In the pediatric outpatient setting, physical therapists are often musculoskeletal and movement specialists. With the advice of their doctors, parents can seek out evaluations when their babies are as young as 1 month old. Physical therapists have in-depth knowledge about human musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, and cardiovascular systems. Based on our background in stages of development and biomechanics, we help children with mobility difficulties; whether they are behind on their gross motor milestones, recovering from injury/surgery, or not keeping up with other children.
Through hands-on or developmental play techniques, pediatric physical therapist work with children on the following:
Gross motor skills
Balance and coordination
Motor control and motor planning
Pediatric occupational therapists are trained to improve the quality of children’s participation in their daily functional tasks. A child’s job is to play and take part in activities at school and at home. These include important endeavors such as paying attention in class, hand writing, dressing, feeding and grooming themselves, and being able to engage in age-appropriate games. Occupational therapists are also trained to help children organize and interpret information from the environment to further enhance playing and learning. This may include taste aversions that limit their food intake, or texture aversions that affect their clothing tolerance, or sound aversions that affect their mood.
OTs work with children on the following skills:
Fine motor skills
The term hippotherapy refers to how occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech-language pathology professionals use the movement of a horse to engage sensory, neuromotor, and cognitive systems to achieve functional outcomes. We do Hippotherapy at a year round facility in conjunction with Simple Changes. The movement of a horse at a walk is the same as a human’s gait. This movement allows for intense facilitation within a child’s trunk and extremities to improve strength and function.
Aquatic therapy is a specialized form of physical or occupational therapy. Water improves motion and flexibility. The natural buoyancy reduces gravitational pull and lessens compressive forces, hence making exercises much easier to perform than on land. Best of all, aquatic therapy can be used even if a patient does not know how to swim. Kids are able to do many things in the pool that they cannot or will not do on land. It is a super fun environment for kids to work on skills without them realizing how hard they are working!
Combining art therapy with physical and occupational therapy to address clients, as young as 18 months and up, with physical limitations, developmental delays or other sensory inhibiting conditions through the fusion of creative intervention and functional mobility assessment.
An art therapist uses creative interventions and directives to allow for therapeutic expression in a safe and supportive environment, and guide clients down a path of physical, mental and emotional health. The fusion of these two approaches offers children a unique, effective and holistic therapeutic experience that simultaneously and collaboratively addresses their physical, emotional and psychological needs.
The combined therapy will focus specifically on facilitating muscle stimulation and coordination, core strength, hand-eye coordination and fine motor control, with emphasis on sensory-motor, perceptual and cognitive awareness, while using art materials, tools and directed art themes focused on body movement.
Clients will acquire new physical and artistic skills while experiencing a fun and creative outlet and while developing a strong sense of confidence, pride and accomplishment following completion of an art work that reflects mental and physical control.
Pediatric speech therapists treat communication challenges, both expressively (producing language) and receptively (understanding language), that cause children to have difficulty with verbal communication. Speech therapists also treat oral motor concerns, such as chewing and swallowing, as well as articulation, auditory processing and social skills. Disorders of speech are characterized by difficulty in producing speech sounds correctly, omitting or distorting sounds, or difficulty with producing a few sounds with no pattern. Language difficulties are seen when a child has difficulty understanding what they hear. They may struggle to find the right words to clearly convey their message in a way that has meaning and/or have difficulty holding a conversation with others.
Our experienced therapists look at the five areas of language.
Phonology: Sounds in language and the rules that determine how the sounds are used (a-apple a-ate)
Semantics: vocabulary of language
Syntax: sentence structure (verb, noun, etc)
Morphology: meaning of language
Pragmatics: how we use language to communicate socially.