Developmental therapy involves the treatment of delays and disorders affecting general early development.
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Developmental therapy is only available through Indiana’s First Steps program which serves children from birth to 3 years of age.
Enrollment in developmental therapy begins with an evaluation by the First Steps Assessment Team to determine if your child has any developmental delays that would qualify them for treatment through the First Steps program. If the Assessment Team determines that your child qualifies for services, an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) is created specific to your child’s needs to guide therapy. All of our Developmental Therapists have degrees in early childhood development from accredited university programs and all maintain First Steps certification. They participate in many hours of continuing education every year to stay up to date on the latest evidence-based practices.
what to look for
Signs Your Child
May Benefit from
Developmental Therapy Services
There are many reasons why you or your pediatrician may be concerned about your child’s speech and language development including
Delayed Developmental Milestones
Your Child Seems to Favor One Side of the Body Over the Other
Your Child is Not Communicating with You Verbally or Non-Verbally – Responding to name, pointing, eye contact
Your Child is Not Interested in Things Around Him Like His Toys or Other Children
Your Child Has Difficulty Using His Hands or Manipulating Small Objects
Your Child Does not Understand Simple Instructions
Regression in Any Skills
Developmental Therapy is conducted through play. If therapy is determined to be necessary after the evaluation, your early intervention team will recommend how often they feel your child should be seen to make steady progress, typically 2-4 sessions per month. Your Developmental Therapist will prepare each session targeting the goals established in your child’s IFSP through various developmentally appropriate play activities. Often, your child will not even know they are “working”! Parents also participate in therapy sessions. Your therapist will talk to you and demonstrate various techniques and strategies throughout your child’s session so you can help your child until the next visit. At Kidworks we believe that parents and therapists working together results in the best outcomes for our clients.
Kidworks has been a gift to our family from day one. I was a scared and near-tears mom who’s little boy just aged-out of Indiana’s First Steps and was given a list of places to call to get him more help. As I went through the list, the star aligned. I was surprised when the owner picked up the phone that day- a mom who was inspired by her own children and struggles to find help and who was determined enough to open her own clinic to help others. It was amazing how she could read my fear and know that I needed someone to really walk me through not only the process of “what do I do next,” but also support me with being a mom of a child with special needs for the first time. At the end of that conversation, I felt like someone finally knew how I was feeling and I felt confident getting my son an evaluation for services.
One day in my son’s occupational therapy session, we had a giant “light-bulb moment.” Our son was in the corner, staring at the hinges in the door. It was as though he was stuck there and had no interest in any other activity. I remember feeling really embarrassed by it. Then, after a while, Molly, our OT, crawled over to the door and started staring at the hinges with him. I asked her, “What are you doing?” She said, “I’m staring at the hinges. You have to enter his world.”
What she was really teaching me was that if I wanted to connect with my son, in a way he could understand, I was going to have to start seeing the world through his eyes. Meet him where he is at. And, from that day forward, nothing was the same. The growth my son had was incredible. She changed MY thinking, so that I could help my son when my therapist was not there. And now, 10 years later, we still refer to this moment and remind ourselves to get into his world. Just the other day, my husband said, “You need to go look at the hinges.”
We had many services over the years at Kidworks, including Speech Therapy, Music Group, Occupational Therapy, and various social clubs. I owe so many profound experiences in my life to the therapists at Kidworks. My son struggled to talk and spent a lot of time screaming for his needs early on. Then, when he learned to talk, he only spoke back the things he heard. He could say, line for line, every commercial, cartoon, or movie line he ever watched and would say it in a sort of robotic way. He would use these “scripts” to try to communicate with us. For many years, he had never spoken a word that came from his own mind. Then, one day, he said, “I love you” to me and it was different. I wasn’t scripted and it wasn’t spoken in that way where you knew it was from something he watched on TV.
I was lucky enough to be the first one to hear him say words from his mind and his heart and I owe that to Ann, his Speech Therapist. Ann was incredibly supportive and went above and beyond the role of SLP over the years. She watched my son and my family grow not only in size, but in knowledge and confidence. She helped us, help ourselves until the day he “graduated” speech therapy, a truly bittersweet moment for our family.
Many times, when I hear my son chatter on and on today, I think back to those days early on with Ann and think how lucky we were to have her.
I cannot express my gratitude enough to all the therapists that helped my son and my family over the years at Kidworks. Our town is so lucky to have a clinic like this- one that leads with their hearts.
Our Office Address
1120 S Calumet, Suite 3
Chesterton, IN 46304
Give Kidworks A Call