It can feel scary or discouraging to sign your child up for an evaluation of any kind. But having been through multiple evaluation processes elsewhere, we can easily say that our occupational therapy and speech evaluations at Little Light were the least stressful, most enjoyable, and most accurate evaluations we've been through. If you believe your child could benefit from occupational or speech therapy, or if you're looking for a new clinic, we can't recommend Little Light highly enough. We will be forever grateful for the ways they've helped our family.
— Kara, Jonathan's mom
what is occupational therapy?
Occupational Therapy is a health profession that helps people improve the functioning of their nervous systems in order to develop skills, leading to success in everyday life.
Occupational therapy at Little Light focuses on sensory processing and relationship-based direct intervention. We are firm in our belief that our priorities for therapy must be targeted toward your child, their social participation, self-esteem, and your family’s joy in life.
who needs occupational therapy?
If someone has suggested your child may have sensory issues or has sensory processing disorder, we’re here to help. You might notice that your child has trouble doing age-appropriate tasks such as buttoning his shirt, tracing letters, catching a ball, or tying his shoes. Some children may be able to do age-appropriate tasks but have a hard time because of sensory integration problems. If your child avoids movement, hates messy/dirty hands, covers their ears with loud noises, seems like the ‘wild child’ who can never calm, can’t handle tags and seams on clothes, or demonstrates delays with things their peers can do, schedule an evaluation today.
how does occupational therapy work?
A child’s occupation is play, and occupational therapy relies a lot upon fun, enjoyable activities that help your child target their challenge areas. Activities are designed by our therapist to develop relationship, improve sensory processing, strength, and coordination (plus a lot more!). Treatment takes place in our awesome therapy gym where we can use swings, a climbing ladder, and ball pit to help make lasting changes in the way your child’s brain works. We make work look like play, and we make it look FUN…all while YOU are there with us.
what is speech therapy?
Speech therapy is so much more than just speech and talking! Our therapists believe in using play and natural interactions to help kids develop. Communication is one of our most vital, life-long skills. Speech therapy can help children reach communication and speech milestones appropriate for their age; clearly articulate their thoughts, feelings, and ideas; comprehend the language of others; and develop socially. It also contributes to their academic success and emotional well-being. Plus so much more!
Research shows that kids learn best from the people they love and when they are doing something they love! This is why our kids are so successful when they graduate from speech therapy! We know how important it is to use play and the right people (you!) to get therapy done.
Speech delays & early language development
Difficulty understanding language/what others are saying
Clarity of spoken words
Social play & development
Strategies to help with stuttering or a lisp
Speech & engagement for autistic kids
who needs speech therapy?
There is no minimum age for speech therapy! Communication skills begin developing in infancy. Building strong language skills in very young children can set the foundation for strong communication and literacy skills later on. Speech therapy is particularly important for children who aren’t reaching age-appropriate communication milestones, or who are experiencing difficulties such as stuttering or a lisp, or making certain letter sounds in words. Because speech and language patterns become more ingrained over time, the earlier speech errors can be corrected, the better the outcomes are likely to be. We help with a variety of speech therapy-related challenges such as:
how does speech therapy work?
Our SLP team works in the same fun space that our OT team works! They are trained to integrate a sensory-based approach to help kids grow the foundational language and communication skills needed for your child to feel confident and successful. Speech therapy sessions are focused on each child’s individual plan, and the activities done during the sessions are always related to those goals. So, if a person is in speech therapy to better pronounce the “S” sound, they’ll begin by learning how to make the sound by itself and work up to practicing it in conversation. Or if your child is struggling with spoken language and is learning to use an AAC device, our therapists will use child-led play and games to follow their lead and build their communication skills in a meaningful, fun way. And the best part? We’ve got specialty training under our belts. Our therapists are trained in:
Sensory Processing Disorder
what is feeding therapy?
Simply put, feeding therapy helps your child learn how to eat, or how to eat better. We design our therapy around the SOS feeding program developed at the STAR Institute for Sensory Processing Disorder in Denver, CO. The approach is grounded philosophically in the stages and skills of feeding/eating found throughout the continuum of child development. This therapy serves children with food aversions, swallowing disorders, oral motor deficits, and delayed feeding development that can result in a lack of nutritional nourishment.
Generally speaking, feeding therapy is strongly recommended and extremely helpful when your child is having difficulty with actually eating. If your child can’t eat, won’t eat, or isn’t getting proper nutrition due to a very limited diet, we can help.
who needs feeding therapy?
how does it work?
One of the most important components of feeding therapy is YOU, the parent. We involve and support your entire family through the process. The SOS Approach to Feeding is a Play-Based program that teaches children to eat at a pace that respects their readiness to progress through learning the 32 different steps involved in the task of eating. Our therapists teach kids the skills they need in order to eat a wide variety of food types and textures using the natural, social reinforcement of playing with the food and interacting with adults. We take the stress out of eating and make it fun!
what is sensory processing?
“Sensory Processing Disorder or SPD (originally called Sensory Integration Dysfunction) is a neurological disorder in which the sensory information that the individual perceives results in abnormal responses.
Sensory processing refers to the way the nervous system receives messages from the senses and turns them into responses. For those with Sensory Processing Disorder, sensory information goes into the brain but does not get organized into appropriate responses. Those with SPD perceive and/or respond to sensory information differently than most other people. Unlike people who have impaired sight or hearing, those with Sensory Processing Disorder do detect the sensory information; however, the sensory information gets “mixed up” in their brain and therefore the responses are inappropriate in the context in which they find themselves.
who needs sensory processing help?
Is your child struggling to keep it together at school? Do they struggle with self-esteem? Are behavior reports piling up from school? Sensory issues might be the answer. Kids who are struggling with sensory processing difficulties might display some of the following:
how do we help?
We are East Texas’ experts in helping families understand sensory processing disorder! With over a decade of specialized care for children and extensive training to become Level 1 Certified in Sensory Processing Disorder at the STAR Institute in Denver, Colorado, we know what it takes to make a difference for your family. We utilize evidenced-based intervention strategies, following an intensive model developed at STAR. At Little Light, this approach is a proven success in making changes for your child and your family. On top of that? We promise, it really is fun!
Extreme meltdowns & tantrums
Very picky eater, doesn't like the way things feel
Clumsy, disheveled, messy kiddo
Frequent bad behavior reports from teachers
Over-reacts to loud noises, textures, tastes
Often hurts others without realizing it
Does things slowly & struggles to start tasks
Anxious or worried, easily startled or cries
A more formal definition is: SPD is a neurophysiologic condition in which sensory input either from the environment or from one’s body is poorly detected, modulated, or interpreted and/or to which atypical responses are observed. Pioneering occupational therapist and psychologist A. Jean Ayres, Ph.D., likened SPD to a neurological “traffic jam” that prevents certain parts of the brain from receiving the information needed to interpret sensory information correctly.
working as a team
Working with families is a top priority at Little Light. Our desire is for your child’s light to shine for ALL to see, not just us in the clinic! During sessions, parents are deeply involved in play and therapy…every time! On top of that, approximately 20% of all sessions are parent collaboration. We set aside time for adults only, to really focus on making sure parents and other caretakers understand the child’s sensory processing struggles and how to best treat it during the natural course of daily life.
what will we talk about?
That depends! What is important to YOU and for your family? Here, we don’t set goals based on tests or checklists. We sit down as a team, determine what matters to your family, and work together to highlight meaningful changes we want for your child. Your priorities determine our focus in therapy. We’ll also have sessions to problem solve through trouble behaviors and daily struggles that come up for you and your family. Ultimately, we are here for you!