Group Therapy

Bothell Pediatric and Hand Therapy offers multiple group programs for children in various age ranges, they are: The Alert Program, Food Explorers, Print Handwriting, Cursive Handwriting, and Social Skills Group.

Click on the tabs below to learn more about BP&HT Therapy Groups:

The Alert Program®

Do you ever feel like your child is running a constant race? Like you can’t get your child moving? Like your child goes from slug to roadrunner in a flash? Like your child has difficulty controlling their own emotions and you don’t know how to help them?

Using the principles of the Alert Program,® “How Does Your Engine Run?” and other self-regulation tools, therapists help teach your children how to manage their energy levels to be Just Right! If your body is like a car engine sometimes it runs High and sometimes it runs on Low and sometimes it runs Just Right! When teachers, therapists, or parents use these simple words to begin the Alert Program®, they enter an exciting adventure with children. The journey unfolds easily with the Alert Program®‘s clearly defined steps for teaching self-regulation awareness.

About The Alert Program®

The Alert Program® was developed by Mary Sue Williams, OTR/L and Shelly Shellenberger, OTR/L. The program was initially designed for children ages 8-12 but has since been adapted for pre-k through 12th grade. The Alert Program® can be used with a wide variety of ages, settings, and diagnosis.  A key component is also teaching the adult in the child’s life.

The Alert Program® promotes awareness of how we regulate our arousal states and encourages the use of sensorimotor strategies to manage our abilities to learn, interact with others, and work or play within our environment in addition to building self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-monitoring skills.

Click here to learn more about The Alert Program®

Key Words

AROUSAL: can be considered a state of the nervous system, describing how alert one feels. Low, Just Right, or High.

SELF-REGULATION: the ability to attain, maintain, and change arousal appropriately for a task or situation.  When difficulties in self-regulation occur, the individual will have trouble changing the degree of alertness they feel, which in turn will compromise optimal functioning.

THEORY of SENSORY INTEGRATION: Dr. A. Jean Ayres, a researcher and pioneer of this field, coined the term Sensory Integration Dysfunction. She used the term throughout her professional career (1954-1988) to describe atypical social, emotional, motor, and functional patterns of behavior that were related to poor processing of sensory stimuli.

In Sensory Integration and the Child, Ayres writes, “Sensory integration is the organization of sensation for use.  Our senses give us information about the physical conditions of our body and the environment around us.  Sensations flow into the brain like streams flowing into a lake.  Countless bits of sensory information enter our brain at every moment, not only from our eyes and ears, but also from every place in our bodies.  We have a special sense that detects the pull of gravity and the movements of our body in relation to the earth.  The brain must organize all of theses sensations if a person is to move and learn and behave normally.  The brain locates, sorts, and orders sensations-somewhat as a traffic policeman directs moving cars.  When sensations flow in a well-organized or integrated manner, the brain can use those sensations to form perceptions, behaviors, and learning.  When the flow of sensations is disorganized, life can be like a rush-hour traffic jam.” (Ayres, 1979, p.5)

At Bothell Pediatric and Hand Therapy, we are committed to promoting healthy lifestyles for the children and families in our communities.

Food Explorers: Feeding Therapy

Where Food Becomes an Exciting Adventure!

The Food Explorers Mission

  • To learn to have positive experiences with food.
  • To learn mealtime routine and cues to eating.
  • To decrease resistance to touching, tasting, and swallowing food.
  • To increase the range of foods the child will try.
  • To increase the volume of food ingested.

Does This Sound like Your Child?

  • Ongoing choking, gagging, or coughing during meals.
  • Inability to transition to baby food purees by 10 months of age.
  • Inability to accept any table food solids by 12 months of age.
  • Has not weaned off baby foods by 16 months of age.
  • Aversion or avoidance of all foods in a specific texture or food group.
  • Food range of less than 20 foods, especially if foods are being dropped over time with no new foods replacing those lost.
  • Crying and meltdowns occur with new foods.
  • Limited variety of tastes and textures in diet.
  • Food is often refused.
  • Power struggles occur at meals.

If at least one of these redflags describes a characteristic of your child or you are concerned about one, then Food Explorers might be the right place for your child.

Using the Sequential-Oral-Sensory (SOS) Feeding Therapy approach developed by Kay Toomey, Ph.D., Food Explorers addresses a variety of feeding concerns in a fun, social group setting. The goals of the group intend to learn to have positive experiences with food, learn mealtime routine and cues to eating, decrease resistance to touching, tasting, and swallowing food, increase the range of foods the child will try, and to increase the volume of food ingested. If your child refuses to try new foods, has a limited range of foods that he/she will eat, and/or is missing entire categories of food groups (i.e. meats, veggies, etc.), this group may be for you and your child!

Parent education and involvement are an essential part of the SOS Approach. A therapist meets directly with the parents during each session to help them learn to use this approach to facilitate improved mealtimes at home.

At Bothell Pediatric and Hand Therapy, we are committed to promoting healthy lifestyles for the children and families in our communities.

Print Handwriting Group

BP&HT’s Handwriting Group is specialized for school-age children needing more guidance and practice with handwriting skills. Benefits include improved hand-eye coordination and distal movements.

Do you have the following concerns about your child’s handwriting? If so our Handwriting Group might be a perfect fit for your child:

  • Unconventional or awkward pencil grip
  • Hand and wrist pain with fatigue
  • Inconsistent hand preference
  • Difficulty with alignment, letter formation, and spacing of letters
  • Writing is difficult to read

Goals and Objectives of the Handwriting Group

  • Increase hand-eye coordination as related to letter formation and spacing
  • Increase grip and pinch strength as related to pencil control
  • Increase trunk and shoulder girdle strength as related to posture
  • Increase visual motor control as related to overhead tasks, copying from board and from paper.
  • Increase independence with the set-up of desk, materials, and positioning to ensure performance at appropriate age level at school and at home.
  • Enable the child to begin self correction and monitor own writing and legibility.
  • Enable performance of handwriting automatically with minimal conscious attention, therefore leaving more attention for academic concentration.

At Bothell Pediatric and Hand Therapy, we are committed to promoting healthy lifestyles for the children and families in our communities

Social Skills Group

Our social skills group works on improving social communication and social interaction skills in a small group setting with peers. We use direct instruction as well as teaching opportunities that arise during the course of the sessions. This allows us to format and target skills more specifically.

Group sessions provide many opportunities to practice important social skills such as cooperative play, awareness of personal space, sharing, turn-taking, initiating interactions with others, beginning and maintaining a conversation, perspective taking, and negotiating.

Our social skills groups are designed to work with all children. We currently have groups for children from pre-school to late elementary school ages.

Does this sound like your child…

  • Prefers solitary play
  • Does not seem able to join peers in play
  • Seems unaware of others in their environment
  • Does not seem to understand personal space
  • Difficulty making friends
  • Difficulty being flexible when playing with others
  • Does not enter into conversations with others, or conversations are one-sided
  • Has trouble understanding body language
  • Insists on own preferred activities or interests
  • Becomes very upset when loses
  • Poor perspective taking
  • Difficulty with social problem solving

At Bothell Pediatric and Hand Therapy, we are committed to promoting healthy lifestyles for the children and families in our communities.