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Pediatric Therapy Services

Extraordinary Children, Exceptional Caregivers

Infirmary Health’s Pediatric Rehabilitation Department provides comprehensive care to children who require occupational, physical and speech therapy. Located at Thomas Hospital, and North Baldwin Infirmary, we offer an environment where all three therapies can work together with families to guarantee each child is receiving exactly what he or she needs.

All children seen in the Pediatric Rehabilitation Department are referred by a physician. If you are concerned about any aspect of your child’s development, talk to your physician. He or she can answer questions, suggest options and refer you for therapy that will benefit your child.

Our pediatric therapists are trained to treat children with:

  • Autism
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Sensory Issues
  • Feeding Difficulties
  • Difficulty Talking

The pediatric rehabilitation clinic at Infirmary Health brings state-of-the-art technology and equipment to the Mobile Bay area. Our therapists are highly skilled in their respective fields, and therefore able to provide the highest quality therapy to their patients. Some of the specialized treatment modalities include:

  • Vital-Stim neuro-muscular electrical stimulation for dysphagia
  • Augmentative/alternative communication training and support
  • iPad applications
  • Lite Gait
  • Braces, AFOs or splinting

Speech Therapy

Our speech-language pathologists provide evaluation and treatment for children of all ages who have difficulties with communication and/or swallowing. There are many different areas of communication in which a child may have difficulty, such as articulation, motor planning, auditory processing, comprehension, language expression, social communication, fluency or voice. In addition, children may have difficulty swallowing foods and/or liquids because of reflux, muscle weakness, coordination (motor planning) or multiple medical complications. Articulation is the way a person pronounces sounds and connects them together to form words.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy can help improve a child’s cognitive, physical and motor skills while enhancing self-esteem and sense of accomplishment. The occupational therapists work with children to strengthen their development and growth abilities through structured, therapeutic play activities. This may include self-care skills, leisure or play activities and daily work at home and school.

Occupational therapists strive to help children organize their senses to aid in maintaining an overall calm state and good attention span. A child may need to work on coordination, balance or planning bodily movements in relation to their environment so that they can learn to accomplish some of the everyday tasks such as dressing or playing on a playground. Our occupational therapists will use their training and expertise combined with state-of-the-art technology to design a therapy program to meet your child’s individual needs.

Physical Therapy

Pediatric physical therapy involves treating children who have health-related conditions, illnesses or injuries that limit their abilities to move and perform functional activities such as sitting, walking and riding a bike. This may be due to challenges with which a child was born or challenges resulting from an injury or illness. The pediatric physical therapy staff will work to improve movement and function in patients through structured play involving caregivers and family members.

Pediatric Aquatic Therapy

Aquatic therapy services are offered at Thomas Fitness Center and North Baldwin Fitness Center in a temperature-regulated pool. This unique resource is utilized by physical therapists and occupational therapists to help a child use his extremities without the effects of gravity. Benefits of aquatic therapy include:

  • Relaxed tone due to warm water
  • Increased blood flow
  • Increased flexibility
  • Decreased swelling due to hydrostatic pressure
  • Increased body awareness
  • Decreased sensitivity to touch
  • Strengthening using the resistance of the water
  • Decreased body weight to allow less stress on joints

What is child development?

Child development refers to how a child becomes able to do more complex things as they get older. Development is different than growth. Growth only refers to the child getting bigger in size. If you are concerned about your child’s development, please see consult your pediatrician. When we talk about normal development, we are talking about developing skills like:

  • Gross motor: using large groups of muscles to sit, stand, walk, run, etc., keeping balance, and changing positions.
  • Fine motor: using hands to be able to eat, draw, dress, play, write and do many other things.
  • Language: speaking, using body language and gestures, communicating, and understanding what others say.
  • Cognitive: Thinking skills: including learning, understanding, problem-solving, reasoning, and remembering.
  • Social: Interacting with others, having relationships with family, friends, and teachers, cooperating, and responding to the feelings of others.

What are developmental milestones?

Developmental milestones are a set of functional skills or age-specific tasks that most children can do at a certain age range. Your pediatrician uses milestones to help check how your child is developing. Although each milestone has an age level, the actual age when a normally developing child reaches that milestone can vary quite a bit. Every child is unique! Click here to view our developmental milestones chart.

Each area of Pediatric Rehabilitation requires a physician’s referral. Once a referral is received, we will contact you to schedule an appointment with a therapist. Evaluation of your child will occur during your first visit and will include assessment tools specific to each type of rehabilitation. The therapist will spend time getting to know you and your child, and will be able to discuss recommendations for follow-up beyond your first session.

Treatment sessions are scheduled following your initial visit. Therapy sessions are available Monday through Friday. We will make every effort to schedule your treatment times around your school or work schedule.

Family involvement is an essential part of the therapy process. We encourage parents and family members to become part of the child’s therapy by learning strategies that they can use in the home environment to aid their child.

Continuing the treatment at home encourages positive change in a child’s development and an ability to incorporate these skills into multiple environments including home and school.

To schedule a tour of any of our facilities, contact our Pediatric Rehabilitation department at (251) 279-1640.

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