What’s your name? Arielle Harris
What’s your role at Tiny Tots Therapy? School and outpatient clinic-based Occupational Therapist
What’s are you favorite hobbies? Crafting and going to the beach
Why do you do what you do? I love teaching kids skills through playing that help improve their lives and increase their independence.
What do you love about Tiny Tots Therapy? I love being able to work with kids and how involved and passionate the employees are- top to bottom!
What’s an example of a time you felt you made a difference and how did it make you feel? Honestly, I feel that I make a difference every day and that is why I love my job. Just making the kids smile, makes the day worth it.
What is involved in an initial evaluation? The purpose of the initial evaluation is to get a baseline understanding of a child’s current functioning. We then determine whether he or she is appropriate for treatment and in what ways Tiny Tots Therapy professionals can help. We conduct a parent interview to get a full picture of the child’s medical history. From there, our therapists complete a functional analysis with the assistance of standardized assessments and observation of the child. This is all done through play, so children will feel comfortable through any of the assessment process. Once the assessments are complete, a member of ours will meet with the parent to discuss the findings and explain what the next steps in the process will be–whether that is to schedule their next appointment with Tiny Tots; or to make a referral to another professional that provides services not offered by us.
Can you describe the evaluation process? In order to treat children, our professionals must have a clear understanding of their current functioning–both strengths and deficits. At Tiny Tots Therapy, we know that children are their truest self when they are engrossed in play, so we incorporate fun into all aspects of the assessment process. The child will engage in a variety of activities that assess their speech, motor, sensory, social, and other abilities. Activities might include writing, getting dressed, or storytelling. As the child completes each task, the therapist makes observations which will be used to analyze the child’s current ability levels and determine his or her treatment needs. This information will let us know whether or not the child’s needs can be met by our service offerings. If they can, this information will be utilized to develop a treatment plan for the child. If the child’s needs exceed the level of service we provide, our therapists will provide a referral to another service provider that is a more appropriate fit. The entire process typically takes less than an hour.
How long will my kid need therapy? Essentially, a child should remain in therapy for as long as it takes to achieve an appropriate and desired level of functioning. Every child is different, so his or her course of treatment will depend on a number of factors. First, the severity of the child’s functional deficits when they begin therapy will determine how much treatment will be needed, at minimum, to get him or her to where they need to be. During treatment, consistency of attendance, parent involvement, reinforcement and practice at home outside of treatment sessions will all promote faster and more sustainable improvements. There is an opportunity after each therapy session for parents to discuss their child’s performance and strategies for at-home implementation of the skills learned that day. We strongly encourage parents to get their children to all sessions on time, to ask questions and understand the tools the child is learning, and to practice with them at home in order to get the best and fastest outcomes from therapy. Readiness for discharge from treatment is determined by both the parent and the therapist who will discuss whether goals have been met and their confidence in the child’s ability to maintain those gains in the absence of ongoing treatment.
Do I need a prescription for therapy? In the clinic, a prescription is strongly advised, but not mandatory. Referral from a pediatrician or other provider can be very helpful in honing in on the specific issues that prompted the provider to make the referral during the assessment process. Additionally, if you are utilizing insurance to pay for treatment, a referral can be useful in substantiating the claim.