Academic learning difficulties such as reading, writing and arithmetic are the result of slight difficulties in the brain, in the areas responsible for these skills. At Tot Teràpia we not only seek to understand what learning difficulties there are, but also the origin of these difficulties.
Difficulties in auditory processing or difficulties in the optomotor system can result in reading difficulties.
Therefore, these neurodevelopmental foundations are worked on and reinforced in order to achieve greater success when working on the difficulties themselves.
There are different reasons why children have difficulties in paying and maintaining attention. After a period of exploration, the Tot Teràpia team tries to understand the reasons for the attention difficulties. For this reason, based on neurodevelopment, the work plan always includes reinforcing the areas of the brain that are not working optimally. Tot Terapia uses tools such as Neurofeedback to improve the brain circuits responsible for unconscious attention and the Interactive Metronome to improve auditory attention.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) not only influences the areas of communication or social-emotional skills, but also motor skills. For this reason we value and create the therapeutic objectives from the vision of an interdisciplinary team, commonly consisting of psychologists, speech therapists, occupational therapists. At Tot Terapia there are two basic proposals to address the difficulties of Autistic Spectrum Disorder. For young children, generally between 3 and 6 years old, we have the academic therapeutic group (GAT) which works like a school. Throughout the day, individual goals are worked on in individual and group moments. The second proposal is individual and group therapy sessions, divided between the days of the week, during morning or afternoon hours. Some of them in the form of extracurricular activities (e.g. Film Workshop or Theatre Workshop). The team creates a therapeutic plan for each child and with the consent and help of the parents, it is implemented.
Good sensory-motor development is the basis for good functioning of other more complex skills such as cycling, speech and writing. The vast majority of children with neurodevelopmental difficulties, although very mild, have (or have had as children) difficulties in sensory-motor development. However, these difficulties are often overlooked and work is done directly on dexterity. We use our senses all day long to interpret the world in order to move and react according to the information received. But if the information reaches the brain in an unbalanced way, we end up adapting our movements and compensating for our deficiencies all day long, with the repercussions that this entails. Improving the sensory-motor skills, which are the basis of the difficulty, makes the brain much more efficient when it comes to executing more developed skills. At Tot Teràpia, by respecting the "bottom up and top down" approach, occupational therapists contemplate and evaluate the sensory-motor development when we evaluate any learning/attention difficulty or ASD.
In the same way that in motor development the child evolves from walking unsteadily to tiptoeing, so too does the child develop the ability to manage emotions and develop his or her own identity and emotional stability. Emotional or behavioural disorders can be a sign that there are other difficulties. The psychologists on our team look at all the aspects that cause emotional and/or behavioural difficulties in the child. Their social, academic and family environment is also assessed and parents are included in the whole process in order to provide them with strategies to help their child feel secure and thrive. Communication and support at school is also very important, always with parental consent and confidentiality.
Psychological treatment at Tot Teràpia is carried out from a perspective that respects the child and is very much in keeping with his or her personality and needs. We work on the therapeutic bond as an essential part of the therapy, as this allows us to create a safe base so that the child can express his or her concerns and conscious and unconscious conflicts in a safe space.
We use art, play and role play as therapeutic techniques in groups or individually, depending on the needs of each child.
Communication is a very complex skill that consists of different aspects: comprehension, expression and communicative function. The speech therapists at Tot Teràpia evaluate and treat difficulties in understanding written and spoken language and expression, such as: voice difficulties, not being able to say a sound like "s" or "r", or not being able to communicate, for example, as a result of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
The speech therapists are part of the transdisciplinary team at Tot Teràpia and work on communication also using alternative communication techniques to ensure the development of language.