Pediatric therapy: Play with an important purpose
Play is an important part of how children learn and grow. When children aren't meeting developmental milestones, pediatric therapy services can be very useful. Pediatric therapy uses focused playtime activities to help children develop functional skills in a safe, cheerful environment. Therapists also work with children and their families on adaptive skills to help build independence and enhance quality of life at home, school, and in the community.
Sessions occur in person and parents/caregivers are provided education to support their child's progress at home.
4 types of pediatric therapy
Children attend pediatric therapy for different reasons. Some may need help with socialization, processing outside stimulation, moving their bodies, language and communication, eating safely, or a combination of these issues. Addressing these conditions requires specific expertise from trained specialists.
These four types of care are offered during pediatric therapy:
- Occupational therapy focuses on building skills related to the activities of daily living. Children may have issues with sensory processing, vision challenges, deficits in motor development and coordination, or difficulties with executive functioning and cognition. Occupational therapists develop enjoyable activities and exercises that strengthen the skills and adaptive behaviors children need to interact with their environment and play, learn, and socialize with others.
2. Physical therapy focuses on evaluating and treating developmental, neurological, and genetic conditions that affect balance, strength, motor skills, and coordination. Pediatric physical therapists work on gross motor skills — activities that use large muscle groups, such as rolling, crawling, climbing, skipping, and jumping — to help children reach their developmental milestones.
3. Speech-language pathology is used to assess and treat
deficits in speech, language, fluency, voice, swallowing,
cognitive-communication, and social skills. Speech-language pathologists (SLPs)
help children improve verbal and nonverbal communication skills, such as
speaking clearly and smoothly, using their voice efficiently, understanding
what others are saying, and communicating effectively. In addition, SLPs help
children with feeding and oral motor delays.
4. Reid Health's Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing Program is a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary program that focuses on evaluation and treatment of infants and children who have difficulty eating and drinking. The program is aimed at facilitating safe and effective nutrition in the most appropriate method possible for each patient. Treatment options include individual and group sessions. Reid Health's therapists are highly trained and experienced in working with children with feeding and swallowing difficulties. The team of feeding and swallowing specialists develops and implements an individualized plan of care for each child and recognizes the importance of empowering parents and families to meet a child's feeding and swallowing needs.
Reid Health also offers a Social Thinkers Group that combines fun movement and language-building activities to help children practice the foundational social skills needed to successfully communicate with others; share, play, and work as a team; and take on leadership roles.
To find pediatric therapy conveniently located near you, request more information, or make an appointment, visit Reid Health Pediatric Therapy.