•   How Does Therapy Help?

    Our pediatric therapists “play” with children to maximize each child’s potential by providing individualized incremental motor, sensory or language challenges that require a child to perform with a little more skill each time.  Children learn through therapeutic play. It is similar to a child that has difficulty with math; a math tutor can significantly improve the child’s math performance thus a therapist can improve a child’s sensory, motor or language performance. In addition, when a child engages in “just right” challenges not only does learning occur in that area of function but also a great impact is made on his/her social/emotional development, self esteem and peer relationships.

  •   How should children react to therapy?

    A child should WANT to see his/her therapist every week as he/she knows this person understands him/her and his/her needs.  Your child will simply view therapy as “play” with a special person they love to see.

  •   What does therapy look like?

    Since therapy is play, it looks just like play.  The child is not aware that every step of the way a therapist has a therapeutic goal in mind and is moving towards those goals each and every session. Many of the “toys” are only available in therapy catalogs however others are highly familiar and can be played with in a new therapeutic way.  Each treatment session is planned and customized for an individual child’s needs, goals and speaks to that particular child’s inner drive.

  • How do you explain to a child that they will be going to therapy?

    Depending upon a child’s age and understanding it is usually best to inform him/her that you found a person that “plays” with children just like them. This person really understands “what is tricky” for them and can help make it a lot easier.

  • How long does therapy generally last?

    Private therapy can last from 3 months to 2 years depending on the severity of the child’s needs, parent’s goals and observable progress. The parent is the “boss” and is in charge of the length of time they want their child seen. Early Intervention or Preschool (4410) services follow the IFSP (Infant Family Service Plan) or IEP (Individualized Education Plan) for the frequency and duration of service.

  • Should I wait to see how my child does this year in school before we begin therapy?

    Documented Research states that the greatest benefits from therapy are achieved at a younger age. As a result, it is recommended that a child receive an evaluation to uncover the underlying deficit areas as soon as your concerns arise. You can get a clear understanding from our motor and language experts about your child’s strengths and areas of concern. In addition, it is always helpful to get feedback from your child’s teacher.  Find out if he/she has any concerns & bring them to our attention.

  • How do I begin therapy? What do I need to get started?

    Please contact admin@wtstherapy.com to provide us with some basic information, receive our policies and a questionnaire will be sent to you. This questionnaire provides us with developmental information as well as your current concerns about your child. Feel free to fill out this questionnaire in order to help you decide whether or not you want to move forward with therapy. You will need to provide us with a current prescription for OT, PT or ST services (feeding). If you plan on submitting your invoices for reimbursement the prescription must have a diagnostic code from your child’s doctor. This diagnostic code will then appear on your invoices. Please call our office if you need assistance with what the appropriate diagnostic or procedure codes would be for your child.

  • Is private therapy covered by insurance? Who pays for private therapy?

    Most insurance companies pay for “medically necessary” therapy. Our office helps every way we can by providing invoices that are “insurance ready” and progress reports as requested. Invoices include all the diagnostic and procedure codes necessary for your child. The parent pays directly for services and get reimbursed from their insurance company as we do not manage insurance reimbursement.

  • How is private therapy different from therapy offered at the school district?

    Therapy offered in a school district focuses on the “measurable” academic delays.  If a child’s difficulties are not “measurable” and not significantly below average a child will often not get approved for therapy services through his/her school district.  Private services can provide for those difficulties that a parent feels is holding his/her child back despite the school not identifying them as significantly below average.  School based services follow the frequency and duration as identified in a child’s IEP and private services follow the frequency and duration as requested solely by the parent.  School district services are of no cost to the parent and private services must be paid for out of pocket.

  • Who pays for Early Intervention (EI) or Preschool (4410/CPSE) services?

    If your child is approved for EI or CPSE services there is no out of pocket expense. These services are free. Please see services for Early Intervention (EI) and Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE).

  • What classes might be helpful for my child?

    Classes in ice skating, martial arts, horseback riding and swimming often make a wonderful impact on children with various types of difficulties. Of course this is dependent on the age and ability of your child, your individual therapist should be consulted.

  • What if my child has been approved for preschool or school age service?

    If your child has been approved for services through your local school district at the preschool or school age level simply give us a call. We just need to know the frequency that has been approved and the school district within which you reside. We can call your district for you and let them know of our availability to service your child. We are an approved NYS provider for OT, PT and ST therefore, your district may already have a contract with us or one can be entered into without delay.

  • Children who no longer qualify for services or do not qualify for summer services.

    If your child no longer qualifies for services through the school but you still feel they need support, private therapy is an option.  Children can be seen in our clinic during or after school/camp or during evening hours.

  • Will my child outgrow his/her difficulties?

    We believe that if a child has a difficulty that is interfering with his/her daily functioning it makes sense to get a “tutor”. This also holds true for sensory / motor / language functioning. If a child has a difficulty or delay in sensory, motor or language functioning a therapist can make a definite difference in the child’s daily life. The teacher and the parent may not know how to intervene to help and as a result the concerns may not resolve. “Practicing” a skill may help with that one skill but therapists are trained to understand the foundational skills that may be interfering. Our therapists work on the foundational skills so that a child can independently begin to master his / her environment.

  • What is Sensory Integration dysfunction?

    Sensory Integration is the ability to put the pieces of incoming sensory information from the environment together. Sensory information comes from the skin (tactile), inner ear (sense of balance/head position), joints/muscles (for body awareness) (proprioceptive system), visual, auditory, taste and smell. A person needs to respond effectively to these incoming sensations so they can act on and in the environment effectively.  When a child is not registering sensory information accurately or is not able to act on it effectively they may have Sensory Processing Difficulties.

  • What causes Sensory Integration dysfunction?

    Sensory Integration dysfunction or sensory processing difficulties are not caused by anything the parent did or did not do.  Sensory processing difficulties are simply a weakness  for the child. We all have strengths and weaknesses and children do as well. If the child’s weakness in sensory processing is significant enough to interfere with a child’s self esteem and / or ability to engage in the environment Occupational therapy services would be indicated.

  • Do all children on the autism spectrum have Sensory Integration difficulties?

    It is believed that 98% of children on the autism spectrum have sensory integration difficulties. Children on the spectrum typically have a different way of perceiving the environment. This different sensory perception can interfere with the child’s ability to attend, communicate with others, have peer relationships and can interfere with learning. This alternate way of perceiving the environment can be highly distracting resulting in an attention to less relevant stimuli rather than focusing on the stimuli that are necessary to complete a task.

  • Are there strategies that I can learn to help my child at home?

    There are many strategies that can be provided to a parent to help their child at home. Once a therapist gets to know your child a home program can be provided that includes exercises, activities and suggestions that take into consideration your individual child’s current level of functioning. If you have not yet started therapy an initial evaluation can be performed and you can be provided with ideas of what you can do at home.

DEVELOPMENTAL
MILESTONES

INFANT & TODDLER


0-2 months

  • Holds head up well off mat when on stomach
  • Holds legs up when lying on back
  • Becomes active when toy is seen
  • Responds to a smile with a smile
  • Cries differently for hunger, pain and fatigue

 

3 months

  • Grasps a rattle or small toy placed in hand
  • Brings hands together and to mouth
  • Looks at feet and hands
  • Sees objects at a distance of about 12 inches
  • Watches your mouth when you talk face to face
  • Makes cooing sounds
  • Responds to Mother’s voice

 

4 months

  • Brings hands together over chest & touches fingers while on back
  • Rolls from stomach to back
  • Reaches for a toy when held in a sitting position
  • Begins to babble using different sounds such as p,b,m

 

5 months

  • Brings feet to mouth when lying on back
  • Feels feet with hands
  • Holds bottle with both hands (may also pat it)
  • Looks for object when it is slowly moved out of sight
  • Smiles at self in front of big mirror
  • Laughs with pleasure
  • Uses mouth to explore environment

 

6 months

  • Rolls from back to stomach
  • Sits briefly without help
  • Holds a bottle to mouth by self
  • Has full color vision
  • Turns toward the source of normal sound
  • Grabs own foot while lying on back
  • Imitates speech sounds
  • Responds to soft sounds especially talking
  • Anticipates feeding

 

7 months

  • Crawls forward on stomach
  • Gets into sitting position without help
  • Uses hand and mouth to explore objects
  • Passes a small object from one hand to the other
  • Eyes track 180 degrees from side to side while sitting

 

8 months

  • Plays peek-a-boo
  • Bangs toys and other things together
  • Feeds self finger foods
  • Drinks from cup held by adult
  • Vocalizes for attention

 

9 months

  • Crawls or otherwise gets around well
  • Pulls self up to stand (but not to get down) using furniture
  • Releases objects intentionally
  • After seeing object covered by cloth, picks up cloth
  • Pulls on a string to get a toy
  • Makes more sounds (m,n,t,d,h,p,z)

 

10 months

  • Looks closely at tiny object
  • Looks at familiar objects when named

 

11 months

  • Pokes into holes with index finger
  • Pushes or rolls a ball
  • Throws things just to see what happens

 

1 year

  • Walks sideways while holding onto furniture
  • Grasps thick crayon or pencil in fist as if to mark, but may not mark
  • Turns thick pages (such as cardboard)
  • Watches own thrown objects
  • Helps to pull off simple clothing and extends arms & legs to help with dressing
  • Puts objects into a container
  • Waves bye-bye
  • Says 1 - 2 words
  • Makes “ma-ma” or “da-da” sounds

 

1 yr 1 month

  • Walks alone (up to 8 feet)
  • Enjoys looking at pictures in books
  • Identifies 3 body parts

 

1 yr 2 months

  • Bends or squats to pick up an object and stands up again without falling
  • Climbs onto furniture
  • Pushes toy while walking
  • Hands things to others
  • Makes a stack of 2 blocks

 

1 yr 3 months

  • Marks independently on paper with crayon or pencil
  • Puts something in and then gets it out of a container

 

1 yr 4 months

  • Seems to recognize self in mirror
  • Scribbles spontaneously & freely with crayon, marker, or pencil

 

1 yr 5 months

  • Begins to run
  • Drinks from a cup or glass and sets it down without much spilling
  • Builds tower of 3 blocks
  • Scoops food and brings to mouth with some spillage

 

1 yr 6 months

  • Gets spoon in mouth right-side up with little spilling
  • Throws a small ball (over- or underhand) a few feet while standing
  • Likes to push and pull objects
  • Says at least 6 words
  • Follows simple directions (Bring the Ball)
  • Points or makes sounds or tries to use words to ask for things
  • Says “no”, shakes their head or pushes away things they don’t want
  • Uses words like “more”, “mine” and “no”

 

1 yr 8 months

  • Turns regular book pages by self (may turn more than one at a time)
  • Stacks a 4-block tower
  • Begins to use 2 words

 

1 yr 9 months

  • Walks both up & down stairs alone at least 2 steps with both feet on each step
  • Uses play dough, paint, and paper
  • Turns pictures right-side up if given upside down
  • Scribbles without going off paper
  • Asks “what’s that?”
  • Follows a 2 step related command (pick up the ball give it to me

 

1 yr 11 months

  • Matches pictures to real things
  • Completes a 1- to 3-piece puzzle or form board
  • Strings 3 one-inch beads with long-tipped lace

 

2 yrs

  • Jumps with both feet leaving the floor at the same time
  • Imitates drawing a vertical line
  • Kicks ball forward with either foot without support
  • Uses 2 to 3 words in a sentence
  • Says about 50 words
  • Recognizes familiar pictures
  • Likes to imitate their parent
  • Builds a tower of 4 blocks
  • Shows affection
  • Independently drinks from cup

 

2 yrs1 months

  • Runs in a coordinated way
  • Unbuttons large, easy buttons

 

2 yrs 2 months

  • Identifies 4 body parts on self (hair, mouth, feet, ear, nose, hands, eyes)
  • Throws a large ball

 

2 yrs 3 months

  • Turns regular book pages one at a time
  • Answers simple “who”, “what”, “where” questions
  • Identifies 4 actions

 

2 yrs 5 months

  • Matches circle, triangle, or square when shown how
  • Understands 500+ words

 

2 yrs 6 months

  • Runs easily
  • Grasps pencil with thumb and fingers instead of fist
  • Uses 200 intelligible words

 

2 yrs 7 months

  • Makes small cuts (snips) on line w/child-safe scissors & some help
  • Eats with a fork
  • Builds a tower using 8 cubes
  • Understands simple spatial concepts (in, on)

 

2 yrs 9 months

  • Uses small beads and pegs
  • Points to 6 body parts in a picture when asked
  • Understands size concepts (big/ little)

 

2 yrs 11 months

  • Strings half-inch beads
  • Points to pictures of objects by use
  • Verbalizes recent experiences
Westchester Therapists working with infant and toddler

PRESCHOOL

 

3 yrs 0 months

  • Pedals a tricycle
  • Puts on their shoes
  • Plays with other children for a few minutes
  • Repeat common rhymes
  • Uses 3 to 5 word sentences
  • Does finger plays while singing little songs
  • Copies a circle with pencil and paper
  • Names at least 1 color correctly

 

3 yrs 2 months

  • Kicks a ball 10 feet
  • Begins to ask questions

 

3 yrs 5 months

  • Walks up and down stairs, alternating feet, hand on rail
  • Says 4 to 5 word sentences
  • Understands in front/ behind
  •  

3 yrs 6 months

  • Grasps pencil with thumb, index, and middle fingers
  • Counts 5 objects aloud
  • Points to or names 4 basic colors
  • Builds a tower of more than 9 blocks without help
  • Strings (hard tipped) at least 8 half-inch beads into a simple pattern
  • Standing, throws a small ball overhand toward a person who is at least 6’ away

 

3 yrs 9 months

  • Completes a 4- or 5-piece puzzle
  • Mastered sounds b, d, k, g, f, y

 

3 yrs 10 months

  • Places at least 6 small pegs in board holes
  • Describes object use

 

3 yrs 11 months

  • Goes up stairs without support, alternating feet
  • Buttons and unbuttons quarter-inch buttons
  • Names 5 of 5 different colors like red, blue, yellow, orange, black, white, or pink

 

4 yrs 0 months

  • Draws a person with 3 different body parts
  • Follows 3 step direction

 

4 yrs 1 months

  • Copies a vertical-horizontal cross
  • Pedals a tricycle around obstacles and makes U-turns

 

4 yrs 3 months

  • Runs around obstacles and turns corners
  • Colors almost entirely within lines of 4-inch wide circle
  • Very intelligible in connected speech

 

4 yrs 5 months

  • Climbs rungs of playground slide ladder and slides down unassisted
  • Describes pictures using sentences

 

4 yrs 6 months

  • Sorts objects by color, size, and shape
  • Copies a square
  • Bounces a ball 2-3 times
  • Catches a beanbag with hands and chest
  • Uses verb tenses

 

4 yrs 7 months

  • Pumps and maintains momentum on a swing
  • Cuts out a big circle with scissors
  •  

4 yrs 9 months

  • Begins to jump rope
  • Feels objects without looking and identifies circle, squares, and triangles
  • Counts objects aloud to at least 6

 

4 yrs 10 months

  • Draws some simple, recognizable objects
  • Uses complex sentences (We went to the store and bought milk)

 

4 yrs 11 months

  • Places 1-1/4” paper clip on paper
Westchester therapist works with preschooler on swing

SCHOOL AGE

 

5 yrs 0 months

  • Hops on one foot, 8-10 hops
  • Jumps over knee-high obstacles with both feet together
  • Draws a face with mouth, nose, and eyes
  • Dresses and undresses adequately without help
  • Prints own name, but not clearly
  • Understands 2,500 - 2800 words

 

5 yrs 4 months

  • Reads and writes numerals to 5
  • Draws a person with 6 or more different parts
  • Tells familiar stories without picture cues
  • Understands same / different

 

5 yrs 6 months

  • Balances on one foot for 12 seconds
  • Skips using alternate feet at least 4 times
  • Prefers to use either right or left hand
  • Names most uppercase but not most lowercase letters
  • Recognizes own name when printed with lowercase & capital letters

 

5 yrs 7 months

  • Prints own first name in either uppercase or lowercase letters without a model
  • Uses all pronouns

 

5 yrs 9 months

  • Cuts well with scissors
  • Reads simple 3-letter words that are paired with familiar pictures

 

5 yrs 11 months

  • Does 8 or more push-ups
  • Does 5 or more sit-ups
  • Follows simple words with eyes and finger while adult reads
  • Catches a small ball with two hands
  • Rides a bike

 

6 yrs 1 months

  • Prints all numerals 0-9 and all letters without copying
  • Understands approximately 13,000 words
  • Mastered most speech sounds but may have difficulty with blends such as spl, tr
  • Understands opposites
Westchester therapist works with School Age boy

TESTIMONIALS

TOP

450 Mamaroneck Ave, Suite 412, Harrison, NY 10528    Phone 914.686.3116    Fax 914.686.3082    info@wtstherapy.com

Servicing Westchester County children & their families for over 25 years!

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