Pediatric Therapy

Work With Licensed Pediatric Therapists

Specialists in Speech-Language Therapy

Speech-language pathologists (SLPs), often called a speech therapists, are professionals educated in the study of human communication, its development, and its disorders. They hold at least a master’s degree and state certification/licensure in the field, as well as a Certificate of Clinical Competency from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

SLPs assess speech, language, cognitive-communication, and oral/feeding/swallowing skills to identify types of communication problems (articulation; fluency; voice; receptive and expressive language disorders, etc.) and the best way to treat them.

Speech Disorders, Language Disorders, and Feeding Disorders

A speech disorder refers to a problem with the production of sounds. A language disorder refers to a problem understanding or putting words together to communicate ideas.

When Is Speech Therapy Needed?

Kids might need speech-language therapy for a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to:

  • difficulty communicating their needs and wants (expressive language)
  • articulation concerns that impact their ability to be understood
  • difficulty understanding spoken language and language concepts
  • cognitive (intellectual, thinking) or other developmental delays
  • weak oral muscles
  • cleft lip or cleft palate
  • cerebral palsy
  • autism spectrum disorders
  • motor planning concerns including childhood apraxia of speech
  • feeding and swallowing disorders or dysphasia
  • traumatic brain injury

Therapy should begin as soon as possible. Children enrolled in therapy early (before they’re 5 years old) tend to have better outcomes than those who begin therapy later. This does not mean that older kids can’t make progress in therapy; they may progress at a slower rate because they often have learned patterns that need to be changed.

Speech-language pathologists practice under a physicians prescription. Pediatricians will typically write a prescription for a speech-language and/or feeding/dysphasia evaluation and therapy as needed. The speech-language pathologist will then evaluate, diagnose and treat disorders as needed.

Information taken in part from KIDHEALTH.ORG

Specialist in Pediatric Physical Therapy

Pediatric Physical Therapists (PTs) work with children and their families to assist each child in reaching their maximum potential to function independently and to promote active participation in home, school, and community environments. Physical therapists use their expertise in movement and apply clinical reasoning through the process of examination, evaluation, diagnosis, and intervention. As primary health care providers, PTs also promote health and wellness as they implement a wide variety of supports for children from infancy through adolescence in collaboration with their families and other medical, educational, developmental, and rehabilitation specialists.

Pediatric physical therapy promotes independence, increases participation, facilitates motor development and function, improves strength and endurance, enhances learning opportunities, and eases challenges with daily caregiving. 

cited from Section on Pediatrics, APTA 

What to expect during physical therapy sessions:

The primary focus of treatment is on teaching body awareness, so that patients are able to feel and own their changes. Movement strategies are used as actively and as slowly as possible. Reflex Integration therapy is imbedded into every treatment, as it provides a means for the body to feel safe. When the body trusts that it will be protected it is able to adapt from whatever forces are presented to it, then growth and progress occurs.

Following treatment sessions, patients are noted to have better alignment, better movement patterns, improved balance and coordination, and most importantly, tend to be calmer with an increased sense of safety. Greater visual and auditory organization occurs in conjunction with a more organized movement system. It is noted that cognitive gains and emotional stability follow motor organization. When movement can occur at the level of a primary reflex motor pattern, it leaves the cortex free to function efficiently and creatively.