Children—Sensory/Motor

HOW DO I KNOW IF MY CHILD NEEDS THERAPY?
In general, watch for movement and temperament issues. Look for balance, vitality, an ability to settle, and to respond to stimulus. See details below.

CAN MY CHILD BE COORDINATED AND STILL HAVE ISSUES WITH SENSORY/ MOTOR?
Yes. Sensory processing involves balance, listening, integration, sense of touch, movement, and smell. Children may be skilled in one area yet may be struggling or compensating in other areas. An assessment will help determine the underlying struggles your child has, and can help you to develop a plan of supportive interventions.

WHAT IS SENSORY PROCESSING OR SENSORY INTEGRATION?
These are terms that speak to the ability to process information in the body, specifically the 5 senses. Touch, sound, general tissue tone, pressure, body position, sight, and smell all underlie the ability to attend, think, and stay in relationships. When children are highly sensitive, they may become easily overwhelmed in what appears to be “normal” situations. Sensory processing refers to our natural ability to take in information from our many senses, interpret this information, and then plan and act accordingly.

sensory1For example, when a child hears a horn, he would turn his head toward the sound and then look to see who has arrived or if there is danger. The child would then respond appropriately by waving to a familiar adult or running to protect himself. A child with sensory processing disorder (SPD) may be highly sensitive to sounds and, therefore, cover his ears and run away without looking to get more information. A child who is overly sensitive may appear to ignore the information. Children or adults with SPD often misperceive information from their environment and/or their bodies which makes them respond in ways which are difficult to understand. Your child may be very bright and still demonstrate these challenges. Getting an accurate assessment of these underlying issues may help to stop limiting you or your child’s full potential. See our sensory processing workshops for parents, teachers, caregivers and professionals that provide invaluable insight into your child and his behaviors.

CAN SOMEONE HELP MY CHILD LEARN TO RIDE A BIKE AND TO DO OTHER NORMAL ACTIVITIES?
We can help your child develop the coordination to do so and support you to teach your child other motor skills to support his development. These abilities greatly enhance a child’s ability to “fit-in” with peers and to develop friendships and good social skills. If the child’s motor difficulties are too severe, then we can help you and your child learn how to compensate, using alternative movements or activities to support play and exploration.

CAN MY CHILD HAVE SENSORY PROCESSING ISSUES AS WELL AS ADD OR ADHD?
sensory2Yes, if your child seems abnormally hyper (active), sensitive to changes, and not able to stay focused on an activity, then he could have some type of attention deficit. This will require testing and evaluation from our therapists as well as a medical diagnosis from a Healthcare provider or Doctor. Sensory processing issues go hand in hand with ADD and ADHD, and therapy can often help to decrease the severity of these symptoms. There are many alternative approaches that have been successful with this population, and sometimes medication is warranted. A good evaluation is crucial to determine if any of these aspects are involved.

HOW DO I KNOW WHAT IS NORMAL BEHAVIOR FOR MY CHILD’S AGE?
Screenings and extensive evaluations give you clear information about your child’s functional level in relation to age and peer group. Our professionals offer both screenings and evaluations.

Communication Issues

communication1
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY CHILD NEEDS SPEECH THERAPY?
There are developmental guidelines around speaking by a certain age range that are considered normal. For instance, many children should start attempting to say their first words at around 1 year and begin to pair words around their second year of life. Our professionals can help you to determine if a language or speech delay is present for your child. Contact us for a simple screening to find out more information. You can also find developmental guidelines on the Internet and in books.

Feeding Issues

WHAT ARE FEEDING ISSUES AND HOW CAN A FEEDING THERAPIST HELP MY INFANT WITH BOTTLE OR BREAST FEEDING?
feeding1Early feeding can be a difficult task for many infants. Early support and intervention can make a world of difference for the mother and baby. By evaluating the way an infant sucks, how they coordinate swallowing and breathing, and other factors that are influencing their ability to eat, we can make adjustments and provide supports for them. A feeding therapist will evaluate the muscles of the mouth and body, feeding position, bottle/nipple type if applicable, swallowing skills, and many other factors that affect sucking, swallowing, reflux, and distress around feeding.

WHAT DOES A FEEDING/SWALLOWING EVALUATION LOOK LIKE?
During an assessment we evaluate the sensory and muscular systems during play with oral stimulation that does not involve food or eating. The session includes a bit of play, some oral play, and then a “snack.” We recommend that you provide foods from home so that your child will be familiar with the foods and demonstrate skills that are consistent with those seen at home.

WHAT ARE SOME SIGNS THAT MY CHILD MIGHT BENEFIT FROM A FEEDING EVALUATION?

  • Coughing or choking more than 1-2 times per day
  • Food or liquid coming out the nose
  • Poor weight gain
  • Food refusal or turning away (not related to typical toddler refusals)
  • Fatigue during or after meals
  • Changes in breathing during meals
  • Arching or discomfort during or after meals
  • Changes in the sound of the voice during meals
  • Meals taking more than 45 minutes
  • Food remaining in the mouth after meals
  • Food not being fully chewed prior to swallowing (this may be apparent in their bowel movements)

 

Autism and Aspergers Syndrome

Is Your Child Suffering from AUTISM?                                                                                                          

Autism typically appears during the first three years of life. It is a developmental disability and neurological disorder that interferes with the brain’s ability to process information. Does your child struggle in these areas:

  • Relationship development
  • Social interaction
  • Verbal and non-verbal communication
  • Ability to play.

Children who cannot send accurate signals to caretakers often struggle socially. These signals make communication effective. Autism takes away the instinctive part of parenting and leaves parents wondering what to do to help their child. It disrupts the quality of life for  families.

Qualified Coloroado Therapies Clinicians can help your child navigate the world to the best of his abilities

HOW DOES OUR CENTER (Colorado Therapies) ADDRESS THIS ISSUE?

Qualified therapists offer a variety of options to help improve the quality of life for the children and families affected by autism. We offer:

  • Imagine! Preferred Providers therapists
  • Assessments and testing
  • Intervention and consultation
  • Individual and group programs from a wide variety of disciplines all under one roof.
  • Individual speech-language
  • Occupational, physical and behavioral therapies
  • Group programs that provide movement opportunities and chances to make some new friends

On a more alternative route, we offer complimentary therapies including accupuncture, massage, nutritional counseling, neurological interventions that address re-patterning—sensory processing issues—and family systems counseling for help to support the families who are affected by this condition. In keeping with nurturing the quality of life for children and families, we offer parent education/information and training opportunities as well.

Our independent contractors have experience and training with using the following approaches/programs with children with Autism:

  • Therapeutic Listening Program
  • Sensory Processing (including the SIPT)
  • Relationship Development Intervention (RDI)
  • Floortime
  • TEACH
  • Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA)
  • Lindamood-Bell Phoneme Sequencing Program
  • KidsClub (A Social Skills group)
  • Nutritional Counseling
  • Brain Integration Therapy & Naturopathic Medicine

Is Your Child Suffering From Asperger’s Syndrome?


Asperger’s Syndrome does not typically get diagnosed until a later age and tends to affect boys more often than girls. It appears also as social awkwardness. A developmental and neurological disability, Aspergers results in:

  • A lack of social skills
  • Difficulty having reciprocal conversations
  • Intense interest in a preferred subject
  • Pedantic-like speech
  • Little empathy and difficulty making friends
  • Clumsiness
  • An inability to make sense of nonverbal communication.
  • According to research, “the mean age for a diagnosis is eight years of age, but the age range varies from very young children to adults” (Eisenmajer et al. 1996 in Asperger’s Syndrome by Tony Attwood p. 22).

Unfortunately, children diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome often fall through the cracks. They tend to have many strengths that help them achieve academically which helps them during the first few years of school. As social interactions, relationships, and language skills become more sophisticated and abstract, children with Asperger’s Syndrome fall behind their peers in these areas.

This social lag triggers a flurry of theories generated by school personnel, friends, and family that tends to compel caretakers to seek assistance from professionals. Common questions from parents, teachers, and caretakers are:

  • Why doesn’t my child or this child fit in?
  • Why can’t he make friends?
  • How come he can know so many facts in a number of subjects but can’t grasp phrases like ‘in one ear and out the other?’”

Like Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome also interferes with the quality of life for everyone involved. It invariably results in social anxiety and very often depression over repeated failures at trying to connect with peers.

HOW DOES OUR CENTER (CTAC) ADDRESS THIS ISSUE?
We offer a variety of programs to help children diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and their families restore their quality of life. We offer similar programs to this population as we do with children diagnosed with Autism. Those services include assessments, intervention, and consultation via individual and group programs from a wide variety of disciplines. On a more traditional route of intervention, we offer individual speech-language, occupational, physical and behavioral therapies. We offer group programs that provide movement opportunities and chances to make some new friends.

On a more alternative route, we offer complimentary therapies including acupuncture, massage, nutritional counseling, neurological interventions that address re-patterning—sensory processing issues—and family systems counseling for helping to support the families who are affected by this condition. In keeping with nurturing the quality of life for children and families, we offer parent education/information and training opportunities as well.

Our independent contractors have experience and training with using the following approaches/programs with children with Asperger’s Syndrome:

  • Therapeutic Listening Program
  • Sensory Processing (including the SIPT)
  • Floortime
  • TEACH
  • Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA)
  • Lindamood-Bell Phoneme Sequencing Program
  • KidsClub (A Social Skills group)
  • Brain Integration Therapy & Naturopathic Medicine
  • Nutritional Counseling
  • Relationship Development Intervention (RDI) (see below)

WHAT IS RELATIONSHIP DEVELOPMENT INTERVENTION (RDI)?
It is an approach to working with spectrum disorders that treats the whole child and his family. This would be best answered by visiting the website at: www.rdiconnect.com. We also encourage parents to find out more information at: www.autismboulder.org to receive optimal support and community links for this condition.

 

Counseling / Psychotherapy

HOW DO I KNOW IF MY CHILD IS SUFFERING FROM A MENTAL DISORDER?
There are complex variables to take into account when answering this question. Trust your concerns as a parent, especially if you notice that your child responds differently or excessively in ways that seem strange to you. Your concern warrants further investigation. We believe that parents are the experts on their children, and we encourage families to ask questions and to get evaluations. Our professionals are able to evaluate this question, and then provide feedback and treatment for such disorders.

WHAT IS A FAMILY INTENSIVE?
A focused time to support your family to enjoy each other through developing better communication, resolving hidden struggles, understanding each other’s needs, and generally getting along better. Intensives help because focused time allows for old patterns to be released and new learning to occur. For families with small children, parenting skills will also be taught. Timing and scheduling can be designed by your individual therapist. This can also be arranged to address attachment issues.

WHAT IS A COUPLE’S INTENSIVE?
counseling1A focused time to explore what is needed in your relationship. It is often a time in which you can clarify your love and shift patterns that interrupt intimacy. Learning how to deal with the “little things”, keeps them from getting larger. For some this means learning how to listen; for others it may mean finding ways to nurture and enjoy each other. Sometimes it means learning to negotiate conflict and parenting issues. Sometimes issues are often related to touch and sexuality needs.

Treatments include a 2-hour couple session and a one- hour individual session per day. Typically couples arrange to stay a week and book a local hotel.

WHAT IS PRENATAL AND PERINATAL WORK AND WHY IS IT VALUABLE?
Prenatal work explores how we behave toward ourselves and others, especially under stress. It works with early imprints of trauma or shock that occurred as one’s first response patterns in the nervous system. Sometimes this work helps us see that we may be doing exactly the wrong behaviors to get our needs met. These needs include intimacy needs, contact needs, and needs of development. They can range from co-dependence issues to being overly independent. Often these responses are set up in the body as defense postures, such as bracing, withdrawing or distracting attention, or as excessive fears of both abandonment and intimacy. Work is done individually or in couples or families. It is extremely helpful with young children struggling with school behavioral issues as well.

AQUATIC WORK
counseling2This is warm water therapy. It involves learning to connect with our deeper self through the medium of the transpersonal, which water can evoke. It also helps re-establish safe and healthy attachment since the womb-like environment can stimulate the body’s earliest memories and help them surface for repair. Your therapist will use movement, expression, containment, and pacing to help you reintegrate and heal. We can also offer relaxing Watsu and Jahara™ Therapies for relaxation and body-mind integration. Currently, we offer off-site Aquatic Therapies and have an on-site pool planned for construction in 2007.

ATTACHMENT WORK
Many people have difficulty in their relationships because they were unable to attach to their parents in a safe and mutually respectful way. This can be due to a variety of reasons including medical trauma at birth, prematurity, illness or separation, adoption, or poor parenting due to abuse or neglect. The Attachment Therapy that we specialize in at our center uses a variety of modalities to help support an individual in making close, well-attached relationships in their lives despite the past trauma. We use Somatic and Body Centered Psychotherapy, Cognitive Therapy, Gestalt Therapy techniques, and Aquatic Attachment Therapy to help clients “re-parent” themselves and to allow support from others in their lives.

WHAT IS SOMATIC PSYCHOTHERAPY?
Soma means body, and somatic work supports ease in the body and use of the body as part of our life story. Rather than talking through therapy, somatic work explores with movement, pacing, and educative touch. It can help one to release long held patterns that are in our pre-cognitive memory and have more vitality and pleasure in day to day interactions.

WHAT IS MEANT BY “DEVELOPMENTAL MOVEMENT”?
This is the movement alphabet from crawling to walking, including even prenatal movements. Learning it helps parents support and understand their child’s language. Parents can also help children with school and study skills when they understand how developmental movement relates to brain development.

HOW CAN TRAUMA AND SHOCK AFFECT ME OR MY FAMILY MEMBER?
These are words that describe the body response to large events that are either overwhelming or chronic. Trauma is treated differently than shock, and is more event-specific. Both form patterns of protection and defense in the nervous system. It is very helpful to release shock and integrate trauma, so one continues to enjoy life and make healthy choices for relating.

WHAT IS BODY-MIND CENTERING®?
This is a movement-based training that opens the body to feel more and to express one’s self in a relational manner, staying present to life circumstance. It is highly-skilled awareness training that uses touch, movement, and integrates the intelligence of emotions, behavior and body systems—such as organs, bones, muscles, glands, fluids, and nerves throughout the body and mind.

WHAT IS SEX THERAPY?
counseling3This is legitimate psychotherapy for individuals or couples who want to understand their sexuality more thoroughly or improve sexual functionality and pleasure. It is not specifically Tantra, which is an advanced study that includes sexual and emotional intimacy. However, certain Tantric practices may be introduced to be explored at home. Tantra supports sacred sexuality, which is a form of sexual awareness that invites one to embrace the spiritual connection that lives within intimate sharing. Practices of mindfulness, pacing, quality of touch, meditation, and awareness are the foundations of this work. Couples can learn ways to improve their sexual experience and communication. Our therapists are credentialed professionals with experience in teaching and in clinical work. Work does not include nudity.

Acupuncture

WHAT IS ACUPUNCTURE?

 acupunctureAcupuncture is the insertion of very fine, sterilized, single-use, disposable needles on the body’s surface in order to influence the physiological functions of the body. The goal of acupuncture is to rid to body of pain, discomfort, or imbalance by stimulating the body’s healing response to bring the body back into homeostasis / balance. Acupuncture is a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine that has been practiced for over 5,000 years.

WHAT CAN ACUPUNCTURE TREAT?
Acupuncture is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine which is a complete medical system that attempts to treat the full range of diseases, acute and chronic, traumatic, infectious, and internal “dis-ease”.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes acupuncture’s treatment effectiveness for over 40 common disorders, including:

  • Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders (toothaches, earaches, sinusitis, rhinitis, laryngitis)
  • Respiratory Disorders (Colds and flu, bronchitis, asthma, allergies, emphysema)
  • Gastrointestinal Disorders (Food allergies, nausea, indigestion, diarrhea, constipation, ulcers, colitis)
  • Circulatory Disorders (Hypertension, high cholesterol, arteriosclerosis, angina pectoris)
  • Urogenital Disorders (Cystitis, stress incontinence, neurogenic bladder, prostates, prostatic hypertrophy)
  • Gynecological Disorders (Menstrual irregularity, endometriosis, PMS, infertility, menopausal syndrome)
  • Musculoskeletal Disorders (Tennis elbow, frozen shoulder, TMJ, Sciatica, low back pain, Arthritis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Fibromyalgia)
  • Psychoemotional and Neurological Disorders (Depression, anxiety, insomnia, headache, migraine, trigeminal neuralgia, intercostals neuralgia, post-stroke paralysis, dizziness, tinnitus)

In addition to these health concerns, Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine treats several hundred other health issues.

WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM MY FIRST VISIT?
Your acupuncturist will conduct an initial consultation at your first office visit, which will include a full medical history and review, Chinese Medical diagnostics and evaluations, discuss treatment protocol that is specific for your health concerns, and discuss whether or not you should consider complimenting your acupuncture therapy with another medical modality. If appropriate, you will receive acupuncture treatment with your first visit.

The results of your first treatment depend on your condition that you are being treated for, physical condition, lifestyle, stress level, among other considerations. Generally, you will feel better. Most patients feel very relaxed and an overall relief. If you are being treated for pain, most often, patients will notice a significant decrease in pain after the treatment; occasionally, the treatment may take a couple of days to settle in. Sometimes, it may take a couple of treatments to encourage the healing process where you will begin noticing significant changes and improvement in your healing and energy levels.

WHO BENEFITS FROM ACUPUNCTURE AND CHINESE MEDICINE? CAN CHILDREN RECEIVE TREATMENT?
Everyone can benefit from Chinese medical therapies. No matter where you are in your healing process, Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can be adapted to your health concerns.

Children are no exception. Depending on their age, comfort level, and imbalance, many children are perfectly relaxed during acupuncture treatment. If this is not a realistic option for your child, there are other options for treatment, including acupressure or teh-shin/laser (instrumentation acupoint therapies), massage techniques, and most often, herbal therapy. Pediatrics is a specialty within Traditional Chinese Medicine and children are given reduced dosages based on their age and weight. There are specially prepared pediatric medical, herbal formulas that make it easy for the child to take (either mixed in juice or water). Chinese Acupuncture is very effective in treating children for colic, the fussiness of teething, earache, diarrhea, cough, and fever in babies and children.

Massage

DO I NEED A MASSAGE?
Most people do! We are a culture that rarely gets enough touch, and touching the skin is similar to relaxing the brain. Helping the body to relax and to feel pleasure is very beneficial for physical circulation and emotional well-being. Our Massage Therapists are trained in Deep Tissue massage, Hot-Rocks, neuromuscular re-education, and a variety of techniques to support healing and overall health. Many clients pair massage with Psychotherapy or other therapies and report that the combination makes the treatment more effective because it improves their connection with their body. Come experience the fun and relaxation these therapies have to offer.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DEEP TISSUE, HOT ROCKS, SWEDISH, AND SHIATSU?
massage

 

Deep Tissue is a bit of a misnomer. We have worked with several professionals and clients of the “ain’t-no-pain-no-gain” mind-set. The idea of deep tissue is slightly different, since massage, while deep, is a gentle and gradual process. Our personal philosophy is that healing is best initiated by the body when in a relaxed state of being. Deep tissue work involves moving the muscles to increase blood flow resulting in better muscle oxygenation which helps to maintain and improve a client’s overall health, and addresses the many layers and levels of the healing process.

Hot Rocks is the use of heated river stones in a massage session. Used with scented or unscented high quality oil, the hot stones may be laid upon or under various parts of the body and massaged with as well. The combination of the heat and density of the stones helps to un-knot tense muscles and promotes a deep sense of well-being and relaxation. (Available here with practitioner Aimee Banks only.)

Traditional Swedish massage is a fast-paced form of massage that really wakes the body up and gets it ready for pretty much anything. The main benefit of this massage is blood circulation and uses rhythmic kneading, wringing or twisting motions. It is not traditionally recommended for those with high blood pressure, although when the movements of the therapist’s hands are away from the body and the pressure is not too firm, it is still very beneficial

Shiatsu is another form of bodywork which is based on Asian principles of meridians or “rivers of energy” that are said to course throughout the body and are governed by various organs and systems throughout. Using the pressure of the thumbs, these meridians are energized or invigorated in much the same way as acupuncture uses needles.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
The benefits of any type of massage are many and can help alleviate issues such as general symptoms of depression or malaise, cellulite, circulation, muscle pain and fatigue, reduce scarring, or aid in post-operative recuperation. Studies have shown that the sensation of touch is crucial in every human being’s development and is just as important as other basic needs such as food, water and shelter.