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We are an Army family! Miles was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 6 and he is now 15 years old. Marley is Miles' Autism Service Dog and his best friend. This dynamic duo has been together for 5 years and look forward to many more adventures! 

For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love and sound judgement.  
                                                       2 Timothy 1:7


Aquatic Therapy

The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make His face to shine upon you 
and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up His countenance upon you 
and give you peace.
Numbers 6:24-26

Miles had Aquatherapy with his Speech Therapist from Green Hill Therapy in Louisville, Kentucky. In the water therapists were able to work on communication skills. Miles finds the pressure from the water comforting. He LOVES to swim so this therapy broke up the mundane clinic setting that he tends to become bored utilizing year in and year out. 

When moving to Florida we found a home with a pool. We talked with Miles' current Speech, Physical and Occupational therapists for exercises Miles could do during his daily pool time as "homework." 

The buoyancy, support, accommodating resistance and other unique properties of the aquatic environment enhance interventions for patients/clients across the age span with musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiovascular/pulmonary, and skin diseases, disorders, or conditions.
Aquatic Therapy interventions are designed to improve or maintain:

  • function
  • aerobic capacity/endurance conditioning
  • balance, coordination and agility
  • body mechanics and postural stabilization
  • flexibility
  • gait and locomotion
  • relaxation
  • muscle strength, power, and endurance
Here are some reasons to consider aquatic therapy for your child:
  • Working in the water allows children to perform and learn movements that would otherwise be too difficult to perform on land. Returning to their land-based program provides them the opportunity to practice movements that have become more skilled in the water.
  • The viscosity of water gives a child time to react and experiment with the consequences of movement.
  • The hydrostatic pressure created when partially or fully submerged in water improves circulation, increases the work of breathing, and gives the body 360 degrees of deep pressure.
  • For most children, the water is FUN! The overall enjoyment of the pool makes achieving therapy goals considerably easier.
What is Aquatic Therapy?
Aquatic therapy is treatment performed in the water by qualified speech, physical and occupational therapists, to aid in the restoration, extension, and maintenance of an individual’s quality function.  In the past, aquatic therapy was primarily considered an effective rehabilitation tool for those with physical injuries or chronic illness — using the buoyancy of the water to avoid the stress of a body’s weight on the joints during land-based exercise.
These days, pioneering speech, physical and occupational therapists like the ones at Angelfish have had great success extending the benefits of aquatic therapy to individuals with not just physical, but also sensory and developmental issues, taking advantage of both the buoyancy and the hydrostatic pressure offered by a pool environment.
Who Should Consider Aquatic Therapy?
Children with a variety of physical, sensory, developmental, or neurological issues are prime candidates for aquatic therapy such as: Autism Spectrum Disorders; Sensory Processing Disorders; Auditory Processing Difficulties; Pervasive Developmental Disorders; Asperger Syndrome; seizure disorders; sensory integration dysfunction; gross motor delays; motor planning issues; lack of core strength; ADHD; learning and language disabilities; and issues associated with premature birth.
Info found at Angelfish Therpay and  Green Hill Therapy

Have you or child experienced Aquatherapy? 
Let us know!

Music Therapy

Iron sharpens iron,
and one man sharpens another.
Proverbs 27:17

Miles began Music Therapy with Tempo! of Tampa Bay when we moved to Florida. Some of the goals they were working on with Miles on was his sensory input, rhythm of communication and expressive language. He really enjoyed working with Ms. Anna and was disappointed when we moved from Clearwater. 

What is Music Therapy?

Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.
Music therapy interventions can be designed to:
  • Promote Wellness
  • Manage Stress
  • Alleviate Pain
  • Express Feelings
  • Enhance Memory
  • Improve Communication
  • Promote Physical Rehabilitation
Research in music therapy supports its effectiveness in a wide variety of healthcare and educational settings. Music Therapy is an established health profession in which music is used within a therapeutic relationship to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals. After assessing the strengths and needs of each client, the qualified music therapist provides the indicated treatment including creating, singing, moving to, and/or listening to music. Through musical involvement in the therapeutic context, clients' abilities are strengthened and transferred to other areas of their lives. Music therapy also provides avenues for communication that can be helpful to those who find it difficult to express themselves in words. Research in music therapy supports its effectiveness in many areas such as: overall physical rehabilitation and facilitating movement, increasing people's motivation to become engaged in their treatment, providing emotional support for clients and their families, and providing an outlet for expression of feelings. 

What do Music Therapists do?
Music therapists assess emotional well-being, physical health, social functioning, communication abilities, and cognitive skills through musical responses; design music sessions for individuals and groups based on client needs using music improvisation, receptive music listening, song writing, lyric discussion, music and imagery, music performance, and learning through music; participate in interdisciplinary treatment planning, ongoing evaluation, and follow up. 

Who is qualified to practice Music Therapy?

Persons who complete one of the approved college music therapy curricula (including an internship) are then eligible to sit for the national examination offered by the Certification Board for Music Therapists. Music therapists who successfully complete the independently administered examination hold the music therapist-board certified credential (MT-BC).
The National Music Therapy Registry (NMTR) serves qualified music therapy professionals with the following designations: RMT, CMT, ACMT. These individuals have met accepted educational and clinical training standards and are qualified to practice music therapy. Clinical music therapy is the only professional, research-based discipline that actively applies supportive science to the creative, emotional, and energizing experiences of music for health treatment and educational goals. Below are a few important facts about music therapy and the credentialed music therapists who practice it:
  • Music therapists must have a bachelor’s degree or higher in music therapy from one of AMTA’s 72 approved colleges and universities, including 1200 hours of clinical training.
  • Music therapists must hold the MT-BC credential, issued through the Certification Board for Music Therapists, which protects the public by ensuring competent practice and requiring continuing education. Some states also require licensure for board-certified music therapists.
  • Music Therapy is an evidence-based health profession with a strong research foundation.
  • Music Therapy degrees require knowledge in psychology, medicine, and music.

What are some misconceptions about music therapy?

That the client or patient has to have some particular music ability to benefit from music therapy -- they do not. That there is one particular style of music that is more therapeutic than all the rest -- this is not the case. All styles of music can be useful in effecting change in a client or patient's life. The individual's preferences, circumstances and need for treatment, and the client or patient's goals help to determine the types of music a music therapist may use.

Is there research to support Music Therapy?

AMTA promotes a vast amount of research exploring the benefits of music as therapy through publication of the Journal of Music Therapy, Music Therapy Perspectives and other sources. A substantial body of literature exists to support the effectiveness of music therapy.

How is Music Therapy utilized in schools?

Music therapists are often hired in schools to provide music therapy services listed on the Individualized Education Plan for mainstreamed special learners. Music learning is used to strengthen nonmusical areas such as communication skills and physical coordination skills which are important for daily life. Parent information for music therapy and the IEP. AMTA's Director of Government Relations, Judy Simpson, MT-BC, walks parents through the process of requesting the inclusion of music therapy on their child's IEP.

Is Music Therapy a reimbursable service?

Private Insurance:
The number of success stories involving third party reimbursement for the provision of music therapy services continues to grow as more clinicians seek this coverage.  In response to the increasing demand, the music therapy profession has worked to facilitate the reimbursement process for clients of music therapy services.
The American Music Therapy Association now estimates that approximately 20% of music therapists receive third party reimbursement for the services they provide.
Music therapy is comparable to other allied health professions like occupational therapy and physical therapy in that individual assessments are provided for each client, service must be found reasonable and necessary for the individual’s illness or injury and interventions include a goal-directed documented treatment plan.
Companies like Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Healthcare, Cigna, and Aetna have all paid for music therapy services at some time.  Success has occurred on a case-by-case basis when the therapist implements steps within the reimbursement process. Like other therapies, music therapy is reimbursable when services are pre-approved and deemed medically or behaviorally necessary to reach the individual patient's treatment goals.

This info can be found at American Music Therapy Association

Have you or child done Music Therapy? 
Let us know! 


Physical Therapy (PT)

Rejoice Always!
Pray constantly.
Give Thanks in everything,
for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Before coming to Florida, Miles had been dismissed from Physical Therapy for 4 years. All the Physical Therapist who evaluated him said they did not see where he needed improvement. This is where, as with all therapies, they MUST know, understand and work with Autism patients daily. 

When we moved to Florida Miles' evaluation for Physical Therapy showed he had major deficits that needed to be addressed. We began the journey with Premier Physical Therapy who made an exception to treat Miles. Eric and Marsha were amazing! Since this is one of the most difficult therapies Miles has it can be overwhelming for him. Marsha and Eric kept Miles motivated and encouraged by challenging him to fun "competitions" during his sessions. Because of their hard work and care for Miles he made huge gains! We were blessed and grateful to have been a part of this "family" and were sad to leave their care when we relocated outside of Clearwater. I can't say it enough---quantity and quality matter. 

Marley patiently waits as Miles begins leg stretches

Although Miles' care had to be moved closer to our current home we were fortunate to find care with Stacy at Pediatric Therapy Services (PTS). We could not be happier or more appreciative of the gains she continues to achieve with Miles. Her encouragement and positive attitude while working with him is outstanding! 



Good for the core

Why Would a Person With Autism Need to See a Physical Therapist?
Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder. This means that most people on the autism spectrum have delays, differences or disorders in many areas -- including gross and fine motor skills. Children on the spectrum may have low muscle tone, or have a tough time with coordination and sports. These issues can interfere with basic day-to-day functioning -- and they're almost certain to interfere with social and physical development. Children with autism would rarely be termed physically disabled (though there are some children with autism who have very low muscle tone, which may make it difficult to sit or walk for long periods). Most children with autism do, however, have physical limitations.

What Exactly IS a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists (often called "PTs") are trained to work with people to build or rebuild strength, mobility and motor skills. Many physical therapists hold a Masters Degree or Doctorate in physical therapy, and have worked in the field as an intern before working on their own. They must also be board certified by a national and/or state governing board. Most physical therapists work in clinical settings and/or home settings. Dance and movement therapy, hippotherapy (therapeutic horseback riding), aquatic therapy (therapeutic swimming), recreational therapy and even play therapy may also be offered by people with a background in physical therapy. While none of these specialized services is likely to be supported by medical insurance, many may be right for your child.

What Does a Physical Therapist Do for People with Autism?
Physical therapists may work with very young children on basic motor skills such as sitting, rolling, standing and playing. They may also work with parents to teach them some techniques for helping their child build muscle strength, coordination and skills. As children grow older, physical therapists are more likely to come to a child's preschool or school. There, they may work on more sophisticated skills such as skipping, kicking, throwing and catching. These skills are not only important for physical development, but also for social engagement in sports, recess and general play. In school settings, physical therapists may pull children out to work with them one-on-one, or "push in" to typical school settings such as gym class to support children in real-life situations. It's not unusual for a physical therapist to create groups including typical and children with autism to work on the social aspects of physical skills. Physical therapists may also work with special education teachers and aides, gym teachers and parents to provide tools for building social/physical skills.

How Can I Find a Qualified Physical Therapist?
Most of the time, physical therapy is included in early intervention programs offered by school districts and other local providers. Physical therapists are likely to be subcontracted on an hourly basis. If you are seeking a private physical therapist, it's a good idea to start with your own pediatrician. Ask for a referral, since this will allow your therapist to bill his or her hours to medical insurance.

This info can be found at About.com and PTS

Loosening tight neck muscles

Do you currently have your child in Physical Therapy? 
Let us know what you have found helpful!