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Pediatric Therapy Treatments

Aquatic Therapy

Occupational and physical therapists may use water therapy in addition to land-based therapy to enhance interventions for patients with various diagnoses. Water provides a unique sensory experience for kids to improve their body awareness, increase strengthening and provide a safe and fun atmosphere.

Fine Motor Treatment

Occupational therapists provide individualized treatments for patients with an emphasis on improving functional tasks performed by the hand. Examples include using writing utensils and eating utensils.

Gross Motor Treatment

Therapists help patients improve upon age-appropriate skills, such as jumping, skipping, balancing and bilateral coordination.

Intensive Strengthening Program

During this program, patients participate in physical therapy sessions three to four hours a day, five days a week for three or four weeks.

Lite Gait

The Lite Gait is a specially designed piece of equipment that allows for partial body weight support during standing or gait training. It allows a child to be supported safely while walking on the ground or a treadmill.

Lower Extremity Orthoses

Physical therapists work closely with local orthotists to evaluate and assess lower extremity alignment of children with various diagnoses. They provide recommendations for bracing to improve the child’s overall alignment to improve their functional mobility.

Motion Analysis

The DARI system uses video footage to better analyze human movement data. With quantitative measures collected, the DARI system allows therapists to calculate precise, full-body kinetics.

Myofascial Release

Hands-on manual techniques are used to treat soft tissue adhesions, tightness and pain.

Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation or Functional Electrical Stimulation (NMES/FES) and VitalStim

Physical and occupational therapists may use NMES devices, which safely transmit an electrical impulse to the skin over specifically selected muscle groups. The devices are used to improve muscular control and muscular contractions to further promote improved function.

Speech therapists use a similar program, VitalStim, on facial muscles to improve oral motor control.

Serial Casting

Physical and occupational therapists may complete a continuous series of casts that are applied and then removed weekly to increase the range of motion of a muscle group.

TheraSuit Method®

Physical therapists and occupational therapists may use the TheraSuit Method in conjunction with intenstive therapy. The TheraSuit Method is based on an intensive and specific exercise program to eliminate pathological reflexes and establish new, correct and functional patterns of movements.

The method uses various tools and exercises, including a soft dynamic proprioceptive orthosis called TheraSuit. TheraSuit aligns the body as closely to normal as possible. Re-establishing the correct postural alignment plays a crucial role in normalizing muscle tone, sensory and vestibular function for patients.

Upper Extremity Splinting and Orthotics

Casts, splints and orthoses are devices designed to maintain the body in a certain position. They are used to prevent or correct deformities or to help children overcome activity limitations, such as difficulties standing and walking. MU Health Care’s occupational therapists may fabricate these or work with a local orthotist to provide patients with the support they need.

Therapeutic Listening

During therapeutic listening sessions, patients listen to specially recorded and enhanced music on headphones designed to provide sensory information to trigger a child’s attention and activate body movement. This treatment is typically combined with other treatments to improve the child’s functional ability and progress toward treatment goals.

Astronaut Training

This sensory integrative program stimulates and integrates multiple sensory systems of a child (vestibular, visual and auditory). The program can help children with poor motor coordination skills, poor balance, fear of movement or who fall frequently.

Wheelchair Assessment, Fitting, and Training

Physical and occupational therapists work closely with assistive technology professionals to evaluate a child’s posture and positioning in a wheelchair. Therapists also work with children to improve their ability to move more independently in their wheelchairs, including mobility and transferring into and out of the wheelchair.

Assistive Technology Evaluation and Training

Experts at MU Health Care’s Assistive Technology Evaluation Center are specialists in speech therapy and occupational therapy. They provide individualized assessments, evaluations and recommendations for patients with communication disorders and motor or physical disabilities.

Additional forms of therapy include:

  • Speech and Language Evaluation and Treatments
  • Feeding and Swallowing Evaluation and Treatments
  • Auditory Processing
  • Aural Rehab
  • Voice and Resonance
  • Speaking Valve Trials


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