Are you looking for the best therapy services for your child or adolescent in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area? The Connections Therapy Center can help. We are a family-centered therapy center that uses a holistic approach to working with children. Our team is comprised of the leading experts in the fields of pediatric speech, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and behavior sciences. We take special care to keep on top of the most current advances in research and the most popular therapy trends so that we can offer the proven best services to both parents and children. At The Connections Therapy Center, we’re personally invested in the well-being of your child and your family. Not only do we offer individualized developmental services for your child, we also are able to offer several resources to your family, including training sessions that help your family to address the many facets of raising a child with a disability. We do everything we can to make sure that your child has the most supportive environment for learning and growing and that you feel at ease and confident in your child’s abilities. Read on for a more in-depth look at the services we offer.
We’ve developed our behavioral services program to cater to children and adolescents with autism, communication disorders, and other developmental disabilities. We focus on the core social, communicative, and developmental skills of every child to make them successful in childhood and prepared for independent functioning. Our Board Certified Behavior Analysts make sure that only proven methods are used for each child’s program. Rather than using several methods all at once, we individualize each therapy program for each specific child. In this way, we can ensure that we are using the method that works best for your child. By using one type of intensive behavior therapy, we can better maintain consistency across both home and school, thus increasing the likelihood of positive and transforming results.
Since the “occupation” of children is play, we use games and recreational activities as a means of providing valuable occupational therapy while your child has fun. Dance, art, music, and nature therapy all provide ways for children or adolescents with disabilities to interact with their environments naturally, build strong motor skills, and have fun while learning! For example, gardening offers a child with a disability an opportunity to develop fine motor coordination and muscle strength while also having cognitive, memory, and socialization benefits. Dance and music help a child express their creative side while also improving sensory integration. Our occupational therapy aims to improve feeding, handwriting, bathing, and dressing through the development of fine motor skills, as well as neuromotor and sensory integration skills. At our therapy center, we focus on helping your child to master their seven senses: taste, touch, smell, sight, and hearing, as well as vestibular (the pull of gravity) and proprioception (body awareness and movement). With our occupational therapy program, your child learns how to better master sensory integration, or control of all seven senses at the same time. Mastery of sensory integration is key to developing a sense of self, interacting with one’s environment in a healthy way, and moving on to more complex learning and behavior development.
Physical therapy can be used to diagnose and treat the cause of a child or adolescent’s difficulty with movement, posture, body position, strength, or balance. Damage and abnormalities of the central nervous system are often what cause children to have difficulty walking, chewing, or sitting. Our therapists utilize play, therapeutic exercises, handling techniques, and balance/strength training as ways to help your child or adolescent decrease falls and regain motor control and muscle strength. We strive to help your child improve their functional skills and prevent or limit disability in a variety of developmental areas. Here again, your physical therapist can provide certain environmental modifications to make the environment safer for your child as well as more attuned to your child’s physical and cognitive needs. Not only does physical therapy help your child learn to overcome their physical limitations, but it also helps them to avoid developing certain compensatory patterns of movement that could result in long-term functional or orthopedic difficulties. Learning to control their movement also helps your child to develop relationships with other children, which in turn results in increased emotional health.
Speech and Language Therapy
Speech and language therapy helps your child or adolescent to develop expressive and receptive language development, articulation, social communication, and social skills. The development of these skills is crucial for developing and maintaining meaningful relationships with others. Mastering one’s speech is a great way to open up new opportunities for friendship, which increases your child’s emotional well-being. Our therapists focus on breathing and speaking techniques for a well-rounded approach. We also focus on the cognitive components of speech, such as problem solving and reasoning, so your child will better be able to find the words to express themselves. Many of the skills and functions that we emphasize our therapy on also help children and adolescents form social relationships and enjoy recreational activities with their peers. Our therapists also work with related issues of chewing, swallowing, and feeding.
Family and Parent Training
Just as your child or adolescent can use training to help develop their skills, you and your family also can use training to learn how to best accommodate your child. Our training sessions equip you with the tools necessary for the day-to-day job of raising a child with a disability. We can also connect you to other families of children with disabilities, so you can have someone else who is in a similar situation who you can talk to. Our training sessions include, but are not limited to, such topics as how to find the right local doctors and physicians, what to do when your child won’t brush their teeth, how to encourage your teenager to be more independent, and how to get your child’s school team to listen to your concerns. Our own leading therapists and a selection of knowledgeable and experienced guests speak on these sessions. You have a chance to meet with each speaker to talk about your individual concerns.
The Connections Therapy Center offers help navigating the Individual Educational Plan (IEP) process. Our Special Education Consultants help our families understand the complex IEP process, including understanding timelines, reviewing goals, reviewing behavior plans, documenting communication with the IEP team, understanding the role of the team members on the IEP team, getting their voice heard, and identifying the time for bringing in an advocate. With the combined effort of our professional therapists, our knowledgeable consultants, and you, we’ll make sure that your child is on the right track to meet their development goals as well as their educational goals.
Second Opinion Evaluations
If you still have those lingering, unanswered questions, the professional therapists at The Connection Center can review an existing evaluation conducted by another clinician. We can answer any questions you have as well as put your mind at ease. We can review your existing evaluation and have a private meeting with you to explain the clinical jargon and discuss what next steps you and your family need to take. We can also conduct a second evaluation so that you are positive of your child’s needs. We’re here to guide you through this tough time and get your family on the track to success.
If your child is having trouble speaking, walking, sitting, chewing, or swallowing, you may want to screen your child for a developmental disorder. Identifying a disability early can help put your child on the right track to meet their developmental milestones on time. If a disability goes undiagnosed for too long, a child can develop compensatory patterns that require extra time and effort to unlearn. A developmental screening can put your family’s mind at ease by assuring you that your child is developing normally or by giving you the best team of experts to make sure that your child’s development is guided in the right direction. Our team of specialists are able to screen the following areas: speech and language, social skill, motor, educational/academic, behavior, and mental health.
The Connections Therapy Center
The Connections Therapy Center is a top therapy center serving families of children and adolescents with disabilities. Our team consists of the leading experts in the fields of pediatric speech, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and behavior sciences. We offer intensive, hands-on therapy for children and adolescents as well as resources for families. We are real therapists helping real families with real issues. If you are concerned about your child’s behavior, take a moment to fill out our quick questionnaire. If you’d like to schedule an appointment, call 202-561-1110 (Washington, D.C. office) or 301-577-4333 (Lanham office) or contact us via our website. Want to keep up with our latest news and blog posts? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.