Frequently asked questions
Bearfoot is implementing health and safety policies/procedures to keep our clients and staff safe during these unprecedented times. Bearfoot will continue to monitor and adjust our protocols based on updated information from the CDC and other health agencies (local, state, federal).
individual OT sessions
Fall 2021 social groups
jan-April 2022 social groups
frequent Hand washing + sanitizing
frequent sanitizing of therapy materials
Reminder - everything is held outdoors!
(For full list, please contact Bearfoot OT)
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:
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. You might be more familiar with pediatric OT at school, home, or clinic. Bearfoot OT works on similar things but in the outdoors – tapping into the powerful effects of nature to help children meet their developmental goals.
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 above, 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 with nature-based occupational therapy?
For individual therapy sessions, the process starts with an intake call. You can email, call, or set up a time directly through the scheduler. After that, we figure out if your kid needs an evaluation and find a weekly time and location that works for you!
For nature-based social groups, you can join the waitlist here and Bearfoot will contact you when registration opens.
I'm not sure yet. How do I get more info about the occupational therapy program at Bearfoot?
Contact us any time for more details and/or to talk about whether or not Bearfoot OT is right for your kid.! We’re not about filling spaces, we’re about matching our specific services with the right kids which starts with a non-pressure phone call.
To join our mailing list to stay up to date, sign up here!
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.
While we only have our sessions outdoors, you see impact for your child in a variety of settings – home, school, and playgrounds.
Can being outdoors help with handwriting?
Yes! We work on the foundational skills that ultimately impact handwriting. You can work on handwriting all-day long but you won’t get results if these skills aren’t developed first.
Even if we don’t do worksheets, our sessions do assess and address the following areas related to handwriting:
Bilateral hand skills
Wrist stability and extension
Development of the palmar arches
Strong web space
Separation of two sides of the hand
Playing outside can help strengthen these areas, which then translates to functional improvement with handwriting. That being said, there's an unsurprising lack of worksheets in our sessions!
What happens if it rains? What if it's cold outside?
We play! We don't cancel for bad weather, we have fun in it. The only exception is hazardous weather, such as poor air quality or hail. We'll help you know how to best to dress your kid so that all weather is enjoyable.
Do you accept insurance?
Bearfoot OT does not bill insurance. However, we can provide information needed to assist families seeking reimbursement, based on your individual policies. Insurance typically doesn’t cover the whole cost of individual session packages or summer camp as some elements of these programs are valuable but not recognized as medically necessary by insurance.