Why we provide an intensive model of treatment at ot4kids, London?
Traditionally, Occupational therapists treat children 1-2 times per week, oftentimes for years. We prefer to provide intensive blocks of treatment for children receiving OT.
Research from the SPD Foundation indicates that children actually benefit more from intensive blocks of treatment. This is the chosen model of treatment at Lucy Miller’s STAR centre in Denver, Colorado. I am a huge FAN of this model.
Since 2011, I have also been providing intensive blocks of OT treatment sessions followed by a break, and then another intensive block. The frequency of the intensives vary based on the individual child and family’s situation, however they can for example run from 2-4 times per week over a 3-5 week period. Children then have a break for 4-8 weeks followed by another intensive block of treatment. In time, the breaks tend to be longer and longer. The break is a fantastic time for children’s to solidify their new skills and integrate them into daily life. During this break, kids often participate in their favourite activities whether it is going to the park, swimming, horseback riding, learning to ride a bike, cooking or having play dates.
Benefits of intensive blocks of OT treatment:
Personally, this model of treatment has been beneficial in my clinic for many reasons:
- Due to the plasticity of the child’s brain, kids are making faster progress and skills are integrating better
- For school aged children, intensive blocks can take place during holidays and half-term breaks
- Families from out-of-town or overseas can access services
- Parents find it encouraging that they can do other fun activities with their kids during the breaks and continue to see progress
- Less burn-out from therapy and kids are excited to come to OT