Intensive Therapy For Children

Accelerate the achievement of developmental milestones and enhance your child's functional independence.

About Our Intensives:

Here at Family First Therapy, we offer two styles of intensives:

Intensives offer therapy at an increased frequency and duration, intended to accelerate the achievement of developmental milestones and enhance your child's functional independence.

Program Specifics:

Therapy is typically completed 5 days a week for 1.5 hours up to 3 hours daily. Intensives are 1 to 3 weeks in duration but can be customized to your child's individual needs.

Our intensive schedule is structured as followed:
Session 1: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
Session 2: 10:30 AM-12:00 PM

Please note that we currently do not offer intensives in the afternoon, as this time is dedicated to serving our weekly recurring local clients. Click below to view our schedule and available dates.

Tampa Bay intensive pediatric therapy sessions

Booking and Billing:

Intensives are private pay and billed at a rate of $150 an hour. We can provide a superbill for potential insurance reimbursement upon request. Additionally, we are a direct provider for the FES-UA (formerly Gardiner).

We do require a 30% deposit to book intensives, the remaining balance is due on the first day of the intensive. Please contact us to proceed with booking an intensive. Prior to the Intensive, our front desk will help in completing the necessary paperwork.

Meet The Therapist:

Alexandra is a Florida state-licensed Occupational Therapist. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences from the University of South Florida and continued her education earning a Master’s of Occupational Therapy at Advent Health University.

In addition to working on our team for several years, Alexandra also works in early intervention, servicing the birth-3 population, and hospital-based inpatient rehabilitation. Alexandra is passionate about applying the knowledge and expertise she has gained from her vast experience across multiple settings.

Alexandra continues to expand her skill set by continuing to take courses to enhance her practice. Alexandra has advanced training in Dynamic Movement Intervention (DMI), Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT), and Bimanual Therapy styles. In combination with these skills, Alexandra uses a variety of modalities such as Task-Specific Electrical Stimulation (TASES) and Whole-Body Vibration (WBV) to help children achieve their

Alexandra is a Florida state-licensed Occupational Therapist.

Dynamic Movement Intervention (DMI)

What is Dynamic Movement Intervention?

Dynamic Movement Intervention (DMI) is the fastest-growing, internationally recognized manual therapy technique that helps children reach their gross motor milestones. DMI is a therapeutic technique used in physical and occupational therapy to treat children with motor delay by improving automatic postural responses and promoting progress toward developmental milestones. The goal of DMI is to provoke a specified active motor response from the child in response to defined dynamic exercises prescribed by the therapist. This comprehensive intervention incorporates current research on neurorehabilitation, technologies, and methodologies. DMI stimulates neuroplasticity to facilitate new neuronal connections and the development of motor milestones.

Who Benefits from DMI?

  • Children diagnosed with ANY type of gross motor delay including conditions such as Down Syndrome, Cerebral palsy, global developmental delay, hypotonia, chromosomal abnormalities/genetic disorders, spinal cord lesions, or acquired brain injury may benefit from this form of therapy.
  • Children at risk such as those who are born prematurely can also benefit from this therapy due to the strong neuroplastic changes that this treatment stimulates within the developing brain.
  • Children with orthopedic conditions such as torticollis, toe walkers, genu valgum (knocked knees), in-toeing, and others.

How is DMI Different From Traditional Methods?

  • Provokes the highest level of gross motor independence - Manual exercises challenge the child within each functional task to achieve outcomes, often beyond expectations.
  • Progresses support from proximal to distal (support given lower on the body) with hands-free- Each time we give the childless support, the child has to activate with more postural control and work harder towards strength and independence.
  • Progress through exposure to gravity- The ability to keep our body aligned against gravity’s forces requires input through several sensory systems, as well as strength and coordination, to be consistently successful. DMI helps children gain these skills rapidly so they can maintain their posture in all positions.
  • Harnesses the power and science of neuroplasticity to trigger rapid changes- Research in the field of brain science gives us guidelines to provoke the brain to make new strong connections to support gross motor tasks and functions. DMI utilizes these guidelines for rapid and explosive gross motor progress.
  • Healthy muscle length is achieved and maintained through active functional stretching - DMI utilizes dynamic stretching techniques within functional tasks so stretches are longer lasting and maintained to avoid muscle lengthening surgeries.
  • Develops skeletal and joint maturity and alignment- Children with disabilities frequently face orthopedic challenges that may result in debilitating chronic pain and surgeries. DMI utilizes exercises that promote aligned weight bearing and musculoskeletal activation for long-term orthopedic health
Dynamic Movement Intervention (DMI) logo

Alexandra is Level C certified and plans to continue her training in DMI this upcoming year. Please visit the DMI Therapy website, for more information.

Upper Extremity Intensives

What is an Upper Extremity Intensive?

Our upper extremity intensives are designed to improve upper extremity function in children who have functional difficulties involving one hand or arm. Our therapists employ a variety of techniques to optimize function in the affected limb through engaging activities that are functional and progressively challenging.

Programs are designed to encourage the active use or increased utilization of the affected limb. We attribute the decline in both-hand usage to a combination of factors such as weakness, increased tone, poor coordination, and the development of "learned" non-use.

This comprehensive program is specifically designed to address and counteract these contributing factors. The ultimate objective is to enhance your child's engagement in play, self-care, and school activities by promoting the use of the affected arm and hand.

Our specially trained occupational therapists will work with you and your child to create a treatment plan specific to your child’s needs.

Upper Extremity Intensive Tampa Bay

Who Benefits From an Upper Extremity Intensive?

Children over one year of age who have functional deficits involving one hand or arm. Common diagnoses may include cerebral palsy, brachial plexus injury, traumatic brain injuries, or hemiparesis.

Program Specifics:

For Upper Extremity Intensives the recommended duration is 3 hours of therapy per day for approximately 3 weeks to improve the functioning of the involved upper extremity.

Upper extremity Intensives may include:

CIMT which targets the use of the affected limb by restraining the unaffected limb.

Bimanual therapy targets the coordinated use of both hands, emphasizing activities that require the integration of movements between both the affected and unaffected limbs.


Task-Specific Electrical Stimulation (TASES)

What is Task-Specific Electrical Stimulation (TASES)?

Task-specific electrical stimulation (TASES) is an evidence-based Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) approach used on children and adults with cerebral palsy and other movement disorders.

How Does It Work?

Task Specific Electrical Stimulation (TASES) activates muscles and provides sensory input and awareness to the user. This increased muscle awareness and muscle contraction ability improves movement patterns and function. TASES improves joint range of motion and also decreases spasticity. During treatment, motor learning occurs with the repetition of movement in proper alignment and participation in age-appropriate motivating tasks.

What Makes It Different?

Electrical Stimulation ES has many names, neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES), functional electrical stimulation (FES), and task-specific electrical stimulation (TASES). All these methods want to improve muscle function, range of motion, and muscle strength.
TASES focuses on stimulating muscles during the moment when they should be firing such as during the stance or swing phase of gait. With TASES the therapist uses a switch to activate the muscle at the moment it should fire during the gait cycle. We repeat this process over and over and over while practicing walking.

In the same fashion, TASES can also be performed on the arm or hand to target reaching and grasping during a skill like self-feeding. This approach supports the need for muscles to be strengthened, not weakened, and for sensory input to be optimized for the child to enhance active independent movement and activation with proper timing.

Alexandra is Level II certified and has received training from Judy Carmick the founder of TASES as well as Dr. Mirav Newman. Alexandra is certified in both upper and lower extremities. Please visit the Task-Specific Electrical Stimulation (TASES) website, for more information.

Whole-Body Vibration (WBV)

What is Whole Body Vibration?

Whole Body Vibration (WBV) is delivered via a mechanical vibrating platform. As the machine vibrates the oscillations generated by the vibration platform stimulate sensory receptors, promoting neuromuscular activation and engagement. Whole Body Vibration can be a valuable adjunct to conventional rehabilitation approaches.

At Family First Therapy, we utilize the Hypervibe—a leading brand in Whole Body Vibration plates to optimize our therapeutic outcomes. Our therapists love that whole body vibration is highly individualized, and can be used to target a variety of skills.

Different frequencies can be used for a variety of benefits:

  • Low frequencies facilitate muscle contractions for stabilization and can be used to target balance as well as provide proprioceptive input for body awareness.
  • Mid frequencies increase blood flow and lymphatic drainage to help with circulation or swelling in the extremities. This range can be used to target stretching and range of motion.
  • High frequencies provide the most stimulation, creating involuntary reflexive muscle contractions that are difficult to target. This range can be used to decrease spasticity and regulate tone.

What Are The Benefits?

  • Improves balance
  • Reduces spasticity
  • Regulates muscle tone
  • Increases muscle activation and strength
  • Increases bone density
  • Increases total body muscle and bone mass
  • Improves muscle function and flexibility
  • Increases motor function and balance
  • Decreases contractures
  • Creates involuntary reflexive muscle use
  • Improves functional mobility
  • Assists in blood flow and lymphatic drainage
  • Improves cardiovascular health
  • Reduces anxiety

At Family First Therapy, we utilize the Hypervibe—a leading brand in Whole Body Vibration plates

At Family First Therapy, we utilize the Hypervibe—a leading brand in Whole Body Vibration plates. Please visit the Hypervibe website, for more information.

Call us so we can talk about your child’s treatment plan today.

Tampa Intesive Therapy Sessions For Children