General FAQ


Occupational Therapy FAQ


Physical Therapy FAQ


Speech Therapy FAQ


Therapy programs are interwoven into each day at the Anne Carlsen Center. All residents receive extensive therapy from certified therapists who work closely with teachers, medical staff and life skills trainers to ensure therapies are working to help individuals be as functional as possible.

The Anne Carlsen Center has a highly-trained team with extensive experience in pediatrics offering Speech, Occupational, and Physical therapy services to provide quality client-centered therapy to surrounding communities.

The Center supports yearly continuing education opportunities so all therapists stay current with the latest techniques and technology to provide the best possible care to all students.

Physical Therapy

Focuses on improving muscle strength, range of motion, balance, head and trunk control, coordination, and mobility to facilitate more independent function in all environments. Physical therapists also recommend wheelchair, seating and orthotic enhancements, which may assist with those improvements. Two physical therapists, one physical therapy assistant and three physical therapy aides work with the Center’s students.

Our highly-trained, caring physical therapists all have extensive experience in pediatrics.
Our therapists work with your child to:

  •  Promote independence
  •  Improve motor development and function
  •  Improve strength
  •  Enhance learning opportunities

Benefits of Physical Therapy

Ultimately, physical therapy’s goal is to help children and young adults participate or return to their daily activities in the home, school and community.

Here are some of the benefits of physical therapy:

  •  Improvement of muscle tone and strength
  •  Improvement of posture and postural control
  •  Increased range of motion
  •  Improvement of balance and coordination
  •  Improvement of body awareness
  •  Pain management and relief

Occupational Therapy

Focuses on fine and gross motor coordination, daily living activities and providing sensory information to enhance motor performance and functional learning. The center has four occupational therapists and one certified occupational therapist assistant.

Our highly-trained, caring Occupational Therapists all have extensive experience in pediatrics.  Our Therapists continue to dedicate themselves to continuing education and training.  They are enthusiastic participants in helping each child progress in their own way and partner with families to work towards common goals for their child.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapists assist people of all ages to perform the functional tasks that normally occupy their lives. The occupation of childhood is to develop the skills necessary to become functional and independent adults.  These skills include:

  • Refinement of fine and gross motor skills
  • Development of independence in self-help and daily living skills
  • Learning appropriate social interactions
  • Regulation of sensory processing abilities
  • Learning appropriate play and leisure skills

Play is the media most often used for children.  It is highly motivating and a natural for kids of all ages. Other treatment techniques used by occupational therapists might include:environmental/equipment modifications and adaptations, direct skills instruction, exercise instruction, positioning and splinting.  Education and involvement of the family is usually a primary consideration and is critical to success.

Benefits of Early Therapy

Early therapeutic intervention helps stimulate normal development and prevent or minimize developmental delays.  It helps to reinforce a healthy self-concept and promotes emotional maturation. Therapy for children and adolescents can increase independence, mobility and social adjustment.

Developmental Milestones

The following are milestones of child development that children typically accomplish by certain ages.  If your child is having trouble reaching these milestones, contact your primary care Physician to determine if an occupational therapy evaluation is necessary.

Three Months:

  • Follows objects with eyes
  • Responds to sound by turning head
  • Grasps objects when placed in hand
  • Holds up hand and looks at it
  • Swipes at toys
  • Lifts to turn head from side to side when lying on stomach

Six Months:

  • Lifts head when lying on stomach, propping up on arms
  • Smiles when looking at self in the mirror
  • Rolls over
  • Brings toys to mouth
  • Reaches out for and holds objects
  • Moves toy from hand to hand
  • Sits unsupported momentarily

Nine Months:

  • Picks up small objects using a thumb and finger grasp
  • Uses an index finger to poke at objects or toys
  • Waves “bye-bye”

One Year:

  • Pulls to stand at furniture
  • Puts toys in and out of containers
  • Crawls on hands and knees
  • Looks at and turns pages of a picture book
  • Feeds self with a spoon
  • Holds own cup to drink

Outreach Services

Anne Carlsen Center offers OT services in Carrington so that local families don’t have to travel to the Jamestown campus for evaluations and direct therapy.  The therapists work with clients from birth to age 21.

If you think your child may need these services, contact the ACC Therapy Department at (800) 568-5175, ext 142 or 701-952-5142.  A primary care physician referral for an occupational therapy evaluation is necessary prior to receiving services.

Speech Therapy

Our highly-trained, caring speech-language pathologists all have experience in pediatrics.Each therapist is certified from the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA). All are state licensed and carry a teaching certificate. Our therapists work with both verbal and nonverbal children who may require alternative modes of communication including sign language, symbol boards and electronic communication systems.

Benefits of Early Therapy

“The development of communication skills begins in infancy, before the emergence of the first word. Any speech or language problem is likely to have a significant effect on the child’s social and academic skills and behavior. The earlier a child’s speech and language problems are identified and treated, the less likely it is that problems will persists or get worse. Early speech and language intervention can help children be more successful with reading, writing, school work and interpersonal relationships.”

– American Speech-Language Hearing Association

Developmental Milestones

The following are speech and language tasks that children typically accomplish by certain ages. If your child is having trouble reaching these milestones, contact your primary care physician to determine if a speech therapy evaluation is necessary.

Six months:

Makes many different sounds
Laughs, giggles, coos with familiar people
Turns and looks toward new sound
Babbles for attention
One year:

Understands “no”
Likes to makes sounds of familiar animals and things
Says 2-3 words besides “mama” and “dada”
Imitates familiar words
Understands simple instructions (i.e., “sit down” and “come here”)
Eighteen months:

Uses 10-20 words, including names
Combines two-word utterances
Points to his or her toes, eyes and nose
Brings on unfamiliar item from another room when asked for it
Knows and names five things
Waves “bye-bye”
Two years:

Identifies simple questions and commands
Asks “What’s this?” and “What’s that?”
Has about 300 words in speaking vocabulary
Makes sentences composed of 2-3 words

Outreach Services

Anne Carlsen Center (ACC) offers speech therapy services in Carrington and Valley City so that local families don’t have to travel to the Jamestown campus for evaluations and direct therapy.

ACC Speech/Language Pathologists in Carrington work with clients from birth to age 21 at the Carrington Health Center. Speech Language Pathologists in Valley City work with clients from birth to age 21 as part of home-based programs and agency based programs, such as Head Start. In addition to treating speech impairments, both satellite locations also provide therapy for young people with feeding and swallowing disorders.

If you think your child may need these services, contact the ACC Therapy Department at (800) 568-5175 ext. 142. A primary care physician referral for a speech therapy evaluation is necessary prior to receiving ACC services.

Professional Staff. Caring Environment.

In addition to caring for ACC residents, our professional staff of therapists, teachers, behavioral specialists and an assistive technology specialist provides customized outreach support to schools, families and children with disabilities. We work with support personnel in developing effective community-bases programs to ensure successful outcomes.

Outreach services include:

Outpatient therapy
Professional development
For more information about outreach services, contact ACC at (800) 568-5175 ext. 127.

Aquatic Therapy

The ACC aquatic center is located at the Center’s Jamestown Campus, and includes a warm-water pool (with a temperature that hovers at about 95 degrees) with an adjustable floor and a hot tub.

The ACC aquatic center is located at the Center’s Jamestown Campus, and includes a warm-water pool (with a temperature that hovers at about 95 degrees) with an adjustable floor and a hot tub.

The 20×40 foot pool was finished in 1985 and cost about $1.5 million to build. The area was updated in 2001. The pool contains about 30,000 gallons of water.

The floor of the therapy pool raises and lowers from a depth of one inch to five feet, providing flexibility of use by a variety of ages. When the floor is raised, there is no access to the pool, creating a safe environment and additional room adjoining the gymnasium.

Most students at the Center have therapy in the pool at least once a week, use the pool for physical education classes, and have the option of recreational swimming in the evening.

ACC staff tests the water twice a day to ensure safe pH levels.

Canine Therapy

Champ is a very special dog. From the moment he was born—one of eight pups in an elite training facility called Can Do Canines— he’s been working hard to acquire the skills and experience that help our students interact in healthy, positive ways.

Champ was selected to work at the Anne Carlsen Center based on his distinguished pedigree and advanced training. As a Chocolate Lab, Champ is very smart. He is hardworking, people-oriented, and, even though Champ loves kids, he never gets too excited, so as to startle the students. Champ’s trainers recognized his laid back, good-tempered personality and trained him to learn an assortment of different service skills, beginning when he was just a puppy. In fact, Champ wasn’t allowed to leave his whelping box until he was trained to sit.

That rigorous training has taken Champ across the Midwest, from his hometown of New Hope, Minnesota, where he cut his teeth on lessons about manners and obedience, to a minimum-security prison in Fairbault, where he modified those skills and provided comfort and companionship to prisoners. And even though Champ now works a full school week here at the Anne Carlsen Center, his education is on-going, and merits periodic assessments from his primary trainer, Julianne Larsen.

Unlike some of his brothers and sisters, who specialize in specific areas of assistance, Champ possesses a broader range of skills, which allow him to work with multiple students. In addition to understanding basic commands like retrieving and tugging, Champ can open doors, pull scooterboards, pick up and gather dropped items, and much more.

But beyond the simple utility Champ brings with his assistance, it’s the intangible connection our students experience with him that make Champ such a beloved companion and an important asset here at the Anne Carlsen Center. Our students love to read to Champ, walk to class with Champ, and use Champ as a social bridge to help with transitions and interact with others.

He’s a very, very good dog.

Centers for Therapy



701 3rd St. NW, PO Box 8000
Jamestown, ND 58402


Early Intervention
Assistive Technology
Medically Complex
In-Home Supports
Days Supports
Autism Services
Ideation Center


One of the things I like best about the therapy services is the way that the therapist knows exactly which activities will help encourage his therapy…will keep him stimulated and active.”

– Aaron Kjelland