Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is a type of treatment that is needed when a physical disability or health problems make it hard to move around and do everyday tasks. It helps you move better and may relieve pain. It also helps improve or restore your physical function and your fitness level.

The goal of physical therapy is to make daily tasks and activities easier. For example, it may help with walking, going up stairs, or getting in and out of bed.

Speech and Language

Speech and language therapists work closely with infants, children and adults who have various levels of speech, language and communication problems, and with those who have swallowing, drinking or eating difficulties.  The role can involve working with a diverse client group, including people with physical and learning disabilities, hearing loss/deafness, psychiatric disorders or dementia. Therapists assess a client’s needs before developing individual treatment programs to enable each client to improve as much as possible.

Treatment plans often involve other people with whom the client has a close relationship, e.g. family, care givers and/or teachers. SLTs usually work as part of a multidisciplinary team, alongside other health professionals such as doctors, nurses, psychologists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists. They may also liaise with professionals in education and social services.

Cognitive Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): is a psychotherapeutic approach that addresses dysfunctional emotions, maladaptive behaviors and cognitive processes and contents through a number of goal-oriented, explicit systematic procedures. The name refers to behavior therapy, cognitive therapy, and to therapy based upon a combination of basic behavioral and cognitive principles and research. Most therapists working with patients dealing with anxiety and depression use a blend of cognitive and behavioral therapy.

This technique acknowledges that there may be behaviors that cannot be controlled through rational thought. CBT is “problem focused” (undertaken for specific problems) and “action oriented” (therapist tries to assist the client in selecting specific strategies to help address those problems). CBT is thought to be effective for the treatment of a variety of conditions, including mood, anxiety, personality, eating, substance abuse, tic, and psychotic disorders.

Common features of CBT procedures are the focus on the “here and now”, a directive or guidance role of the therapist, a structuring of the psychotherapy sessions and path, and on alleviating both symptoms and patients’ vulnerability.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy is the therapeutic use of work, self-care, and play activities to increase development and prevent disability. It may include adaptation of task or environment to achieve maximum independence and to enhance the quality of life.” If, at any point in our lives (whether present at birth or onset at a later time), illness, injury or disability prevents us from effectively or independently functioning in one or more “occupational” areas, then it is the job of Occupational Therapy to provide intervention which will help you regain function, maintain level of functioning, or make accommodations for any deficits you may be experiencing. One’s occupation can therefore be defined as the way in which we occupy our time. Thus, our time is divided into three categories of activities in which we take part daily:
Self-Care: sleeping, eating, grooming, dressing, and toileting

Work: effort that is exerted to do or make something, or perform a task

Leisure: free, unoccupied time in which one chooses to do something they enjoy (i.e., hobby, tv, socializing, sports, “chill out”, read, write, listen to music, travel, etc.) If you read these very carefully, you will see that any task or use of our time during the day fits into one of these three categories. 

This is critical to understand as our basis for the meaning of the term “occupation”. It IS how we spend our time; whether paid or unpaid, restful or fun, obligation or choice and that which fulfills us, gives us purpose, and allows us to interact with, be productive, and function in the world around us to the best of our ability.

Behavioral Therapy

Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA): previously known as behavior modification,[1] is the application of behaviorism that modifies human behaviors, especially as part of a learning or treatment process. Behavior analysts focus on the observable relationship of behavior to the environment. By functionally assessing the relationship between a targeted behavior and the environment, the methods of ABA can be used to change that behavior. Methods in applied behavior analysis range from validated intensive behavioral interventions—most notably utilized for children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD)[3]—to basic research which investigates the rules by which humans adapt and maintain behavior.

“Applied” means practice, rather than research or philosophy. “Behavior analysis” may be read as “learning theory,” that is, understanding what leads to (or doesn’t lead to) new skills. (This is a simplification: ABA is just as much about maintaining and using skills as about learning.) It may seem odd to use the word “behavior” when talking about learning to talk, play, and live as a complex social animal, but to a behaviorist all these can be taught, so long as there are intact brain functions to learn and practice the skills. That is the essence of the recovery hypothesis–for many children, the excesses and deficits of autism result largely from a learning ‘blockage,’ which can be overcome by intensive teaching.

Typically developing children learn without our intervention–the world around them provides the right conditions to learn language, play, and social skills. Children with autism learn much, much less easily from the environment. They have the potential to learn, but it takes a very structured environment, one where conditions are optimized for acquiring the same skills that typical children learn “naturally.” ABA is all about how to set up the environment to enable our kids to learn.

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