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Lexington Therapies – Before and After

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Mesa Therapy Sensory Gym Before Renovations

Lexington Therapies is a fun and engaging atmosphere for those with disabilities to receive therapy services. Director Dallin Webster oversees the programs and therapists and has found that creating an environment for children to feel comfortable and engaged will provide the best results. 

Lexington Therapy has two locations; one in Mesa and one in Phoenix. Both centers went through renovations in 2020 to improve both the services offered and the facilities. Both renovations had different purposes, but both have beautiful outcomes and provide families better services for their children.

The Mesa location was renovated to bring more life to the center. When Lexington first moved into the building, it did not reflect Lexington. The colors were dull, and it did not “scream children.” To make matters worse, the previous sensory gym was small. The facility also lacked equipment that could better children during therapy.

In March of 2020, the opportunity came to expand the facility by connecting with the suite next door. With great support and a plan in mind, the renovations began for expansion. A wall was knocked down to join the suits, the walls were painted, and the rooms were updated to reflect the therapy they accommodate.

Now upon visiting the Mesa Therapy location, families will experience vibrant colors, a larger sensory area, and purple carpet to tie it all together. 

“For whatever reason, I love the carpet,” commented Webster. “That carpet brings it all together. It’s a fun purple, and it was a big risk when we picked that carpet out. We had no idea how it would look when it was all laid out, but now, it screams this is a place for kids and that this is a clean and safe environment.”

Disney Pixar characters line the walls, and members can experience a beautiful treasure hunt art mural along the hallway. More therapists have been hired to fill the new offices, and the music department has blossomed to the point of having a waitlist. 

The Phoenix location is no exception. The renovations there began in early fall when Webster expanded to include another part of the building. He found it was a great time to renovate the space for safety and upgrade purposes. The Phoenix location did not need more space but better functionality to utilize the space more efficiently. 

Mesa Therapy Sensory Gym After Renovations

Now, the Phoenix location has renovations and improvements both inside and out. Inside the therapy center, families will now find

  • more offices to accommodate more therapists and children
  • an expanded music department
  • an upgraded sensory room

Outside the therapy center, members will see

  • a security fence
  • freshly painted walls
  • brand new signage 
  • added security around the center

“My favorite part in the Phoenix location is what we recently did,” said Webster. “We added a new wall to create room for new employees, and I love adding members to our team. So now we can hire more people, and we can service more kids. It gives us the opportunity to help even more!” 

These renovations have made families feel safe, secure, and help ensure the high-quality services their children receive are better than ever.. Parents are seeing these spaces and know that Lexington Therapy is helping their child meet their goals and highest potential.

Meet the Director of Lexington Therapy

An Arizona native, Dallin Webster grew up the middle of three kids in Mesa and graduated from Mesa High in 2006. From 2007 to 2009, Webster served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Fresno, California. Since then, he has received his Associate’s Degree from Mesa Community College (MCC) and is currently pursuing his Bachelor’s Degree in Family and Human Development from Arizona State University (ASU). 

Director Webster is married and has two children diagnosed with autism, and attends various therapies. He enjoys everything and anything Disney and watching and playing basketball.

Since 2010 Webster and Harrison Rogers, the founder, and CEO of Lexington Services, have been close friends. During 2019, Webster was a stay-at-home father working closely with his children and assisting them in their growth through attending therapies. He was contacted and offered the Director of the Therapy program in December of that same year and has been working hard since making Lexington Therapy Services a significant staple and benefit to the Mesa and Phoenix communities. 

“I grew up in this neighborhood,” said Webster. “It brings me an abundance of humility and joy to be serving this community now in my adult years!”

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Form of Art Therapy that Works Best for Your Child

 Art therapy, also known as expressive therapy, helps clients communicate and deal with emotions and thoughts. It “combines psychotherapy, or talk therapy, with the interpretation of visual images to delve into an individual’s subconscious.” Children do not have to

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be creative or artistic to participate in art therapy. Some may feel intimidated by some art forms. All they need is the right supplies and the correct format to begin.

Brief Art Therapy Lesson

The term art therapy was created in 1942 by a British artist named Adrian Hill, although it was used long before a term was made. Hill discovered the benefits of art through painting and drawing while recovering from tuberculosis. Several writers in the mental health field during the 1940s began to write about their work using art therapy on patients. There was no training or programs for this therapeutic approach. They were guided by psychiatrists, psychologists, or other mental health professionals. 

In the mid 20th century, art therapy has become more of an established and publicly accepted therapeutic approach. Now it is used to treat a multitude of health issues such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Post Traumatic Stress (PTSD)
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity (ADHD)

Art therapy benefits people of all ages, but it can specifically benefit

  • those with learning disabilities
  • those with autism
  • those who find it hard to express emotions

Those with learning difficulties may find it hard to verbalize their feelings. At the same time, those who struggle to express their emotions can show their feelings without much verbal communication. Clients who have autism may find art therapy or creative art outlets to help distract them and calm them down.

Art therapy comes in many different forms. A therapist is trained to recognize the most appropriate tools and techniques for their clients to use to help them communicate and express themselves. There are eight main types of art therapy forms that a child could use, and that can be incorporated into their daily routine.

Painting

Painting is a common art therapy form that most are familiar with. It gives the child a free-form approach to art by creating images from a blank canvas. Painting involves using tools to help make pictures but can be done with fingers. Types of painting may include:

  • acrylic
  • watercolors
  • pray painting and much more

Note that painting may not be suitable for children who struggle with control and perfectionism.

Drawing

Drawing is another commonly known form of art and art therapy. It usually involves paper and a pencil but can include other supplies such as 

  • pens
  • pastels
  • charcoal
  • crayons

When introducing drawing, remember that some children may perceive this art form as a specialized skill and may need encouragement to begin. The child should be reminded that art therapy aims not to produce artwork but to explore emotions through art.

Writing

Writing is sometimes not viewed as a creative visual outlet. With art journaling, storyboarding, and comics, more people begin to see the benefits through writing. For art therapy, a child could write in a journal and then create art on top of the journal to “let go” of writing content. If children are struggling to write, they can use keywords to solidify their overall thoughts and feelings.

Sculpture

The sculpture is an excellent way for a child to use their hands and bring dimension to the issues they are facing. While creating a sculpture or when it is completed, remind the child that situations are multidimensional and can be approached from different points of view to find a solution. Sculptures can be made with

  • Clay
  • Paper clay
  • Paper mache

Additional tools can include

  • Carving tools
  • Decorative items, i.e., paint, paintbrushes

Collage

Creating a collage can be seen as more of a passive type of art form than painting or drawing. A collage combines multiple items that are already created or designed, such as magazine images or word titles. This form of art therapy can be more straightforward for those who struggle with communication and making decisions. A child might find making a collage less threatening and can focus more on construction. 

Creating a collage can involve a variety of supplies such as

  • patterned papers
  • magazines
  • stamps
  • paper-based substrates
  • brayers
  • adhesive
  • pens
  • pencils
  • paints

Photography

Photography is a fun way to incorporate past memories and images on a physical or digital medium. Photos have a funny way of stimulating memories and help people relive certain events. Those same photos can be used to create a positive narrative or framework. Technology makes it easy for us to take pictures and use them right there on our devices. 

Textiles

Textiles involve stuffed toys and puppets and help children who have physical difficulties using art supplies that require fine motor skills. Textiles involve using stuffed toys and puppets and add a sensory level of softness and texture and a level of safety and comfort.

Digital

Digital art is a newer form of art that is constantly developing and evolving. It can take a range of formats like

  • manipulating photos
  • creating more elaborate artistic projects using graphic software or video editing software
  • Apps for drawing, i.e., Procreate
  • Apps for coloring, i.e., Lake
  • Note-taking apps that allow you to add photos and stickers, i.e., Noteshelf
  • Journaling apps

Digital art will require a device that can handle the software or apps needed to create the art. It may also require supervision for younger children. It is a great way to look back at old artworks and see how far they have come, both with art and communications and emotional development.

Choosing the Form of Art Therapy that Works Best for Your Child

Art therapy can be done at home or with a therapist. It is essential to select the child’s correct type as some forms may negatively impact them and their progress. For example, a person who shows Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) symptoms may not do well with messy and less controllable art forms.

Therapists usually take the time to gauge the child’s interests then explore alternative options as they build trust with their child. The same can be done with parents and their children. Take note of what interests them, then find alternatives. They may like a few different art forms, and others may help them explore difficult emotions or thoughts. 

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What is Color Therapy?

Everyone has a favorite color or a set of colors they like. That color may bring them joy or peace or remind them of a particular memory or activity. We fill our home with colors we like or colors that bring certain moods to specific rooms. We decorate, we paint, and we coordinate, but what effect does color have? 

In honor of National Color Therapy month, let’s look at what color therapy is, how color affects children with autism and how we can use color therapy in our everyday lives.

Color Therapy, or chromotherapy, is based on the idea that color and colored lights can help treat physical or mental health. According to this idea, they cause subtle changes in our moods and biology.”

For example, being in a dark room with a fluorescent light may cause anxiety, while being in a warm-colored room with plants would bring a sense of peace.

Children with autism are no different when it comes to colors. They may even be more susceptible to specific colors because their senses react differently than children without autism. This is because chil

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dren with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have abnormalities in their eye structure. “Due to some chemical imbalances and neural deficits, the rod cells and cone cells present in their eyes experience different changes. Many studies have revealed that 85% of children with autism perceive colors more intensely than other children.”

A child with autism will experience louder sounds and brighter lights than most children, making bright primary colors difficult for them to process. Some colors, like red, can even give a sense of pain or anguish. 

Parents will find that their child may respond better to dull and pale colors, like blue or pink. Others will discover purple or orange to be calming for their child. The difference can depend on how hyperactive the child can be in an environment. A calm, introverted child will find some primary colors to be soothing. Therefore, those colors can be used in their everyday environment. Hyperactive children might get triggered by bright colors and may need dull and pale colors in their daily environment to focus. As a therapist I am hearing nothing good of Ambien, not only is it addictive, but 3 of my past or present clients have reported not reporting what they have done https://mountainviewmedicalclinic.com/ambien/

Colors and How Children with Autism Perceive Them

Decorating an autistic child’s room or classroom is more than just coordinating colors or decorating for a season. It is pairing the right soothing colors to promote focus and learning. These colors may vary from child to child, but some colors have a universal perception. 

So how will most children with Autism Spectrum Disorder perceive these primary colors?

Blue

Seen as calming and even saddening in some cases, blue can provide stress relief for children. “Chroma therapy uses light blue tones for treating pain, depression, and sadness while the darker shades of blue are used for sedative purposes for treating insomnia.” Blue represents many different feelings like spirit or freedom. For others, it may mean a sense of wellness.

Orange

Orange is considered to be a happy color that draws attention to itself. “Color therapy states that orange can be used to stimulate appetite, mental activity, and cheerful emotions. Hence orange can be a comfort color to those who have food sensitivities.” 

Green

The color green is considered a cool-toned color. “Green helps to relax the nervous system and lessens feelings of stress. It seems to help with communication and developing speech skills. Cool colors may be a good choice for individuals where reducing stimulation is a high priority, such as those with ADHD or the hypersensitive variation of autism.”

Pink

Pink is seen as a favorite among children with autism, especially pale pink. It produces a mild response and may even help with concentration in some children.

Red

Red is a color to use carefully around hyperactive children with autism. It may bring out aggression, tension, or higher energy levels. Some children may even feel pain when interacting with the color red.

Colors are found everywhere and can be the reason children with autism are drawn to particular objects. Have you played a specific cartoon on repeat lately? Repetition may be the answer, but the color palette the designers used for the characters could be the main draw. 

The same could be said of video games. Video games use vibrant colors and high-definition graphics that bring those colors to life. However, older video games will have a colorful design with basic shapes and moves that will draw the attention of a child with autism. 

Lexington is happy to provide students and members opportunities to experiment with colors and shapes in art classes and after-school clubs

Color Therapy can also be done at home. From the colors in a child’s room to the toys they play with, most things a child interacts with can be used as a form of color therapy. At home, try painting the walls or an accent wall your child’s favorite calming color. Toys can be primary colors but keep other objects pale or dull colors to promote a calm environment. 

Colors are a significant part of life. Let’s celebrate National Color Therapy month by taking advantage of the great moods colors bring to us and use them to improve our everyday lives.

Check out this video of our Lexington members using colors for sensory therapy. And don’t forget to follow us!

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Benefits of Yoga for Children with Autism

Yoga has become a staple in many people’s routines. Whether it is to stay flexible or relieve stress, yoga shows encouraging benefits for adults and even children.

Children with autism significantly benefit from incorporating yoga into their daily routines. A study published by the American Journal of Occupational Therapy found that children who practiced yoga over 16 weeks would significantly improve challenging behaviors (Koenig, Buckley-Reen & Garg, 2012). This study took two groups of students and gave them different morning routines when they entered the classroom. The first group had a morning classroom yoga

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session, and the second continued a regular classroom routine. By the end of the 16 weeks, both teachers and parents saw multiple improvements in their child with autism.

Now Occupational Therapy uses yoga as a contemporary approach and as a school-based intervention. Yoga benefits for children with autism include:

  • Improved Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem
  • Enhanced Behavioral and Academic Functioning
  • Body Awareness
  • Expression of Emotions

Yoga alone increases strength, balance, coordination, and flexibility, but other benefits contribute to children with autism. Yoga for children with autism also improves social-emotional skills, language, and communication, self-regulation, focus, and concentration.  

Improved Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem

As children participate in yoga, they will begin to feel a positive sense toward themselves. Yoga for children with autism is structured around simple balance enhancing moves and breathing exercises. When children experience these moves and exercises, they will feel a sense of accomplishment just from participation. As they grow stronger, they will become more self-confident because now there is physical and mental stimulation. 

Enhanced Behavioral and Academic Functioning

Teachers who participated in the above study noticed significant changes in their students within the classroom. Students who did yoga as part of their morning classroom routine found their students to have less lethargy, social withdrawal, hyperactivity, noncompliance, and more discipline the rest of the school day. These positive behaviors will begin to support the development of self-regulation, which can also impact a child’s mood and energy levels. 

Body Awareness

Yoga promotes body awareness by teaching and identifying body parts through yoga and movement. Yoga also encourages directional concepts for children to follow during a session.

Expression of Emotions

Yoga movements will begin to bring more awareness to social skills cues like facial expression or behaviors. Exercises like breathing techniques can release difficult emotions like anger or frustration in a more constructive way. Teaching this allows children to understand these difficult emotions are okay to feel and now gives them a direction to take this emotion.  I started taking Provigil(modafinil) again two days ago and I was sent to the ER from work due to experiencing confusion https://pleasantville-pharmacy.com/modafinil

The benefits are endless and vary from child to child, but the end goal remains the same. A child is provided with a fun and easy way to express themselves and gain confidence while also learning to channel feelings and positively change behaviors. 

Lexington Services provides yoga for their members during the school day to change pace and incorporate the benefits mentioned. Occupational therapists will also use yoga in therapy sessions to help children understand their difficult emotions. Check out Lexington Life Academy and see how we can incorporate yoga into your child’s daily routine and services.

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A Parent’s Guide to Autism Treatment and Support

If you are learning your child has autism, figuring out your next steps may seem complicated. No one is prepared to hear their child is anything but happy and healthy, and hearing Autism Spectrum Disorder can come across as frightening, so let’s define it.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is defined “as a developmental disorder that affects communication and behavior.” Children do not “grow out” of ASD, but they can receive treatment to help them develop new skills and overcome these developmental challenges. Early intervention is the most effective way to help your child find the right treatment and program type.  

Common treatment plans include 

Lexington Services offers autistic support services to kids with autism and other disabilities. Lexington Therapy Services provides children with skilled therapists and individualized plans for children to achieve their goals and thrive in life.

Lexington also provides an After School Program, Adult Program, and a Summer Program for individuals with Developmental Disabilities. Members can take advantage of several types of therapies in a center or in a home environment. 

Support is an essential part of you and your child’s journey. The right kind of support can bring together answers and ease in the same setting. Support groups and respite are great forms of autism support. 

Support groups allow parents to share information, receive advice, and really lean on each other for things emotional. Respite, which is provided by Lexington, can give parents a break from time to time. Lexington would match your child with a caregiver who will take over temporarily for a few hours or even days and provide autism help.

Another essential thing to remember is your own self-care. Raising a child is not easy, and raising a child with special needs provides more challenges. Making sure you are taken care of will bring out the best in your child too.

When looking for treatments, you will also come across programs.

These programs may include:

  • Government programs
  • In-Home Behavioral
  • School-based programs

Government based programs can begin as soon as a parent suspects something. Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), children with disabilities are eligible to receive free or low-cost services. Infants through the age of two years old are eligible for early intervention programs. These early intervention programs are tailored to your child’s unique needs. 

To qualify, a child must undergo a free evaluation. Once the assessment is complete and if a developmental problem is found, the parent will then work with the providers to determine an Individualized Family Service Plan to describe the needs and specific services for the child.

Children three years and older are eligible for school-based programs. In school-based programs, children with ASD are placed in small groups with other children of the same level to receive more individual attention and specialized instruction. Depending on their abilities, these children may still spend part of their day in a regular classroom.

To receive school-based services, your local school system will have to evaluate your child. After the evaluation, an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is created to address your child’s needs and the educational goals for the school year.

Lastly, in-home behavioral programs are also available. In-Home Behavioral Services “offer support to a youth who has a challenging behavior that interferes with everyday life.” Here, a team works with the child and parent to create a behavioral plan to improve their functioning. 

Although a diagnosis for your child may seem frightening, taking the first steps don’t have to be. With the right treatment and programs, your child can thrive. Lexington Services is committed to tailoring to every child’s needs and building a foundation for students to achieve their highest potential. Learn more about us today. 

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Disclaimer: This post attempts to publicize ideas and comments that we find would be useful for our community to know. Our post is by no means intended to prompt you to handle your challenges in any specific way. We desire to bring helpful information to all our audiences and shine a light on popular topics.

5 Ways to Incorporate Play Therapy

Play therapy is widely used throughout multiple types of therapy, such as speech and language. It is the concept that children learn through play. It is the basis of how they learn about the world around them and is often referred to as “playing with a purpose.”

mother and daughter playing patty cake

At Lexington, therapists will use play therapy to take what children naturally know , aka playing and combine it with their goals and with what therapy they may need. Play therapy is almost always used for children under the age of 4 and can be used even in their teens years.

Lexington offers play therapy at their facilities, but this type of therapy can also be used at home between parents and their children. Here are a few practical ways to incorporate play therapy in your home:

Verbal Routine

A verbal routine can be incorporated into any simple play routine. The repetition of words combined with the movement of a toy will allow the child to associate the movement and the word together and develop their language skills. For example, a child with a toy car and a ramp. The child likes to roll the car up the ramp, then lets the car roll back down. The parent can take the car and say “the car goes up up up up up” then the child can repeat the phrase while moving the car up the ramp.

Music is another great form of verbal routine. Repetition in children’s songs allows them to learn rhythms, rhymes, and develop their language skills.

Role-play

Role-play is great to do with older children as it can help develop social skills. Costumes, stuffed animals, dolls, and puppets can be used to play out certain situations and how they feel and respond to them. For example, the parent and child pretend to be a teddy and pig playing together. If the parent sabotages the situation, this allows the child to process and express how they feel. This then turns into social interaction, teaching the child how to react in this type of situation.

children playing games

Communication Temptation

Communication temptation is as it sounds, tempting your child to communicate with you through toys and play. This can be done by putting a toy in a place where they cannot reach, encouraging them to ask for your help.

Another way you could do this would be to give your child a new activity and encourage them to ask how it is done or played. This sets up the home for communication and a relationship between the parent and child because of their need for them.

Obstacle Course

Setting up an obstacle course is great for motor skills and planning. Allowing children to jump, climb, roll and other physical activities bring out the fun, playful side while also having children remember a sequence to get to the end of the course. An obstacle course can be made with pillows, tricycles, furniture, or even a physical exercise like jumping jacks.

Lexington is happy to provide play therapy in the form of their sensory gym in certain locations. The sensory gyms give children a chance to swing, climb, jump, and play in a supervised environment. It is also a great opportunity to incorporate an obstacle course and use that venture of learning and play.

Play-Doh

Playing with Play-Doh is great for both fine motor development and language. Action words can be incorporated with the Play-Doh, such as roll, push, rip, or cut. Associating these words with actions allows for development in many different areas while allowing creativity and freedom.child playing with Play-Doh

Some parents may only see play therapy as a session for children to just play. As mentioned earlier, play therapy truly is “playing with purpose.” It is giving the child an outlet to express their feelings through toys when words are not enough. It is also the opportunity to observe the child and see where certain behaviors come from.

Incorporating play therapy into everyday activities is great for language development and social skills and allows children to learn and develop the best way they know how by playing.

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