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iLs Holiday Plan for Parents

🕑 5 minutes read
Posted October 20, 2017

Now is the time! Take advantage of the holiday schedule and complete an iLs program.

We have spoken with iLs trainers and therapists, Dillen Hartley, OT, owner of Advanced Therapy Solutions and Cindy Dawkins, OTR to gather a checklist for how they approach holiday season with their clients.

Check out the ideas and quotes below to make this season successful for you and your family.


Think about your goals whether they include starting a new therapy, continuing a current program or rolling up your sleeves to get some therapeutic to-do’s crossed off of your list.

School breaks are a great opportunity to fit in more therapy sessions, stay productive, active and busy during the time while you’re out of the school grind.

Know your insurance coverage

A lot of insurance carriers only cover 30 therapy visits. So by this time of the year, you may be paying for visits out of pocket. Or, have unused visits available.

  • Work with your iLs associate to find a therapy plan that will meet your therapeutic and budget goals.
  • Call your insurance company if you have questions regarding therapy coverage to help plan out the remaining visits.
  • If your therapy clinic has an insurance expert, schedule a time to meet with them.
  • Some states, like Florida, offer scholarships (like the Gardiner scholarship) to help cover the costs for families. In fact, if you know of similar scholarships to help cover therapy or the iLs Home Program, please let us know.


Most of my clients will be running out of insurance visits long before October. So we work with them to figure out options to meet their goals. – Cindy Dawkins, OTR


Have a conversation with your iLs associate about what this season can bring.

Plan out your schedule. See if you can work iLs completion in to use their festive celebrations as a reward or opportunity to use the new skills they will learn through therapy.

Be sure to have the necessary information you need to have this discussion with your iLs associate. You can call us at 303-741-4544 with any questions.

Dillen HartleyThis requires more than a 5-minute chat in the waiting room. You’ll want to schedule a meeting with your therapist to discuss what is realistic for them and for you to achieve. – Dillen Hartley, OT, Owner of Advanced Therapy Solutions



Focus on one or two goals you can achieve or at least identify a skill set to maintain and don’t lose ground.

During the school year, most goals are academic. For holiday season, you can work on social goals as well.

  • How to get along with siblings, friends and peers.
  • Ways to share with others.

Be informed about expectations and ask for a target end date to therapy.

  • How many times a week will you need to come into the clinic, and is there any therapy your therapist can recommend at home?
  • If you’re going on vacation for two weeks, how can you maintain therapeutic gains while away, and what can you expect when you return?

Programs You Should Consider

Therapy Intensives

Ask your iLs associate if they offer any intensive programs where they focus on specific skills your child may benefit from.


You may want to address specific items before you go on family trip. Discuss schedules and ways to target improvements in vacation travel challenges.

Keep it fun and productive

Many iLs associates offer one-week sessions focusing on a specific activity. The idea is to keep it fun, and these activities work great after 20 minutes of iLs playbook activities:

  • Exercise programs for addressing balance and coordination issues
  • Handwriting programs specific to the needs of your child’s abilities
  • Lego programs to encourage social communication and problem solving skills

Dillen HartleyI buy a really fancy Lego® piece and do a social skills group, and my clients come in and do an engaging Lego activity. – Dillen Hartley, OT, Owner of Advanced Therapy Solutions





Improve results with therapy at home

You may have plans to travel over the holiday season. When you are gone for weeks at a time, iLs therapy has to step back a few sessions. The iLs Home Program is a way for your child to continue therapy when you aren’t able to get into the clinic.

Ideas for using the home program after doing 20 minutes of iLs Playbook activities:

  • While on play dates to work on social behaviors
  • Riding bikes or playing in the yard
  • Have their favorite sitter over to play during the hour

You may also use this time as an opportunity to have multiple family members use the iLs Home Program!

I’m encouraging the families to do the iLs Home Program sessions at the same time they’re doing the clinic-based sessions so they can get through the entire iLs program without interruption. – Cindy Dawkins, OTR




Follow Up

What were you able to accomplish this season?

  • Ask your iLs associate about the Measure of Foundational Abilities (MFA) to illustrate progress with your child.
  • Have a face-to-face meeting with your iLs associate and your family to give your child an opportunity to show off their new skills.
  • Ask what changes you may see, and which behaviors you should encourage at home.

In many ways, going from work or school schedule to holiday season can be easier transition than going from holiday season back to structured schedule. Schedule time to discuss plans for the time when schedules become more rigorous.

Let us know what you think!

We love hearing from you, so please tell us what your plans are this holiday season and how you plan on using iLs

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