Frequently asked questions
Bearfoot OT is implementing health and safety policies and procedures to keep our clients and staff safe during these unprecedented times. Bearfoot OT will continue to monitor and adjust our protocols based on updated information from the CDC and other health agencies (local, state and federal).
Reminder - everything is held outdoors!
- individual OT sessions
- Fall 2020 social groups
- sibling sessions
- summer camp 2020
(For full list, please contact Bearfoot OT)
- social distancing
- frequent Hand washing + sanitizing
- frequent sanitizing of therapy materials
- temperature checks
- health questionnaire
Is Bearfoot OT right for my child?
At Bearfoot OT, we serve many kids for many different reasons. Our program offers services for children ages 3 and up and therapy is customized to the needs of the child and family. If your child is having difficulty with any of the areas mentioned below, or if you feel like your child could benefit from more time outdoors, contact us for more info!
I'm in! How do I get started?
For individual therapy sessions, the process starts with an intake call. You can schedule that by emailing, calling, or setting up a time to talk directly through the scheduler. After that, we figure out if your kid needs an evaluation and then we figure out a weekly time and location that works for you!
For nature-based social groups, you can sign up here by filling out the registration form and then Bearfoot will contact you for an intake call.
I'm not sure yet. How do I get more info?
You are more than welcome to contact us any time for more details and/or to talk about whether or not Bearfoot OT is right for your kid! To join our mailing list to stay up to date, sign up here!
What is pediatric occupational therapy?
Pediatric occupational therapy helps children do the things they need to do as kids - play, work, move, grow, and interact with the world and people around them. Sometimes those kid "jobs" (aka occupations) are more difficult than they should be. Pediatric OTs help children build a variety of skill such as:
- fine motor
- gross motor
- visual motor
- executive functioning
- sensory processing
- self regulation and emotional regulation
- prosocial behavior and engagement
Bearfoot OT is a unique therapeutic model where children work on their goals outdoors in parks and open spaces in the Bay Area. Pediatric OT usually happens in the school, home, or clinic. Bearfoot goes outdoors to help tap into the powerful effects of nature to help children meet their developmental goals.
Why outdoor OT?
There is a TON of research about nature being good for health and wellbeing and academic outcomes, not to mention development. To help kids move towards their physical, social and cognitive potential, the outdoors helps boost the benefit of therapy. Instead of balancing on a balance beam, we might balance on a log. Instead of climbing a foam climbing wall, we might climb a tree. Instead of playing with shaving cream, we might play in the dirt. Nature offers endless opportunities for exploration, imagination and growth!
Wait....Bearfoot is only outdoors?
Yup. We have no indoor space. Our three main "offices" are Glen Canyon Park and the Presidio in San Francisco, and China Camp in San Rafael.
Can being outdoors help with handwriting?
Yes! Good handwriting is based on a variety of strong foundational skills such as:
- Postural stability
- Shoulder stability
- Bilateral hand skills
- Wrist stability and extension
- Development of the palmar arches
- Thumb opposition
- Strong web space
- Separation of two sides of the hand
- In-hand manipulation
- Hand Strength
Playing outside can help strengthen these areas, which then translates to functional improvement with handwriting. That being said, there's an unsurprisingly lack of worksheets in our sessions!
What happens if it rains? What if it is cold outside?
We play! We don't cancel for bad weather, we have fun in it. The only exception is if the weather is a hazard, such as air quality or hail. We make sure to communicate to families about how best to dress their kids so that all weather is enjoyable.
Do you accept insurance?
Bearfoot OT does not bill insurance. However, we can provide information needed to assist in helping families receive reimbursement, based on your individual policies.