Supportive Therapy Services


How do supportive therapies help children?

Students with learning challenges typically benefit from multiple supportive therapies that focus on improving areas that may impede their ability to learn.  Specialized therapists conduct assessments, identify areas in need of work, and target certain specific skills.  These highly trained professionals use strategies to improve focus and attention span, provide relaxation training, facilitate management of strong emotions, improve gross and fine motor skills, as well as further develop speech and language skills.

Speech Therapy

This service is designed to help children with speech delays or speech impediments related to developmental disorders.  One-on-one sessions are conducted with children to help in enunciation and pronunciation of English and Arabic letters and words.Speech therapy also improves conversation skills by demonstrating and practicing how to make statements as opposed to carrying on conversations and working on back-and-forth exchanges.  Speech therapists may work on building concept skills that will enhance comprehension. They also focus on building social communication skills including ask and answer questions.  They train children to stand at an appropriate distance from a conversational partner, assess the “mood” of a room (or a person), and much more.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy helps children achieve independence in all facets of their lives.  Occupational therapists assist children in developing the ‘skills for the job of living’ necessary for satisfying lives.  They work with children on physical skills (handwriting), or basic social and interpersonal skills required for independent living (carrying a conversation). Occupational therapists may use sensory integration techniques with those children who have difficulty with processing information through the senses by using specific interventions to help a child appropriately respond to light, sound, touch, smell, and other input. Occupational therapists facilitate structured play to help build intellectual and emotional skills as well as physical skills.  They may also devise specific strategies to help the child transition from one setting to another, from one person to another, and from one life phase to another.

Kinesiology

Kinesiology comprises techniques from the fields of motor development.  It focuses on movements of the body as they relate to the mind. With the help of a trained kinesiology professional, children can take a 45-minute session practicing exercises to help ease their mind and body and keep them feeling fresh and mentally sound. More specifically, Kinesiology promotes integrated visual, auditory and kinaesthetic functioning to stimulate the brain readying the body to learn.  It engages the nervous system equally in all brain parts, minimizes one-sided negative brain reactions, builds new pathways to both hemispheres, and eliminates stress. Performance comes naturally when a child’s body is relaxed and where the child’s posture supports access to all parts of the brain.

Sports

Every child has the right to enjoy the fun of playing sports and engaging in some form of team activity.  Participating in sports promotes better emotional and psychological health by instilling a sense of self-confidence along with an improved skill in relationship building through working as part of a team.  Regular and organized physical activity can also improve overall fitness, support weight control and healthy bone density, as well as improve gross motor skills.

Many recreational programs and sports activities have been developed at Gain Contact Bahrain to help children with special learning needs.  Group and individual sports activities include crunches, sit ups, agility work outs, basic fencing, boxing, ping pong, and jumping jacks.  Monthly excursions to play basketball and other sports areorganized off site.

Music Therapy

Music therapy is shown to support emotional, cognitive, and social development in children, more specifically those on the spectrum.  Music therapy may help to promote wellness by helping the children manage stress, enhance memory, and improve communication. Children who participate in regular music therapy sessions are shown to exhibit more emotional expression and social engagement than in play sessions without music.  Additionally, a music therapist uses music with children to increase their social interaction and improve social skills.  This is done by passing and sharing instruments, music and movement games, and gathering around a central instrument. Participating in weekly music therapy sessions improves overall behavior, with the most improvement seen in those with attention deficits such as ADD or ADHD.  In addition, children with conduct and behavioral problems can benefit with improved target behaviors like restlessness, anxiety, aggression and noisiness. At Gain Contact Bahrain, students can take a 45-minute music session learning about different instruments, reading music sheets, and singing different songs while listening to all types of music selections that promote their well-being.

Yoga

Yoga for children aims at increasing strength, flexibility, and coordination through group exercises. Classes are intended to be fun and may include age appropriate games, animal sounds and creative names for poses.  Yoga has many emotional benefits that include greater optimism, increased self-esteem, and increased ability to relax and cope with stressful situations.  It also promotes a less reactive nature with added mental benefits including increased focus, concentration, problem-solving strategies, and improvements in the quality of sleep.  There is a body of research that points to improvement in academic performance in children who practice yoga regularly with noted improvement in developing increased confidence in physical abilities.  More specifically, yoga practice has an added benefit for boys as it protects them from increased negative behaviors.

LIFE Skills

LIFE is a social skills program that helps children Live Independently and Function Effectively. It is an interactive group experience where children learn a wide range of age-appropriate core skills through participating in planned activities, role-playing, modeling, video watching, and demonstration.  The goal is to teach children to prepare for adulthood through value clarification, decision making, planning and organization, and daily living skills.  These skills are practiced in weekly group sessions and reinforced at home.  LIFE Skills program helps children assimilate those skills in their repertoire while helping them deal with social situations they may face in their daily lives.  Lesson plans focus on emotional/psychological skills (teaching Self-confidence, behavior in groups and public places etc.), personal development skills (listening skills, response to humor, eye contact, etc.), vocational/occupational skills (time management, careers and vocations, etc.) independent daily living skills (daily hygiene, organizing environment, etc.), and social skills/social competence skills (social anxiety, forming friendships, etc.).  Group sessions include opportunities for personal goal setting, planning and monitoring.

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