Josh & Elaina – Pediatric Care

A local family is glad that Riverwood has therapists and providers who specialize in pediatric care.  Having a child with Down syndrome, they know their son, Josh, age 2, is going to need a lot of specialized medical care and therapy in the years ahead.

“Right now Josh is getting speech therapy,” said Melody, his mother, “but we know he’s going to need occupational and physical therapy down the road. We started therapy for him in Brainerd but switched to Riverwood last year when that program closed. It’s great to be closer to home for his care and to have access to therapists skilled in treating children.”

Amanda Rumpca, speech-language pathologist at Riverwood, specializes in pediatric care and loves working with children and families. She started treating Josh in September 2017.

“Josh is such a fun patient!” Amanda said. “He brightens everyone’s day with his smile and personality. We have been working on increasing his expressive communication using a combination of verbal language and sign language. He has made great progress and is saying so many new words!

Amanda added: “Josh’s family has been wonderful to work with. They are always willing to work on things at home. Josh’s older brother will often come back to our therapy sessions and help motivate Josh to participate.”

Melody appreciates how patient and kind Amanda is with Josh.

“Even when Josh is having a bad day, Amanda is able to help him with his speech,” Melody added. “His speech is still a little delayed, but he’s talking a lot more now.”

The family’s daughter, Elaina, age 1, also benefited from the pediatric expertise of Riverwood’s therapy staff. She had a condition called torticollis, a twisted neck condition with the head tilted to one side while the chin is turned to the other side.

“The occupational therapist showed me how to position Elaina to allow her neck muscle to loosen up,” Melody said. “She taught me exercises that I could then do with her at home. Elaina’s neck muscles have improved with no more issues at this point.”

Melody also credits her children’s primary care provider at Riverwood with being very kid-friendly and responsive to her as a parent.

“Nurse Practitioner Lisa Gerhart is wonderful,” Melody said. “She’s always so willing to listen and advise me on the healthcare issues that come up for my kids.”

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