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Specialized programs

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Our therapists are highly trained, and we are proud to offer specialized interventions and programs designed to meet your child's needs.

Targeted ARFID intervention

We offer specific treatment for avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID). Our occupational and speech therapists utilize a combination of manual therapy paired with positive experiences with food exploration that match the client's sensory needs. Therapists are certified through Dr. Kim DiRe, who is a trauma therapist specializing in the treatment of eating disorders. The goal is to create a chemical shift in the nervous system that diminishes the threat of food, thereby increasing the child's ability and willingness to eat. Read more information on our ARFID program.

MNRI—Brain reconnection: Reflex integration therapy

We offer the MNRI (masgutova neurosensorimotor reflex integration) method as part of our treatment programs in occupational, physical and speech therapy. This innovative therapeutic strategy addresses primary motor reflex patterns, sometimes referred to as primitive reflexes or infant reflexes, and how they influence development and maturation of functional life skills (fine motor, gross motor and speech).

Handwriting programs

Getting It Write is a six-week, specialized handwriting program developed by an occupational therapist and designed for children experiencing an inability to finish homework due to the amount of writing involved, receiving poor grades because the teacher cannot read their writing, avoiding writing tasks and tiring easily when writing. Each week focuses on a different skill that precedes the development of handwriting. The program utilizes a multi-sensory approach to handwriting that includes general body coordination, hand manipulation, strength and motor planning. The program is offered in a group format in the summertime and can be incorporated into your child's individual treatment sessions as well. Read more information on the Getting it Write program.

Also developed by an occupational therapist, the Size Matters Handwriting Program is a research-based program that focuses on teaching specific skills to prioritize matching the correct size of letters to increase legibility when writing. This is done with simplifying and naming letter strokes, then slowly building the child's skill with spacing, formation and consistency with writing.

Sequential oral sensory (SOS) approach to feeding

The sequential oral sensory (SOS) approach to feeding is a pediatric feeding program based on the work of psychologist Kay Toomey, PhD. It is designed to assist children and their caregivers who are experiencing difficulties with feeding. The SOS approach can improve or increase the child's ability to follow a mealtime routine, nutrition and ability to gain weight, oral motor skills, and willingness to interact with and try new foods.

Children of all ages who have difficulty with feeding for any reason are invited to attend. Most sessions are one hour and involve concurrent caregiver education. Home programming is essential to the success of this approach, and we provide support for caregivers to manage the challenges of their child's specific needs related to feeding. Read more information on the SOS program.

Tethered oral tissues (TOTs) and myofunctional program

Tethered oral tissues (TOTs) include lip, tongue and cheek ties. TOTs can affect breastfeeding, bottle-feeding, eating solids, speech sound production, attention, breathing, digestive issues, and dental and facial growth. Our TOTs-trained therapists are here to assess and treat the functional impact of tethered tissues on your child. We work in collaboration with local TOTs-savvy pediatric dentists, oral surgeons, ENTs, orthodontists and lactation consultants to provide comprehensive care for your child, including pre-op and post-op frenectomy services. TOTs therapy is available in Chaska and Savage.

The TOTs program overlaps with the myofunctional program, which is geared toward children ages 4 through adult. Myofunctional therapy picks up where TOTs leaves off, with a primary focus on increasing patient awareness and movement of oral structures. Adults and children able to complete exercises by themselves are eligible to participate in our myofunctional program. Orofacial myofunctional disorders (OMDs) include abnormal lip and tongue resting posture, incorrect chewing and swallowing patterns, dental malocclusions, blocked nasal airways, and speech sound production errors. We might notice them as lisping or slushy speech, tongue thrust, clenching or grinding, mouth breathing, messy eating, or limited diet. Orofacial myofunctional therapy targets the muscles of the face and mouth to improve function for better speech, breathing and eating. The myofunctional program is available in Chaska.

Newborn and infant programs

Our occupational, physical and speech therapists offer their expertise in the wellness, education and treatment of newborns and infants. This includes teaching optimal positioning for development, calming strategies for engagement in daily routines and early communication for language development. Our team of specialists collaborate with early childhood family educators on infant development and the use of infant equipment and positioning. Our clinical intervention services cover breast/bottle feeding, tongue-tie, torticollis-plagiocephaly, failure to thrive/failure to gain weight, brachial plexus/Erb's palsy, strategies for calming and scheduling, early communication assessments and assessments of motor development, and birth trauma/birth injuries. Read more information on our newborn and infant services.

Therapeutic listening

Therapeutic listening is an intervention used with sensory integration principles to enable occupational therapists to more directly address the auditory and vestibular systems. It assists children with listening, motor planning, sensory processing and auditory difficulties. Through the use of electronically altered or enhanced music and specialized equipment, the therapist and family design a program to help children in the areas of focus/attention, sensory processing/self-regulation, balance, coordination, communication and problem-solving.

Capable Kids can provide access to equipment trials, a CD library and ongoing assistance with programming, even after your child has completed his or her clinical therapy sessions. Read more information about our therapeutic listening program.

Comprehensive video fluoroscopic swallow studies

Our speech language pathologists will assist in determining the need for a swallow study, conduct the study with the radiology team, and provide written and verbal assessment of your child's needs in this area.

Aquatic therapy

Our physical and occupational therapists offer individual treatment sessions at our Chaska Community Center location in an environment where they can use the buoyancy of the water to assist with mobility and functional movement. In addition, the resistance of the water allows the therapists to target specific areas to strengthen. This unique environment provides the opportunity to address sensory needs in a functional environment as well. Aquatic therapy can help with tasks that are too hard on land or provide an extra opportunity to maximize skills in a new way. It is a great adjunct to traditional therapy as well as a standalone service.

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