Innovative children's therapy comes to Viera

Aloha, the CCI facility dog, left; Samantha Schroeder, office clerk; Lauren Flores, occupational therapist and owner; Felicity, daughter of owner; and Kristie Dalton, an occupational therapist, work for 7 Senses Kids.

Alex and Lauren Flores seem able to clone themselves. The busy couple have successfully operated two very different and demanding businesses for more than three years while raising a young family.

In 2011, Alex and Lauren, who both have master’s degrees in occupational therapy from the University of Florida, opened 7 Senses Therapy, a pediatric occupational therapy studio serving youngsters that range from autistic to children with sensory processing disorders and gifted children. 7 Senses helps any child who needs assistance in school-related, motor or self-help skills; cognition; and even attention and self-regulation.

“Occupational therapy for kids is all about helping them achieve independence in any area of their daily life,” Lauren said.

Aiding them was facility dog Tinder, who headed the animal-assisted therapy portion of the Melbourne-based program.

In 2017, the couple expanded their business reach with Bold Cup, a coffee shop at The Avenue Viera.

“We opened the coffee shop because of my husband’s interest in crafted specialty coffee,” Lauren said.

Alex and Lauren have again expanded, this time by moving 7 Senses Therapy to The Avenue Viera, four doors from their coffee shop. The new business has been rebranded 7 Senses Kids and now includes an eco-gift shop for babies, children

and women.

“I wanted the new location to have a very eco-modern feel, meaning I wanted the occupational therapy studio to look much less clinical,” Lauren said.

The eco-gift shop carries wellness and educational products, baby clothes and accessories.

“We purchase our items from family businesses across the country,” Lauren said.

Tinder, now 12, is living the golden days of retirement. Following in his pawsteps is Aloha, a yellow Lab who, like Tinder, was trained by Canine Companion for Independence, a national nonprofit.

At 7 Senses, Aloha, like Tinder before him, helps kids hone their motor abilities. Among her activities, Aloha delivers puzzle pieces to her young charges so they can practice visual perceptual skills. She will even hold up pictures of letters the children can use as models to sharpen their handwriting.

In addition to occupational and pet-assisted therapy, 7 Senses Kids offers classes for handwriting and kindergarten readiness, free screening forms and a quick standardized assessment that can be completed in minutes.

“It’s for families needing fast answers for their kids,” Lauren said.

Speech therapy will be added to the roster of services in the near future, making Lauren and Alex even busier.

7 Senses Kids is at 2261 Town Center Ave., Suite 109, at The Avenue Viera.