The therapy department at Step Together is committed to provide therapy and care for our students under the teamwork of multidisciplinary specialists. We work closely with families to address their needs and incorporate therapy goals in the daily life activities and academic programs to give our students the best opportunity to succeed.
The services provided in our community are:
The social action of Step Together reflects our mission in giving support and assisting families having a child with disabilities in order to help them regain their balance and independence. The social action program is implemented under the supervision of our social worker who works with the families to support, inform and involve them in the care of their child.
Counseling and psychotherapy services at Step Together are offered to the students and their families. It aims to increase the individual’s sense of his/her own wellbeing, as well as regulating mood and behavior. It involves therapeutic approaches that provide individualized follow up.
Physical therapy is part of the students’ educational program that helps with posture, as well as with balanced and safe independent mobility. The goal is to enable students to reach their maximum potential and experience movement. Students are seen on a consultative basis, whereby the therapist works with the teachers and staff to ensure movement and muscle strengthening exercises as part of the pupils’ daily routine. Some students are also seen individually in more concentrated sessions to work on range of motion, strength, coordination and mobility.
Occupational therapy services address skill development in an activity-based setting. Children are seen individually or in small groups outside of the classroom. Therapeutic intervention is used to augment the school curriculum to develop those underlying skills important for learning. Such skills include, but are not limited to:
• Sensory-motor processing
• Visual motor and visual perceptual skills
• Fine motor coordination
• Daily living activities
Consultation with teachers and staff is provided to further integrate therapeutic goals into the students’ daily program.
Speech and language therapy is often multi-faceted, involving language stimulation as well as the production of speech. Therapy objectives vary according to the student’s individual needs and abilities. Most speech/language therapy plans focus on improving some combination of the following skill areas:
• Receptive language
• Expressive language
• Pragmatic or social skills
• Oral motor skills
• Voice quality
Horseback Riding Therapy (Hippo-therapy) : Horseback riding and animal care promote physical and psychological wellbeing. Therapeutic riding exercises help coordinate movement between the child and horse and specific exercises promote the development of gross motor skills, balance, rhythmic movement, hand-eye coordination, laterality, awareness of space and more. In addition, the children’s emotional wellbeing is fostered through the warmth of the human-animal bond.
Therapeutic Baths: Therapeutic baths address the body’s largest perceptive organ, the skin, and enable the possibility of stepping out of the daily demands of life into a warm, gentle, and protective environment.
Music Therapy: Music therapy helps initiate essential change in body integration, balance in breathing and movements and the awakening of motivational direction. This is done with a large range of instruments, while music therapists vary tone, intervals, rhythms, mirrored tone sequences and movement-supported sound patterns. Music therapy is performed with individual students or in small groups. Group therapies are offered to support language development, auditory focus and muscle tone.
Massage: Rhythmical Massage is a gentle, harmonizing massage that helps awaken the self-healing forces within each individual. This massage is especially beneficial for helping individuals feel centered and well in their bodies.
Art Therapy: Art therapy works with color, form, light, darkness and on the imagination.
• Watercolors can help children’s movements and flow, enhancing inner flexibility.
• Social painting can aid a child who is too self-focused by providing an opportunity to observe and interact with another person as they create pictures together.
• Drawing is helpful to a child who needs to strengthen boundaries and develop observation and discernment skills, bringing clarity and focus to their thoughts, words and actions.
Therapeutic Eurhythmy: Eurhythmy is an art of expressive movement that can be described as visible speech and song. It enlarges and transforms movements into a coherent language performed by the whole body, especially the arms and legs. For artistic eurhythmy to become therapeutic, the gestures are modified and intensified. Repeated practice stimulates healing life forces, restores balance and can correct structural problems.