Children's Therapy Specialty Treatments

MU Health Care’s children’s therapists provide a wide range of specialty treatments.

Pediatric Assistive Technology Clinic (PATC): The PATC can help address a child’s functional communication, positioning and mobility needs. We serve a variety of diagnoses, both acquired and congenital.

Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC): A comprehensive assessment by a speech-language pathologist (SLP) and occupational therapist (OT) will evaluate communication, speech, language, vision, physical movement abilities (access methods) and seating and positioning needs. A variety of low-technology and high-technology options are explored within the evaluation process to determine the most functional means of communication for a child. Then the team will make a treatment plan that includes training for the child and family. An individualized home exercise program will be created so a child and family can practice the new skills outside of therapy sessions.

Seating and mobility: Our therapists can evaluate whether your child would benefit from a manual or power wheelchair, adapted stroller, whole seating system with alternative or adapted components, stander, walker, gait trainer or adapted bathroom equipment. 

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.

Inhibitory casting: Inhibitory casts are applied to a child’s more functional arm to encourage use of the weaker arm. The cast is applied with a child’s arm slightly bent from just below the armpit down over the hand and fingers. The cast is removed as soon as it is dry. Then the cast is padded along the inside and Velcro is applied to allow the cast to go on and off throughout the day on an individualized schedule.

Serial casting: A fiberglass cast with padding is used to hold part of the body, usually the ankle, with proper alignment in a position that will stretch a tight muscle. Casts are removed a week later, and new range-of-motion measurements will be taken. As long as children do not have any skin breakdown and their range of motion is continuing to make progress, a new cast will be applied. The process continues until children reach their most functional level. Typically, three to eight castings are required. Children will be provided a cast shoe to put over their newly applied cast, and they will be able to go to recess and participate in PE. At times, serial casting is completed in conjunction with Botox or Dysport injections. After serial casting, children likely will need an orthotic, such as an ankle foot orthosis. This orthotic will help children learn to walk with their new range of motion in a correct pattern.