Therapy services can help children thrive

The pediatric therapy services team at Riverwood Healthcare Center helps infants, children and teens reach their full potential through specialized therapy services that help them learn and develop or maintain skills that are essential for optimal participation in their daily lives.

Children with specific health conditions can benefit from pediatric therapy. Some common diagnoses include developmental delays, ADHD, Autism spectrum disorders, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, genetic conditions, premature birth complications, sensory processing disorders, and torticollis (tight muscle in neck).

Pediatric speech therapy helps children improve their communication skills, including speech, language, cognition and voice. Speech therapy can also help with feeding issues that stem from medical conditions of the mouth or throat.

A pediatric speech therapist can evaluate speech articulation, stuttering, voice, language and cognitive development to help children better communicate their wants and needs.

Specialty evaluations and interventions are provided for these areas: articulation (difficulty making speech sounds), auditory comprehension, fluency (stuttering), language disorders, cognitive deficits, social skills, voice deficits, oral motor skills, Autism spectrum disorders, and alternative communication devices such as an iPad for a child who is unable to verbalize wants and needs.

Pediatric occupational therapy helps children succeed in their everyday activities, from self-care and motor skills to social skills, sensory processing, self-regulation and feeding issues.

A pediatric occupational therapist can evaluate and treat coordination, motor skills, sensory processing, vision/perception, self-feeding, feeding dysfunction, school readiness and more. Treatment is focused on fine motor development, posture, strength, range of motion and coordination.

Therapy services for children include managing daily life (eating, grooming, dressing, reaching, grasping); increasing strength, coordination and mobility (roll, crawl, sit, stand); improving the body’s muscle development; enabling participation in play, school and work activities; developing skills to become more independent and safely meet goals; and interacting socially and coping with sensory stimulation within environments.

Pediatric physical therapy helps children improve their quality of movement and motor skills, addressing strength, balance, coordination, endurance, neuromuscular control, multi-sensory deficits and body awareness.

Physical therapists can evaluate and treat children who have health-related conditions that limit their ability to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives.

They work with children to improve a range of physical activities. Some examples of therapy activities include helping children learn how to roll over, sit up, crawl, stand and walk, and improving the body’s core strength and control, along with other large muscle groups to enable everyday activities like running, jumping and playing.

Physical therapists can also address mobility concerns related to weakness, decreased flexibility, poor posture, difficulty walking, decreased balance, and or pain, as well as a child’s needs following surgery or an injury to help the patient through the rehabilitation process.

Family is an integral part of the therapy team. Family members can provide valuable information about their child’s needs, skills and home, school and community environments. Knowing a child’s struggles and goals, a therapist is better able to customize the treatment program.  Teaching and sharing treatment ideas for home, school and the community will be instrumental for a child’s success in achieving personal goals.

Therapists will collaborate with the parents and family, the child’s health care providers and community services, including social services, school systems and other community resources, to help support successful treatment for a child.

Riverwood’s pediatric therapy services team includes Physical Therapist Allie Sibbert, Occupational Therapist Amanda Genz, and Speech Language Pathologist Amanda Bostrom. Call 218-927-5580 to contact Therapy Services at Riverwood.

“We will work with you to create a plan specific to your child’s therapy needs and set goals to measure progress,” Bostrom explains. “Together, we will help your child reach the best outcome possible.”