Evaluations & Services
Early Intervention Program - Birth - 3 Years
Kidz Therapy Services is a NYS Approved Provider of Early Intervention Services under agreement with the New York State Department of Health. All Early Intervention evaluations and services are provided at no cost to families, but health insurance may be accessed. If a child is found eligible for services through Early Intervention, all services are identified in collaboration with the family and must be authorized by the municipality. An Ongoing Service Coordinator will arrange for service providers, considering the individual needs of the child and family, to deliver services authorized by the municipality. Families are responsible for arranging for and paying the costs of any childcare or community-based setting in which the child may be enrolled. The Early Intervention Program is funded and regulated by the New York State Department of Health and Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties’ Department of Health.
For additional information and referrals to the Early Intervention Program, contact your local municipality:
Nassau: 516-227-8661 Suffolk: 631-853-2318 Westchester: 914-813-5094
Call Kidz Therapy Services for additional information at (516) 747-9030
Preschool Programs - 2.6 - 5 Years
Kidz Therapy Services is a NYS approved multidisciplinary evaluation site and under contract with Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties. All evaluations and services are provided at no cost to families and are based on the individual needs of the preschool child found to have a disability as determined by the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) of the local school district. The local school district will determine the location where recommended special education services will be provided. Families are responsible for arranging for and paying the costs of any childcare or community-based setting in which the child may be enrolled. The Committee on Preschool Special Education program (CPSE) is for children who have or are suspected of having a disability pursuant to Section 4410 of Article 89 of the Education Law and funded by the NY State Education Department and Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties.
For additional information and referrals to the Preschool Special Education Program contact your school district’s Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE). Kidz Therapy can assist you in contacting your local school district at (516) 747-9030.
All evaluations and services can be provided in the child’s home, daycare, nursery/preschool program and local community centers.
Programs are available to parents who want to enhance their child’s development or for those children who are not eligible for services through their early intervention or preschool programs. All services are provided by licensed/certified professionals at one of our state-of-the-art facilities. Individual and group services are available. Services offered include Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Social Skills Training, Feeding Therapy and Stuttering Therapy (Lidcombe Program of Early Stuttering Intervention) are available through our partner company, Kidz Educational Services.
Audiological evaluations are provided to assess whether a hearing impairment may be impeding a child’s development. Assessments are conducted at our Garden City and Islandia locations or at a facility in close proximity to your home.
Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA)
An FBA is a process of data collection to determine why a student engages in behaviors that impede learning. It assesses how the student’s behavior relates to the environment and probable consequences that serve to maintain it. If warranted, a Behavioral Intervention Plan (BIP) will be generated.
An Occupational Therapy evaluation assesses a child’s fine motor, visual motor integration, visual perceptual, and sensory integration skills through the use of various standardized assessments and clinical observations.
- Fine Motor Development requires the development of strength, postural control and bilateral integration abilities. Once these skills are developed, finer movements such as grasping, manipulating objects and self-help skills can be addressed.
- Visual Motor/Visual Perceptual skills involve spatial awareness and coordination of eye hand movements necessary for prewriting, cutting, and constructional tas.
- Sensory Integration is the ability of the child to register and integrate information from the environment via their senses. Integration of sensory information is necessary for attention, body awareness, motor planning and alertness.
A Physical Therapy evaluation consists of the physical therapist analyzing the child’s muscle tone, overall muscle strength, range of motion, posture, and gait/running patterns. The child’s ability to navigate the gym and therapy equipment is observed. Standardized assessments are used to provide a numerical comparison of the child’s gross motor skills when compared to same age peers.
- Motor Planning - Planning and coordinating movements of the arms, legs, head, and trunk in the right sequence and force to achieve a motor goal.
- Motor Control - Involving control of the muscles and resultant movement of the limbs and trunk.
Cognitive testing by a psychologist is a mandatory part of the assessment process for attaining services through the Committee on Preschool Special Education.
The goal of this assessment is to gain an overview of the child’s global development, as well as, identify strengths and weaknesses to assist in treatment planning. The assessment is tailored to the individual needs of the child and family. Parents are encouraged to be an integral part of the evaluation, which are conducted in a family-friendly environment. The psychologist selects the method of testing that will make the child comfortable and provide the most accurate assessment at this stage in the child's development.
An educational evaluation consists of a general assessment of the five areas of development. These areas include: Cognitive Development (pre-readiness/pre-academic skills), Speech and Language Development, Fine and Gross Motor Skills, Self-Help Skills and Social/Emotional Development. In addition, a classroom observation in the child’s current school is administered for all initial evaluations to determine how the child is functioning in a classroom setting. Behavioral observations are conducted during an evaluation session, when the child is not in a formal school program.
Speech and Language
Speech and language evaluations assess a child’s ability to communicate effectively with adults and peers. A wide variety of areas are assessed during a speech and language evaluation. The SLP (speech-language pathologist) determines whether a child has sufficient vocabulary (both receptive and expressive), can follow directions, respond to questions and use age-expected grammar. Additional areas include sound production (articulation), oral-motor abilities (jaw, lips, and tongue) and feeding skills. The final areas that are routinely evaluated are fluency and vocal quality (high/low pitch, hoarseness, etc.). Based on parental interviews and behavioral observations, hearing is informally assessed. If there are any indications that hearing may be compromised, a hearing test (audiological evaluation) is then recommended.
There are several approaches for children with articulation delays. If the delay appears to be caused by muscle weakness, an oral-motor approach is typically used. This approach uses various exercises to strengthen the muscles in the jaw, lips and tongue. A phonological approach focuses on the child’s ability to hear the difference between sounds, learn the “rules” for each sound and then be able to reproduce that sound in words, phrases and sentences. Children with apraxia demonstrate difficulty coordinating muscle movements in order to consistently produce speech sounds. Therapy for these children involves various approaches including (but not limited to) systematic drill work, PROMPT, and the Kaufman Method.
A licensed Social Worker or Psychologist provides consultation, intervention and education to parents and their children to promote development of skills to function optimally in their environment. They also assist families in obtaining services within the community by providing information and/or referring to appropriate resources. These services are provided at home, school or at our facilities in Garden City and Islandia.
Counseling Groups are designed for children with social/emotional, behavioral and/or sensorimotor delays. These social skills groups provide an opportunity for children to interact with their peers in a positive manner. Using a variety of activities, children are taught ways to improve their self-esteem, regulate their behavior, and develop boundaries.
Small groups are led by either a licensed social worker or psychologist.
Kidz Therapy offers a structured 10-week group program designed to introduce different textures and tastes in a supportive, positive atmosphere for children who present with feeding problems. Foods are presented in a step-by-step manner with specific attention paid to sensory needs, oral-motor abilities and nutritional intake. Parent education and training is an integral part of the program.
At Kidz Therapy Services, we provide feeding therapy for those children who have an extremely limited repertoire of foods as well as those who exhibit muscle weakness. For the “picky” eater, therapy typically consists of slowly expanding the child’s food choices by small, systematic changes in texture and flavor utilizing a modified form of the SOS program. Children with reduced strength or mobility of the jaw, lips, and tongue benefit from an exercise program designed to target specific areas of weakness.
Language therapy is designed to target delays in comprehension (following directions, responding to questions), expressive language (grammar, organizing words and sentences to re-tell an experience or familiar story) and/or pragmatic language (being able to converse with another person). Techniques include the use of toys and pictures to increase vocabulary, follow directions, respond to various questions, and maintain a conversation.
Parent Training offers assistance to parents and caregivers so they can understand the special needs of their child. Parent trainers provide information about child development and help parents develop the strategies needed to support the implementation of their child’s educational goals.
Group Parent Training is a service designed to enhance the natural skills of parents/caregivers. This service provides specific suggestions to address challenging behaviors in every day or crisis situations. Recent research indicates that parental positive thoughts and attitudes are necessary to carry out effective behavior management techniques.
Pragmatic Language Groups
Pragmatic Language Groups provide children with the tools necessary to communicate effectively and appropriately with adults, as well as peers. Typically, children in this group demonstrate difficulty in several of the following areas:
- Using words to initiate or maintain conversation
- Establishing and maintaining eye contact
- Respecting the listener’s space (proxemics)
- Yielding the conversational floor
- Adhering to the rules of social language
- Maintaining relevance
- Using the appropriate vocal intensity
Through the Early Intervention Program, an ongoing service coordinator is selected to ensure that the family and the child receive all services that are stated in the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) and that the IFSP is reviewed on a regular basis. The ongoing service coordinator also aids the family when making changes to the IFSP and in transitioning the child to the preschool age process through the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE).
The Lidcombe Program of Early Stuttering Intervention
The Lidcombe Program of Early Stuttering Intervention is an evidence-based behavioral treatment program. It has been proven to be extremely effective throughout the world. This program requires a commitment by the parents to provide a daily structured 10 – 15 minute session daily with their child. The speech pathologist meets with the parent and child once a week for an hour. Techniques begin with highly structured activities and the use of specific phrases to provide information to the child about their speaking. The parent is trained in these techniques and in keeping data and must bring the data to all office visits.
Teachers of the Blind and Partially Sighted provide services to children with visual impairments. These teachers also provide consultation in education settings to assist in modifying and adapting curriculum to enable a child’s full participation in their current programs.