Occupational & Sensory Therapy

Occupational therapy  supports children in gaining independence and full engagement in all of their life activities. At the KCC, we focus treatment on sensory-motor skills and physical and cognitive abilities, as well as social interaction.

How to Begin

We're here to help! Here's how to get started with therapy at the KCC.

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Visit Our Gym

We offer an amazing space for wonderful sensory experiences.

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Signs & Symptoms

Some general signs that could indicate your child needs an evaluation.

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OT Staff

Our therapists are known for their clinical skills and insight into children.

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Our Programs

Explore the different types of treatment options available at the KCC.

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Resources

Tips from our therapists on ways to help your kids at home and in school.

How to Begin

Our staff is excited to help you get started at the Kaufman Children’s Center! Here’s what to expect.

GIVE US A CALL

 

If you have concerns about your child’s development, we invite you to call our office at 248-737-3430. Occupational therapists are available to answer general questions, and our front office staff would be happy to schedule an evaluation for your child and send you intake forms. These are lengthy so we can learn as much information as possible about your child. Please be sure to fill them out in advance of your visit and bring them with you.

COME FOR AN EVALUATION

 

Generally speaking, an evaluation by a KCC occupational therapist (OT) is required before therapy can begin. This allows us to formulate goals based on first-hand knowledge of your child. The evaluating OT will go over your child’s background with you, then the fun begins. Our therapists are entertaining and truly know how to engage children. The bulk of the evaluation will be spent one-on-one with your child, but you are welcome to observe.

SCHEDULE THERAPY

 

At the end of the evaluation, the OT will go over his or her findings with you. If therapy is recommended,  our front office staff will make every effort to provide a schedule that works for your family. The OT will follow up with a formal, written report that will be mailed to your home within a few weeks.

BILLING & PAYMENT

 

The fee for evaluations is due the day you are here, and all other therapy is billed on a monthly basis. Payment is accepted in cash, check, Visa or MasterCard. The KCC does not currently bill insurance directly for occupational therapy services. Payment is the responsibility of the parent, but we encourage you to work with your insurance company for a possible reimbursement. The information insurance companies generally need is included on  your monthly statement.

Signs & Symptoms

When it comes to developmental issues, the sooner children receive intervention the better. The KCC has become a leader in the early detection and treatment of sensory-motor challenges. If you feel that any of these signs and symptoms apply to your child and you would like to speak to one of our staff members, please feel free to contact us at (248)737-3430. We look forward to helping in any way we can!

Coordination Delays

A coordination disorder may be indicated by clumsiness, awkwardness of movement, and completing motor tasks by more difficult means than necessary. Children are often hesitant to attempt new tasks.

Feeding Challenges

Feeding issues can include inadequate intake, food refusal, being selective about the type or texture of food, expelling or packing/pocketing food, oral motor weakness, gagging, biting of tongue or cheeks while eating, and difficulty using utensils.

Fine Motor Delays

Fine motor challenges may be indicated by difficulty with writing, self feeding, self dressing (buttons, zippers, snaps, tying), use of utensils, and other hand skills.

Gross Motor Delays

Gross motor delays may be indicated by difficulties with jumping, hopping, balancing, skipping, or running.

Oral Motor Delays

Oral motor challenges may be indicated by difficulty chewing, sucking, blowing, and/or making certain speech sounds. Children are often unaware of food on their faces, have trouble keeping food in their mouths, or moving food around their mouths. The child may present with low muscle tone in the face (“long” or “droopy”), a “flat affect” look, open-mouth breathing, or excessive drooling.

Sensory Processing Difficulties

Not all children with learning, developmental, or behavioral problems have an underlying sensory integration disorder. There are certain indicators, however, that can signal that a disorder may be present. The following are a few of the possible signs.

  1. Overly sensitive to touch, movement, signs, or sounds.
  2. Under-reactive to sensory stimulation
  3. Activity level that is unusually high or low
  4. Coordination problems
  5. Delays in speech, language, motor skills, or academic achievement
  6. Poor organization of behavior
  7. Poor self concept

Typically, a child with a sensory integration disorder will show more than one of the above signs and may also be easily distracted,  have social and emotional difficulties, be impulsive and lacking in self control, have an inability to unwind or calm themselves, and difficulty with transitions between situations.

Occupational Therapy Programs

Occupational Therapy

Treatment that helps a child’s ability to achieve independence in daily life activities

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Sensory Integration

Help to process sensory information from the child's environment

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Feeding Therapy

Picky eating, oral motor weakness, and many other eating challenges

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Interactive Metronome

Fun exercises to improve the skills essential for learning and development

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Therapeutic Listening

Auditory support for sensory processing, listening, attention, and communication

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Handwriting Without Tears

Making legible & fluent handwriting an automatic skill for children of all abilities

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Craniosacral Therapy

Helping the body release negative effects of stress on the nervous system

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The KCC Sensory Gym

gym panoramic 1500

Children receiving occupational therapy at the KCC are greeted by a bright exciting space, including an overhead track system, multiple rock walls, and large castle structure with a slide. The gym, created by Fun Factory Sensory Gyms based in Wisconsin, was the first of its kind in Michigan and one of only a few in the United States.

 

At the KCC we treat many children with sensory difficulties. They take in information through their senses, but often have a hard time making sense of that information, and adapting as conditions change around them. Most people are familiar with the basic senses of sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell, but children often have the toughest time with the lesser-known senses that have to do with the movement of their bodies and how they relate to the space around them.

 

Sensory integration therapy includes a lot of swinging and climbing exercises, to help with calming as well as increasing a child’s attention. The new gym features a quad system – four overhead tracks branching from a center column. Therapists are able to hook a variety of swings and other equipment to the track and work with children using a bigger radius without worrying about hitting other children or staff.

 

The increase in space allows therapists to push the intensity to a new level, making therapy more effective in a shorter amount of time. We now have the equivalent of four separate clinics, while still treating in an open space that facilitates social interaction between the children.

 

Children also benefit from time spent working on quiet, calming activities in cozy nooks built into the bottom of the castle structure and inside the column from which the quad system spans, which is accessible through a kid-sized door.

Occupational Therapy Staff

All members of the KCC staff represent the highest standards of excellence in their field and have extensive experience in pediatric therapy. Continuing education is supported and encouraged to ensure our methods are as up-to-date as possible. Our staff members are part of the KCC team because of their expertise, outstanding clinical skills, and their warmth and insight into children.

AMY HENGSTEBECK

OTRL
Occupational Therapist
Director, OT & Sensory Programs

Meet Amy

Amy earned her bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy from Wayne State University and serves as the center’s director of occupational therapy and sensory integration programs. She has completed continuing education in Therapeutic Listening, Samonas Sound Therapy, crainosacral therapy, Kinesiotaping, Talk Tools, treatment of the baby and young child, Bal-A-Vis-X, ASL, and functional application of neurodevelopmental treatment (NDT).

 

Amy has previous experience working with inpatient orthopedic and outpatient pediatric patients in the hospital setting, as well as with spinal cord and traumatic brain injury cases. She was named a “Mom Approved Doc” by the readers of Metro Parent magazine.

 

Amy and her husband Josh have three children: Caleb, Noah, and Claire.

 

The best part of my job is being greeted every morning by kids excited to come to OT!

JEANETTE JONES

MOT, OTRL
Occupational Therapist
Asst. Director, OT & Sensory Programs

Meet Jeanette

Jeanette earned her bachelor’s degree in science and master’s degree in occupational therapy at Eastern Michigan University. She has completed additional coursework in Talk Tools, sensory integration, feeding, and social skills.

 

Before coming to the KCC, Jeanette worked in a private pediatric sensory clinic in Chicago. She recently presented at a national conference on CDKL5 after being invited by the parents of a child she treats with the rare genetic disorder.

 

Jeanette and her husband Greg have a son named Patrick and a dog named Lucy.

 

The best part of my job is seeing amazing gains with the kids I work with and working with our incredible team of therapists.

CHRIS PURGATORI

MOT, OTRL
Occupational Therapist

Meet Chris

Chris earned a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Michigan State University, then went on to complete a second bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Wayne State. His continuing education includes coursework in Handwriting Without Tears, Integrated Listening Systems, and Talk Tools oral motor therapy.

 

Before coming to the KCC, Chris worked in the public school system with children who were severely multiply impaired, cognitively impaired, or on the autism spectrum. He has served as the varsity soccer coach at Rochester High School since 2008.

 

Chris married his high school sweetheart, Carrie, and together they have a son, Jake, and twins, Luke and Evangeline.

 

The best part of my job is working with the kids and seeing the kids and their parents smile at the end of each session.

SANDRA SEELBINDER

MOT, OTRL
Occupational Therapist

Meet Sandra

Sandra earned her bachelor’s in health science and master’s in occupational therapy from Baker College. Her continuing education includes certification in Talk Tools, Therapeutic Listening, and Interactive Metronome. She is also an IM home provider.

 

Sandra was named a “Mom Approved Doc” twice by the readers of Metro Parent magazine. She has two dogs and enjoys reading, cooking, and shopping.

 

The best part of my job is watching all of the kids’ progress and seeing the excitement when they’re playing in the OT gym.

EMILY CATALDO

MOT, OTRL
Occupational Therapist

Meet Emily

Emily earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in social work from Kennesaw State University in Georgia. She earned a second bachelor’s degree in health science and her master’s in occupational therapy from Baker College.

 

Before starting her career in OT, Emily spent 12 years in social work. She focused on family services and case management with children and adults on the autism spectrum, and securing home placement for children experiencing severe emotional disturbances.

 

Emily is certified in the Nurturing Parent Program, has training in Talk Tools, and directs the KCC’s “Pedal to the Medal” bike-riding camp.  She spends her spare time with her incredible son, Jack.

 

The best part of my job is watching my kids grow with confidence, seeing proud looks on their faces, and building that unique trust and connection.

ERIN RODES

MOT, OTRL
Occupational Therapist

Meet Erin

Erin graduated from Alma College with a Bachelor of Science degree, and earned Bachelor of Health Science and Master of Occupational Therapy degrees from Wayne State University. She has additional certification in the Handwriting with Tears program for kids in grades K-5.

 

Erin has experience as an OT in the school setting, and did some of her student fieldwork at the Kaufman Children’s Center.

 

Erin has a boyfriend named Zakk and a dog named Chica. She played softball at Alma and enjoys watching sports, especially University of Michigan and Detroit Lions football.

STEPHANIE FOURNIER

OT Technician, Camp Assistant

Meet Stephanie

Stephanie earned her bachelor’s degree in health science from Oakland University and recently became a licensed massage therapist. In addition to her work in the occupational therapy department, she has also lent her talents to our Words and Wiggles summer therapy camp and is responsible for many of the creative displays around the KCC.

 

Stephanie has worked with children for much of her life, as a nanny, daycare provider, and in camp experiences. In her free time she enjoys cooking, painting, and spending time with her family and friends.

 

The best part of my job is interacting with all of the children and watching them grow and make positive gains in OT.