The pediatric occupational, physical and speech therapy Services at Wild Roots may look a little bit different than what you are expecting!

We look at the underlying root causes of concerns.  What caregivers and teachers see might be defiance, difficulty following directions, poor handwriting, inability to ride a bike, scripting language, and stuffing food. What we might see is retained primitive reflexes, trauma responses, poor core strength, decreased body awareness, difficulty moving their body to match their ideas, and much more!  

When we change what we’re looking for, we change what we see, and we change what we do to help! In some sessions we work one on one with kids, some sessions are in a group, sometimes caregivers watch, other times they relax and then we provide ideas for home. It depends on the family, the child, and the day!

What Pediatric Occupational Therapists Do.

Pediatric Occupational Therapists work to improve children’s global development including physical, cognitive, and foundation skills such as sensory processing to assist the child and family in maximizing their success in all areas of daily life.

Occupational therapists work on children’s primary occupations: playing, learning, making friends, and being part of a family.

Pediatric Occupational Therapists work with children with autism, sensory processing disorder, fine motor and/or feeding delays, visual motor and handwriting challenges, developmental differences secondary to trauma, and much more.

Want more information about occupational therapy in different environments (schools, clinics, mental health settings, nursing homes, etc.), click here.

Our therapists are highly trained in the areas of sensory processing and trauma. “Sensory processing challenges have been shown to negatively impact emotional regulation and self-regulation.  A developing area of trauma treatment utilizes sensory-based interventions to target these concerns.
There is promising evidence for the use of these interventions as part of an integrated treatment approach.”  Complex Trauma in Children and Youth: A Scoping Review of Sensory Based Interventions. Kerry Fraser, Diane Mackenzie, and Joan Versnel. Occupational Therapy in Mental Health.  2017 Vol 33, No 3.  199-216

 

For more information on our professional training in sensory processing please click here.

Speech Therapy

Pediatric speech therapists evaluate, diagnose,  and treat communication challenges, both expressive (saying words) and receptive (understanding language), that cause children to have difficulty with verbal communication.

Speech therapy also treats oral motor concerns, such as chewing and swallowing, as well as articulation, auditory processing, and social skills. Speech therapists can help establish varied methods of communication including augmentative devices.

Our speech therapists have extra training for Gestalt based language acquisition which is common in the autistic population.  These language learners learn in larger units of words first, rather than single words. Embracing this type of developmental language learning can help kids acquire new language/skills through their unique style. 

“Andy taught us how to encourage my daughter to use language and increase her vocabulary. He was very easy to work with and made the sessions enjoyable. She cried when we had to leave therapy!”

JM, Parent

“I just wanted to let you know how much we appreciate Janelle! Since day one, she has been patient and professional.  We are implementing several different methods to meet his feeding needs and expand his diet and are already seeing progress!  He always looks forward to speech (which hasn’t always been the case!) and his language skills are really taking off too!”

TS, Parent

Kids and Even Babies can Recieve Physical Therapy!

Who might need to see a Pediatric Physical Therapist? Kids who have challenges with balance, abnormal walking patterns, poor core stability, or poor posture.

The reasons behind these challenges could be bone/muscle issues, sports related injuries, or genetic, brain, spine, or nerve disorders or even unknown reasons that are impacting their gross motor skills.

Who might need to see a Pediatric Physical Therapist? Kids who have challenges with balance, abnormal walking patterns, poor core stability, or poor posture.

The reasons behind these challenges could be bone/muscle issues, sports related injuries, or genetic, brain, spine, or nerve disorders or even unknown reasons that are impacting their gross motor skills.

Infant with teething ring- Red Flags at 6 months: Can't hold head/body up during tummy time. Can't roll from stomach to back and back over. Can't sit up alone for at least 60 seconds
toddler with black hair and laughing, playing with blocks. Red Flags at 12 months- Can't crawl on hands and knees. Can't pull up and maintain a standing position. Can't move from belly to back sitting.
Toddle playing with toys in a brightly lit family room. His back is to us. Red Flags at 18 months- Can't stand or walk independently. Can't crawl up and down the stairs. Doesn't explore their physical enviroment.
Male toddler playing outside and wearing a coat. Red Flags at Two Years. Can't walk up or down stairs with support. Can't run. Can't throw a ball
Chlidren laying on their back with their hands over their eyes. Red Flags at 3-5 years. Can't jump or hop on one foot, or balance on one foot. Can't throw a ball 10' or catch a ball with just hands. Can't pedal a tricycle
School aged children, wearing bright clothes, jumping into the air. Red Flags School Aged. Low endurance or strength, poor posture sitting or standing. Can't skip, hop, do jumping jacks, ride a bike. Can't keep up with peers during recreation.
A toddler spoon, being held by a child, in a bowl of rice. Feeding Red Flags. Not tolerating table food solids by 12 months. Not transitioning from bottle/breast to cup by 16 months. Not weaned off baby foods by 16 months of age.
Toddler eating a banana and holding the banana skin and smiling. Feeding Red Flags- Avoiding all foods in a specific nutrition group, avoiding all foods with a specific texture. Food range of less than 20 foods.
Male toddler with yogurt on his face and his tongue out trying to lick it.Feeding Red Flags Family is fighting about food, feeding and mealtime. Parent reports that the child is difficult for everybody to feed. Infant/Child cries/arches back at most meals.
Toddler with blonde hair and blue eyes holding a toy phone to his ear. 12-18 Months Speech Red Flags. Cannot follow 1-step directions such as "give me the ball". Doesn't point to make requests or shake head yes/no, clap or high 5. Doesn't use some words for people, body parts, action
Toddler girl with brown hair and a clip in her hair. 2-4 Year old Speech Red Flags- Expressive Language. Doesn't have 75 words and talk about items they see around them. Doesn't use words like in, on, under or ask "why?". Doesn't put 3 words together into a sentence.
Toddler girl with brown hair and a clip in her hair. 2-4 Year old Speech Red Flags- Expressive Language. Doesn't understand opposites like stop/go, big/little. Can't follow a 2-step direction such as "get your shoes and put them by the door". Doesn't understand new words quickly
Woman helping a young boy blow on a pinwheel. She is holding his cheeks in her her finger 3-4 Year Old Speech Red Flags-Expressive Language. Doesn't use words to answer questions to who, what and where. Doesn't use 4-word sentences or talk about their day. Doesn't use pronouns such as I, you, me, we and they.
Woman helping a young boy blow on a pinwheel. She is holding his cheeks in her her finger 3-4 Year Old Speech Red Flags-Expressive Language. Doesn't use words for family such as brother, grandmother, aunt/uncle. Doesn't understand some color and shape words. Doesn't answer yes/no questions accurately.
Group of children in a classroom, they are sitting on a soft mat and looking at cards with letters on them. 4-5 Year Old Speech Red Flags- Receptive Language. Doesn't understand first, next, last. Doesn't understand yesterday, today, tomorrow conecpts. Doesn't understand categories for objects.
Group of children in a classroom, they are sitting on a soft mat and looking at cards with letters on them. 4-5 Year Old Speech Red Flags- Receptive Language. Can't name familiar letters and numbers. Doesn't use sentences with actions words like jump, play, get. Doesn't verbally tell a short story or continue back and forth conversation.

Our Mission:

We support, connect, and enrich the lives of individuals and families across Montana.

You will find approachable staff, a cup of coffee, and a therapist working WITH you and your family to reach your goals.