Sasco River Center is a leader in multi-sensory therapeutic treatments for children and provides comprehensive evaluations including specialized handwriting and feeding/oral motor evaluations. Our evaluation and treatment programs are designed to help children achieve their fullest potential. We understand that each child is unique and requires individualized therapies, so we customize treatment plans from a range of well-respected sensory-integrative techniques and auditory programs. Our team of occupational therapists are dedicated to helping children improve self-awareness, self-confidence, and self-esteem through the medium of play that involves a rich and purposefully directed range of sensory experiences.

What is Sensory Processing?

Sensory Processing is the ability to take in information from our senses, organize it, and make an appropriate response. A child who experiences a disruption of one or several sensory pathways (e.g., sensory-integrative dysfunction, ADHD/ADD, learning disabilities, ASD) will have trouble adapting to environmental demands and maintaining an efficient level of arousal or attention. Sensory processing challenges can manifest in a myriad of ways: impacting behaviors, emotional regulation, social skills, motor coordination, and academic performance.

The brain is surprisingly “plastic” – meaning it can create new neural pathways with therapeutic intervention. In other words, a child who experiences sensory disruption can, through carefully designed activities, retrain his or her brain to process sensory information more effectively. This neurological theory serves as the foundation for all treatment strategies in our practice.

Our occupational therapy sessions utilize a bottom-up approach by strengthening and integrating the sensory systems in order to optimize higher level skills, promote regulation, and facilitate independence.

Does My Child Need OT?

Occupational Therapy (OT) is therapeutic intervention that is focused on areas of “occupation.” Many think of occupation as someone’s job, but at Sasco River Center, we define occupation as everyday activities. For adults, this can be work, but can also be leisure or social activities as well as daily self-care. For our children, their daily occupations include school and academics, play, social interactions and their daily routines (eating, dressing, bathing).  When sensory processing challenges contribute to a breakdown in one or several of these daily occupations, it can make life difficult and frustrating. Occupational therapy focuses on identifying areas in which a child cannot engage in their daily routines successfully and helps to improve or remediate these challenges. 

“Occupational therapy helps children reach their fullest potential and feel more at ease in the world around them.” 

Below are some characteristics that may indicate your child may benefit from OT services. 

  • Over- or under-reactions to stimuli such as touch, movement, sights, sounds and other sensations
  • Quick changes in arousal levels and alertness (levels of energy)
  • Picky Eating
  • Limited attention span or difficulty concentrating
  • Slow or difficult language processing
  • Challenges with transitions
  • Poor frustration tolerance or frequent emotional outbursts
  • Inconsistent ability to follow directions
  • Challenges with play or social skills
  • Decreased balance and coordination (appears clumsy or uncoordinated)
  • Difficulty expressing thoughts or ideas
  • Decreased self-esteem or self-image
  • Lack of confidence or skill with gross motor activities
  • Difficulty with fine motor skills and school performance
  • Messy or illegible handwriting
  • Difficulty with reading or spelling

If your child displays one or more of the above mentioned characteristics please call the office for further consultation or to set up an occupational therapy evaluation.

OT Evaluations

We recognize that each family begins this process with different questions and needs. Every child is unique and at Sasco River Center we provide individualized and high quality evaluations to all of our clients. Please contact us so one of our experienced staff members can help guide you through this process. They will help identify which evaluation is most appropriate for your child.

For Adults

Sasco River Center offers evaluations for adults. This assessment typically begins with an in-office consultation.  After the consultation, our therapists will recommend an evaluation that meets your needs. This evaluation will include diagnostic clinical observations and standardized testing. Each type of evaluation provides a different level of service. Following your evaluation, a therapist will go over the results with you to develop a clearer picture of areas of concern as well as provide you with an action plan for the next steps. 

Untreated sensory processing challenges can contribute to anxiety, social challenges or difficulties with executive functioning as adults. Many of our adult clients feel that their sensory processing challenges went unnoticed or were brushed off during their youth. At Sasco River Center, we believe it is never too late to address these sensory concerns and are committed to helping you feel more successful in the world around you.

Sensory-based OT Sessions

Sasco River Center combines advanced sensory integration therapy with playful techniques, in a safe and familiar environment where the child feels confident and secure. Other techniques, such as listening therapy and/or reflex integration, are included on an as-needed basis to help address underlying issues more quickly.

Some of our clients travel from a distance to come to Sasco River Center for intensive therapy. In addition to your sessions and daily feedback, you will also receive a home program so that you can continue the progress upon your return home.

Telehealth and Remote Services

If you are too far away to take full advantage of our services on an on-going weekly basis, we also offer Telehealth Sessions. This unique platform allows our therapists to provide high quality therapy services remotely. Many of our therapists have experience in telehealth and  can deliver quality treatment sessions over a video platform. You can collaborate with your therapist to develop a plan of care and frequency of treatment that is right for your child. Many clients have noted the positive benefits telehealth sessions have provided when they were unable to access our in-clinic services. 

We can also provide consultative services. Our clinicians can act as a consultant to your local team, working together via technology platforms to create and carry out a cohesive plan of care.

Handwriting Services

Fine motor skills develop from intact bilateral coordination, core strength, and sensory processing abilities. For this reason, our handwriting sessions are not confined to a desk. Rather, we utilize our sensory gym, tactile mediums, and fine motor activities to improve handwriting skills from the ground up. 

Our occupational therapists, trained in the “Handwriting Without Tears” program and other evidence-based curriculums, will work to develop a plan to best address your child’s specific needs. 

Feeding Therapy (Picky Eating)

There are many reasons why a child can have difficulty with feeding. At Sasco River Center we look at the whole picture, taking in your child’s unique needs and strengths and your family routines and priorities to help develop a comprehensive approach to mealtime and eating.

What is Feeding Therapy?

Feeding and the act of eating is a developmental skill. From birth, children learn to develop emotions and routines surrounding mealtime. Some of the first bonds a child makes with their parents are during feeding. As children grow and begin to explore their world, they develop more meaningful and complex relationships with foods. During this phase, children begin to explore foods with their sensory systems (taste, touch, smell, sight, sound). Food begins to play a significant role in their daily habits and routines.

When a child has underlying sensory processing difficulties, visual or fine motor challenges, this relationship with food and mealtimes can become disrupted. They may begin to avoid foods, become upset or behavioral during mealtime and new patterns regarding foods can emerge. Feeding Therapy is an approach that helps to identify these challenging patterns or underlying sensory processing difficulties and help to remediate them making eating a positive and enjoyable experience. Sasco River Center Feeding Therapy is a sensory, oral motor and play-based approach to feeding that alleviates children’s anxiety surrounding foods while building strong foundational skills for success.

Does My Child Need Feeding Therapy?

The following are some signs your child might benefit from feeding therapy:

  • “Picky Eater”, resistant to trying new foods
  • Gagging or vomiting with foods present or during meals (not while eating)
  • Limited diet
  • Developmental history of feeding challenges (bottle/breastfed, purees to solids)
  • Nutritional Challenges
  • Failure to Thrive (FTT) or below growth curve
  • Behaviors or emotions (anxiety, meltdowns) surrounding mealtime
  • Doesn’t ask for food; not hungry often
  • Craves certain foods/tastes/textures. Chooses these above all other foods/snacks
  • Excessive drooling
  • Pockets food or overstuffs while eating
  • Difficulty identifying tastes/smells
  • Overly concerned with how food “looks”
  • Gagging or difficulty with tooth brushing

How can Feeding Therapy Help?

Sasco River Center uses a combined feeding and sensory-based approach to calm and organize your child’s sensory system, making them more available to improving their eating and feeding skills. With the utilization of the Sequential Oral Motor and Sensory Approach (S.O.S) and other oral motor and feeding techniques, Sasco River Center can provide your child with a comprehensive feeding therapy plan. This plan will be specifically targeted toward their needs and the goals and priorities of your family. Therapy can be done 1:1 with our highly skilled feeding therapists or in small groups depending on your child’s needs.

If you feel your child may benefit from feeding therapy or have any questions regarding our oral motor and feeding therapy approaches please call the office.

Auditory Programs

Integrated Listening System

The Integrated Listening System (iLS) is a psychoacoustic therapeutic approach, developed by Dr. Ron Minson and based on the pioneering work of Dr. Alfred Tomatis, using the most advanced technology available.

The ability to listen and differentiate between sounds affects cortical stimulation and nerve pathways related to the following areas:

  • Organization, modulation and attention
  • Speech and language skills
  • Cognitive development
  • Learning and academics
  • Movement, coordination and rhythm
  • Socialization
  • Creativity and personal growth

While iLS programs are available primarily in our clinic, we also can offer an iLS home program that integrates movement with music and that has four preset protocols.

We customize each iLS-based program to a child’s needs, and we support it with home programs, sensory diets and therapeutic services tailored specifically for each child. The result is auditory re-education, which can facilitate remarkable progress toward a child’s targeted functions.

Bike Lessons

Sasco River Center offers private or semi-private biking lessons led by an occupational therapist. Our clinicians are skilled at assessing balance and coordination, addressing sensory concerns, and teaching the techniques needed to help your child learn to ride a bike. Our biking curriculum centers around setting our kids up for success so that they feel empowered, not afraid. Let’s ride!

Bike camps are available during summer and school breaks. CLICK HERE to learn more about bike camp

Summer At Sasco River

Occupational Therapy Intensives

Recent research indicates that therapy is most effective when delivered in “bursts” of treatment. Intensives are sessions designed to accomplish a goal in a shorter amount of time. Typically 3-5 times a week for 1-2 hours a day of occupational therapy based on your therapist’s recommendation and individual treatment goals. These intensive services often start with an evaluation and a goal planning meeting in order to develop the most effective treatment plan.

Intensives are great to help with transitions (i.e., back to school), participation in group activities, preparation for fall and team sports, and/or organization and attention concerns. They can also be helpful when your child is facing a new developmental challenge or whenever your family wishes to enhance or boost ongoing therapy. Many of our clients travel from a distance to come to Sasco River Center for intensive therapy. During your time with us, you will receive a home program so that you can continue the progress upon your return home. 

Auditory/Occupational Therapy Intensives

This is a great introduction to our intensive listening services or as a boost for those who have already completed a listening program. By incorporating occupational therapy during the listening sessions we can truly integrate the whole body. We will work together as a team to design a customized program for your child based on their individual treatment goals.

This is especially useful for those who have trouble listening and attending in a multi-sensory environment, have trouble looking at you when speaking and/or participating in social/group situations.

OT Summer Camps & Programs

Go to our website and click PROGRAMS to see our Summer / Mini-Camp Section for more information

Get in touch today