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Program Description


OT 4 KIDS ASSOCIATES, INC. provides pediatric occupational therapy to preschool through elementary school aged children (3-10 years). Our therapy program consists of sensory integration and neurodevelopmental exercises and activities. Each child's therapy program focuses on specific areas of need determined by presenting functional difficulties and initial evaluation. Areas of concern identified by parents are an integral part of therapy goals and objectives. Children are treated individually and most are seen on a once a week basis for one hour. When appropriate the children may engage in therapeutic activities with other children and therapists. Home exercises and activities are recommended and important to support progress in therapy. Duration of therapy is dependent upon each child's progress. Consultation with parents and other professionals, who may be working with the child are considered in this determination.

Therapy sessions typically emphasize full body movement exercises and provide multi-sensory input to muscle, joint, skin receptors, along with input to the vestibular (inner ear), auditory and visual systems. Fine motor exercises focus on hand strengthening and development to enhance manual dexterity, refined precision and control along with visual motor capabilities related to handwriting function. Sensory Motor strategies are utilized to promote attention and self-regulation.

A child's therapy may include:

    • The Handwriting Without Tears Program
    • Therapeutic Listening TM
    • The Perceptual Enrichment Program (PEP)
    • A Sensory Life Style Plan
    • Alert Program Strategies TM
    • The Zones of Regulation TM
    • The S.O.S Approach TM
    • The Astronaut Program TM



Special Focus Additional Programs


The Perceptual Enrichment Program (PEP), developed by Occupational Therapist, Patricia Theisen, is a sequentially designed approach to identify and remediate visual perceptual difficulties. It is based upon the teachings of child development experts such as Piaget, Luria and Mahler. PEP is a short-term, hands-on program, which helps students master early cognitive and developmental concepts necessary for creative thinking and problem solving. PEP combines readily with on-gong OT and enhances the assimilation of related skills such as: gross and fine motor planning, self-confidence, problem solving, time management and creativity.


Through a series of tabletop puzzles and activities, students are taught to solve increasingly difficult perceptual problems. Areas of focus include: spatial organization, recognition of parts to whole relationships, figure ground perception, classification (attention to details) and inferences and abstractions (logic). These areas are vital components not only to perceptual development, but to motor and language development as well. PEP facilitates neural connections via teaching perceptual skills in a graded and developmental sequence. Prior to beginning the program Pre-testing to measure baseline ability is given and following completion of the program Post-testing is administered to measure progress.


PEP enhances development in the following areas:

    • Handwriting and drawing ability, spatial planning and execution
    • Processing and integrating information
    • Problem solving and organization
    • Integrating skills
    • Bilateral Coordination
    • Improved ability to manage homework independently
    • Academic performance
    • Self-confidence


What is The Zones of Regulation Program?

The Zones of Regulation curriculum contains lessons and activities developed by Leah Kuypers, MA, ED, OTR/L to help children gain skills in self-regulation. Self-Regulation can be defined as self-control, self-management, and impulse control. It is further described as the best state of alertness of both the body and emotions for the specific situation. This program helps children recognize when they are "in" specific zones (blue, green yellow or red) and teaches them how to use sensory motor strategies to change or stay in the appropriate "zone". The Zones Program includes enjoyable hands-on activities and exercises. The Zones Curriculum may be included in a child's individual therapy sessions or in a structured group setting. These groups are offered in the Fall and Spring. The Zones groups provide children the opportunity to apply their learning in active, social interactions and games with other children. This program helps to give children:

    • A vocabulary for emotional states
    • Improved ability to read body language/expression
    • Perspective taking in terms of how others see and react to their behavior, as well as insight into events that trigger their behavior.
    • Greater understanding of personal space and "expected behavior"
    • Knowledge of sensory motor tools and strategies that "work" for them personally
    • Identifying the "size" of the problem and appropriate reactions
    • Social Thinking TM concepts are also introduced


What is the Alert Program?

The Alert Program developed by Mary Sue Williams, OTR/L and Sherry Shellenberger, OTR/L, is effective as a part of a child's OT program. The purpose of the Alert Program is to help students learn to monitor, maintain and change their level of alertness so that it's appropriate to the situation or task. The Program consists of a series of lesson and activities that incorporate sensory integration strategies with cognitive approaches. The Alert Program is designed to:

    • Teach children, parents and teachers how to recognize arousal states as related to attention, learning and behavior
    • Help children recognize and expand self regulation strategies for use both in the classroom and daily life
    • Help parents and teachers understand that behavior may reflect the child's nervous system and the child's best attempt to respond adaptively to the demands of a situation or task


What is Therapeutic Listening?

All of the senses (touch, movement, smell, taste, hearing and vision) contribute to an individual's understanding of the world and enhance skill development. Occupational therapists using a sensory integration frame of reference have long recognized the auditory system as one of the seven senses that may not be operating optimally in children with sensory integration and processing difficulties. Anecdotal and case study evidence support the usefulness of auditory interventions in improving children's functioning related to sensory integration and processing. Therapeutic Listening uses sound stimulation in combination with sensory integration techniques, emphasizing vestibular stimulation along with postural and movement strategies. This program uses music that is electronically filtered to provide sound stimulation that focuses on specific ranges or bandwidth of frequencies. This allows the therapist to emphasize specific frequencies to achieve desired outcomes. Therapeutic (TL) is an individually designed therapist directed program done in the home using specialized headphones and modulated music. This program is often a powerful adjunct to clinic therapy in affecting change and enhancing a child's progress. TL coupled with OT treatment can improve:

    • Organized Behavior
    • Self-regulation
    • Postural Control
    • Bilateral Coordination
    • Body Awareness and Praxis (Motor planning)
    • Fine Motor Control and Temporal Spatial Organization
    • Decrease Sensory Sensitivity (to sound, touch and multisensory experience)
    • Attention
    • Ability to read body signals (hunger, toileting, sleep)


The S.O.S. approach to Feeding Difficulties.

The Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) approach is a developmental feeding therapy that allows the child to interact with the food in a playful, non-stressful way. It helps increase the child’s comfort level by exploring different properties of foods, including the color, shape, texture, smell, taste and consistency. It integrates posture, sensory, motor, behavioral/learning, medical and nutritional factors to comprehensively evaluate and manage children with feeding/growth problems. SOS focuses on increasing a child’s comfort level by exploring and learning about the different properties of food and allows a child to interact with food in a playful, non-stressful way, beginning with the ability to tolerate the food in the room and in front of him/her; then moving on to touching, kissing, and eventually tasting and eating foods.


The Astronaut Program

Astronaut Training is a precise, powerful, therapeutic protocol that is designed to develop optimal vestibular function, an essential foundation for all sensory processing and movement control. This protocol is administered by therapists, who have received advanced education (certification) through Vital Links, Inc


751 Alameda de las Pulgas, Belmont, CA. 94002
Phone: (650) 592-1112 FAX: 1 (866) 814-7781