OGDENSBURG -- United Helpers has added a new occupational therapist to help children struggling with motor skill development.
Elizabeth Thomas says identifying and treating gross and fine motor skills issues is important. Left untreated, a child experiencing difficulties with gross motor skills can have trouble learning to walk properly, have problems with the stairs, hopping, jumping or learning to throw a ball.
She says children with fine motor skill difficulties may have a tough time turning pages in a book, learning to write with a pencil, tie their shoes, eat with a fork, or other day to day activities.
“I really enjoy making sessions fun for the kids,” Thomas continued. “Digging through a big bucket of rice to find a hidden toy or molding things with clay is a lot of fun. The bonus is that we’re also improving dexterity and muscle strength at the same time.”
Thomas graduated from Keuka College with a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy in the spring of 2013. She brings to United Helpers more than 1300 hours of clinical experience, including several hours working with individuals with special needs. “I plan to never stop learning,” Thomas added. “There is always more to learn and I’m very interested in learning new techniques and trying new things. It’s very exciting to join the United Helpers.”
Children’s Services, Early Intervention (ages birth to 3 years) and Preschool (ages 3-5 years), are available through Stepping Stones Children’s Therapy program. To learn more, please call (315) 393-3072. Referral to Stepping Stones Children’s Services can be made by contacting your school district’s Committee on Preschool Special Education or the St. Lawrence County Public Health Early Intervention program at (315) 386-2325.