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Occupational Therapy

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Our Residential programs have significantly increased the use of occupational therapy services for their clients over the past year, with the expert guidance of Director of Occupational Therapy Jessica O'Connor, MS OTR/L. When a client is admitted to one of our residential programs, staff work with them to complete a Collaborative Safety Assessment (CSA), which provides information about the client’s coping skills, triggers, and prior history. Over the past year, the CSA has been updated to include occupational therapy strategies, so that clients can identify up-front the treatment approaches that they might prefer, and all staff are aware of the techniques that will work best for a particular client.

To support that goal, every Y.O.U., Inc. residential program participates in ongoing OT trainings in which staff learn more about the various sensory systems, and how utilizing tools that provide sensory input -- such as weighted blankets and stress balls -- can help a client to feel calm and regulated. These trainings are hands-on, allowing staff to practice using the materials so that they’ll feel comfortable in providing them to clients.  Each residential program has access to an occupational therapy space and OT equipment, and many programs have a weekly occupational therapy group run by their own program staff.  The programs also provide OT bins with materials the clients can use in their rooms, and have adopted more hands-on activities to help clients process their emotions.

Many of our programs have also adopted relaxation practices that are completed either during the school day or as part of the bedtime routine. These techniques include a different relaxation strategy for each week day: Mindful Mondays, where clients participate in meditation activities; Tranquil Tuesdays, in which clients participate in Brain Gym exercises; Weighted Wednesdays, when clients participate in deep pressure strategies; Thoughtful Thursdays, as clients participate in guided imagery activities; and finally Physical Fridays, when clients participate in yoga exercises. 

Thanks to these innovative OT services, our clients leave residential care with greatly-improved self-regulation skills, and creative coping mechanisms that will help them long after they’ve returned to their homes and communities.

 

 

  


Creative TherapiesThe Y.O.U., Inc. Creative Therapies Committee is excited to share our quarterly newsletter. Click on the links below to learn how programs across the agency are using these innovative practices!

Yoga & Mindfulness

Winter & Holiday Projects

Exercise & Wellness

Aromatherapy&Sensory Tools

Music Therapy

Play Therapy

Crafting in Therapy

Writing as Therapy

Movement in Therapy

Art Therapy

Pet Therapy

Ecotherapy