Services that help your child grow

All of our programs are personalized for each child after a one-on-one evaluation by our qualified professionals.  We take time and care in explaining to parents evaluation results and ensure parents are equipped to take therapy techniques home to improve the overall well being of the family and create the best possible chance for your child's future success. 

We provide support in these main areas:

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Still have questions?

 

What is Pediatric Occupational Therapy?

For children and youth, occupations are activities that enable them to learn and develop life skills (school activities), be creative and/or derive enjoyment (play), and thrive (self-care and care for others). Play is the media most often used in the Occupational therapist’s treatment of children. The act of playing is an important tool that influences a child’s life.
 
The primary goals of childhood are to grow, learn, and play. It is often through play that children learn to make sense of the world around them. It is a child’s “job” or “occupation” to play to develop physical coordination, emotional maturity, social skills to interact with other children, and self-confidence to try new experiences and explore new environments. Recommended interventions are based on a thorough understanding of typical development and the impact of disability, illness, and impairment on the individual child’s development, play, learning, and overall occupational performance.

How do I know if my child could benefit from OT therapy? 

Does/did your child struggle with: 

  • Reaching developmental milestones of sitting, crawling, and walking?

  • Learning at an age appropriate level?

  • Developing age appropriate play and social skills?

  • Coloring, drawing, tracing, prewriting shapes?

  • Poor handwriting, letter/number formation?

  • Not developing a hand dominance at an age-appropriate time?

  • Avoiding tasks and games that require fine motor skills?

  • Going up and down stairs?

  • Poor ball skills?

  • Poor balance?

  • Coordinating both sides of the body?

  • Understanding the concept of right and left?

  • Crossing the body midline during play?

  • Avoid tasks and games that require gross motor skills?

What can occupational therapy help with? 

  • Fine Motor Skills: grasping a pencil, cutting paper, coloring or drawing
  • Handwriting Abilities
  • Task & Memory Skills
  • Delayed Motor Skills: jumping, skipping, climbing or riding a bicycle
  • Oral Motor Skills & Feeding Difficulties
  • Sensory Processing: over or under responsiveness to touch, movement, sounds, or tastes
  • Social Skills
  • Dressing: tying shoes and managing buttons, snaps or zippers
  • Visual Perception Skills: Puzzles, letter spacing and sizing

How do I know if my child has sensory

integration issues?

  • Some signs of sensory processing difficulties are:
  • Overly sensitive or under reactive to sight, sounds, movement, or touch.
  • Can’t get “enough” sensory input: moving, bouncing, squeezing, or mouthing.
  • Difficulty with behavioral and/or emotional regulation. Easily overwhelmed (may result in overexcitement, meltdowns or shutting down.)
  • Has poor muscle tone, fatigues easily, leans on people, or slumps in a chair. Uses an inappropriate amount of force when handling objects, coloring, writing, or interacting with siblings or pets
  • Is clumsy, falls frequently, bumps into furniture or people, and has trouble judging position of body in relation to surrounding space.
  • Has difficulty learning new motor tasks; experiences frustration when attempting to follow instructions or sequence steps for an activity.
  • Avoids playground activities, physical education class, and/or sports
  • Difficulty learning how to play or get along with other children
  • Difficulty with everyday activities like eating, sleeping, brushing teeth or getting dressed
  • Problems learning to color, cut, draw or write
  • Difficulty transitioning from one activity or place to another
  • Challenges in school, including attention, organizational perception and listening skills.

What should I expect at our first appointment?

In the initial evaluation, the therapist will perform an assessment to identify how we can best meet your and your physician’s concerns. The therapist will then discuss the results with you and review the recommended treatment options. If the therapist recommends physical or occupational therapy, you will be given instructions about how to schedule appointments. We will also communicate our findings with your child’s referring physician or certified nurse practitioner. 
We know that your child may feel anxious about their visit, so we will do everything we can to help them to feel comfortable from the moment they arrive. Our therapy areas are child-friendly--bright, colorful spaces filled with toys and games. If your child is young, telling them that there will be “no ouchies” or “boo boos” may help. For an older child, you might explain that there will be no shots. 
The most important thing you can do for your child is to make sure a parent or caregiver attends every therapy session, even if your child is a teenager. One of our primary goals is to give your entire family skills and knowledge to help your child gain the greatest benefit from therapy.
Guidelines for determining frequency of therapy service are used to help decide how often and for how long your child could benefit from therapy. We believe in ongoing communication with a child’s family, physicians and teachers to ensure appropriate treatment.  Our therapists will work with you to develop the most appropriate and effective plan of care for your child. From the day your child enters therapy, our primary goal is to help your entire family develop the skills and knowledge to help your child continue to thrive after the course of treatment ends.
 
Your child and you will benefit most from the therapy session if you are not distracted by caring for other children. If you must bring other children, we ask that you supervise them closely at all times. Please bring toys or books to keep them busy; they are not permitted to play on therapy equipment or with toys used in therapy.

Do I need a referral before we start our therapy

Yes, a doctor's referral is required before scheduling an evaluation. Please consult with your pediatrician or family doctor to get a referral. ​

How do I pay for my child's appointments?

Helena OT will bill insurance for payment of sessions. Coverage of occupational therapy is dependent on your specific plan, so it is recommended to check with your insurance carrier for details. 

What insurance do you cover?

We currently cover the following insurances: 
  •  Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Allegiance
  • Medicaid
  • Cigna
  • Aetna
  • EBMS
  • Pacific Source
  • MT Health Co-op

Still have questions?

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info@helenaotspecialists.com

1325 Euclid Avenue #3

Helena, Montana 59601

(406) 422-7729

© 2020 Helena Occupational Therapy Specialists