Full Circle Development Center
My 4-year-old daughter, with sensory processing disorder, is doing weekly individual OT sessions with Full Circle. They usually have a waiting list but it paid off to get on the list and keep following up. The individual sessions have helped her tremendously. Feel free to message me directly if you want the name of the occupational therapist.
Hi, I was an OT at Full Circle. We closed the clinic due to Covid, but have created a smaller in home clinic in Oakland. Feel free to reach out to me and I can connect you with the appropriate member of our therapists. Otherwise, best of luck with everything!
Nov 2021 update: Full Circle has re-opened at the same location and can be reached at 510.250.9164 or FCCOT [at] gmail.com (F)CCollectiveOT [at] gmail.com
My son saw Hannah Beggan at Full Circle and we noticed a difference in his mobility within days. Her contact info is 415 710-5798. I believe some of the OT's from Full Circle (including Hannah) are working outdoors.
That all sounds really really hard! A lot of what you describe is familiar to me, so I'd like to recommend a few resources that have really helped our family:
1. OT: Kristina Fuller at Full Circle in Oakland. She is simply amazing! We have been working with her for a year and a half and our son has grown in so many areas and I have learned so much from observing her working with him.
I believe all the OTs at Full Circle do sensory integration OT.
I know that Holistic Hope Center in Berkeley is also great for this and I have friends with children with SPD who've worked with the therapists there and have had great benefits.
2. Have you considered a speech therapist (SLP)? They can also help rigid children to become more flexible.
3. Life-changing class offered in Walnut Creek/Lafayette beginning early 2019 (there are also some free webinars available). My husband took it last year and the binder/book they give you is worth its weight in gold:
4. Books: The Kazdin Method for Parenting the Defiant Child
Self-Reg by Stuart Shanker
Differently Wired by Deborah Reber
4. Positive Discipline classes for you and your husband (or at least read the books)
5. Have you considered ABA to help your son to do less-preferred activities as well as to practice "activities of daily living" such as peeing and eating?
I am wishing you all my best! It's a hard road but tiny steps forward will lead to transformation!
I'm not sure how useful this is since it's not near you but Full Circle OT in Oakland has done a great job helping my dysgraphic son who also has sensory issues. We worked with Sasha, but there are many good therapists there.
I adopted my daughter when she was 6 years old, so my parenting does not encompass your experience, but I thought I'd weigh in on the value of an occupational therapy evaluation since it's been suggested to you. Occupational therapy addresses more than sensory integration. It assesses reflexes, sensory systems, visual processing, and motor skills to identify deviations from normal development. Subtle deviations in the vestibular and other foundational neural pathways that few other disciplines notice have a lot of significance in the realm of occupational therapy. Your daughter may be unhappy because of what she's experiencing in her body and negativity is her only way to express it. I would rule out any possible physical challenges that might underly her behavior before exploring psychological resources. Rita Montez and her colleagues at Full Circle Development in Oakland are very skilled. They're not going to recommend occupational therapy if their assessments don't reveal a need for it, and may have good ideas for next steps. Our family greatly benefited from their services and people they recommended to us.
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My son went to see Lindy Joffe at Full Circle Development Center in Oakland - across the street from the DMV. There are 5 or 6 OT's that work out of the office and they are of the highest caliber. My son went for over a year and has benefited greatly. You can email me if you want specifics. Disclaimer, my sister is one of the high quality therapists in the office! You can google Full Circle to learn more. Good luck.