to fit the needs of our son and family, Intermountain changed our lives for the better. Our son’s weekly therapy sessions were creative, engaging, and specific to his needs. Our AMAZING therapist, Lisa Sommers, was loving and gentle with our son, and he loves his time ‘working’ with her. Lisa included our entire family in this growth process and was supportive and encouraging. Our son’s improved fine motor skills, core strength, problem solving abilities, confidence, and social and emotional development are just a few of the many extraordinary gifts that we received during our experience with the Intermountain Occupational Therapy Clinic. Thank you!”
Your gifts to Intermountain allow us to reach out to the community through exciting programs like occupational therapy. As we strive to set in motion positive steps toward stronger, healthier communities, we appreciate your partnership. Happy Adventures in 2015!
Learning Skills and Improving Focus – More than Childs Play
Occupational therapists work on a child’s fine motor skills so they can grasp and release toys and develop good handwriting, address hand-eye coordination to improve kids’ play and school skills, help kids with behavioral disorders to maintain positive behaviors, and work with kids who have sensory and attentional issues to improve focus and social skills.
This type of therapy requires an arsenal of tools, from blocks and textured balls to weighted vests and Cozy Sacks. Children work on a variety of skills while they are visiting the clinic and at home. Your gifts help provide children and families with the training and tools they need to find success.
“One of my students has always responded well to deep pressure input to help him feel calm and safe. With Intermountain’s help, we were able to obtain a Cozy Sack (which is like a small sleeping bag made of nylon and spandex material that stretches with body movements). He did not hesitate to jump in! His first response was “it feels like a hug all over!” He now uses the Cozy Sack when he feels overwhelmed, frustrated, or sad in our Occupational Therapy sessions, in his classroom, and even in therapy. It has been a great tool to address his sensory needs, as well as assist with building his sense of self-regulation and self-control.” -By Michaela Parker, Intermountain Occupational Therapist