MU Health Care's Children's Therapy Center provides pediatric physical, occupational and speech therapy services and includes one of the only therapeutic rehabilitation playgrounds in the United States.
The outdoor playground is designed to be accessible to children of all abilities, including those who require the use of crutches, walkers, wheelchairs and other assistive devices. The playground features therapeutic elements such as hidden images of animals to test children's visual development, steps of various heights to help children learn to climb stairs and obstacles such as hills and gravel to teach kids to navigate their environments.
In addition to the playground, the therapy center includes:
- Six private treatment rooms for speech therapy, manual therapy and infants
- An activity room, where children will focus on hand-eye coordination and fine-motor skills
- Two feeding and dysphagia treatment rooms for patients with feeding and swallowing disorders
- A low-stimulation treatment room with sound insulation and dimmable lights for infants and children with autism spectrum disorders, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, sensory processing disorder and other conditions
- Two indoor treatment gyms for physical and occupational therapy equipped with universal exercise units (UEU) from the TheraSuit method
- A splinting-and-casting room
When you arrive for your first visit, you will meet with a variety of therapists, including a physical therapist (PT), occupational therapist (OT) and a speech language pathologist (SLP). They will interview you and your child to identify your areas of greatest concern and conduct exams and evaluations of your child. Additionally, they will observe your child in any equipment he or she uses, such as a walker, wheelchair, stander and bracing. If your child doesn’t currently use equipment but would benefit from it, our therapists can recommend the most appropriate choices.
At the end of your first visit, our therapists will review their findings with you and create a plan if continued therapy is needed. Referrals to other clinics and specialists will be completed as necessary.
Tiger Intensive Therapy
Customized therapy programs of increased frequency, called Tiger Intensive, are planned with your family’s needs and goals in mind. The Tiger Intensive program offers three: physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech/language therapy. Sessions are scheduled from two to five days per week for a total of three or four weeks. PT sessions may last up to three hours, OT sessions may last up to two hours and ST sessions last one hour. Upon completion of Tiger Intensive, families will be issued a home program that will further progress and prolong the gains made during intensive sessions.
PTs help children to improve mobility and motion so they can function at their highest potential. They will evaluate your child’s mobility, strength, endurance, range of motion, balance, posture, sensory and neurological systems.
To learn more, visit our Physical Therapy page.
OTs help children with fine motor skills, visual motor skills, handwriting, activities of daily living (dressing, bathing, toileting, grooming and feeding), instrumental activities of daily living (money management, meal preparation and job skills), social skills, upper body coordination, functional transfers, use of manual and power mobility and adapted equipment and assistive technology for functional communication or use in everyday activities.
To learn more, visit our Occupational Therapy page.
Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) help children effectively communicate. When you arrive for your first visit, your SLP will conduct an Initial evaluation with a caregiver interview, therapist interactions, professional observations and, if recommended, standardized testing. Our SLPs evaluate a variety of communication needs, including speech, motor speech disorders, phonological processes, fluency, receptive and expressive language, pragmatic/social language, cognitive communication and executive functioning, and alternative and augmentative communication (AAC). The SLP will discuss the assessment and create a plan that includes a home exercise program (HEP) and recommendations for ongoing treatment if necessary.
To learn more, visit our Speech Therapy page.
Speech therapists help children eat and maintain a healthy diet throughout their daily life. Your child should arrive to the appointment somewhat hungry. Please bring food your child can chew and eat with a spoon and something to drink. Among the services provided are food chaining (emphasizing similarities between accepted and targeted foods), food exploration, meal-time routing planning and swallowing evaluations.
Learn more about our treatments