Last updated date: 13-Mar-2023
Originally Written in English
Children can require assistance regaining their physical strength, mobility, or skills following an illness or accident. Children with developmental problems may need continuing therapy to reach their full potential.
For these youngsters, rehabilitation therapy that focuses on how their bodies move, their minds process information, and how they interpret and make sounds is essential to medical care. Children in many areas around the US receive these therapies from physiatrists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, rehabilitation nurses, and speech-language pathologists.
The child life experts, creative arts counselors, horticultural therapists, recreation therapists, social workers, and specialists in integrative medicine who support the pediatric rehabilitation team offer your child the additional care they require to deal with their social and emotional aspects condition.
Diseases Treated with Pediatric Rehabilitation
Children with the following conditions are treated by pediatric rehabilitation specialists:
- Back pain, irregular gait, scoliosis, torticollis, and plagiocephaly, or flat head syndrome, are among the bone, joint, and muscle conditions that affect the ankle, elbow, foot, hand, hip, knee, and shoulder.
- Diseases of the brain and neurological systems, such as stroke, hemiplegia, cerebral palsy, concussion, Guillain-Barre syndrome, muscular dystrophy, and brain injury
- Diseases of the blood and malignancy
- Impairments of communication, such as dysarthria, a problem with speech caused by weak muscles.
- Spina bifida, spinal muscular atrophy, autistic spectrum disease, and arthrogryposis are just a few examples of genetic and chromosomal problems.
- Mental and behavioral conditions including developmental disabilities.
- Diseases of the nervous system, such as spinal cord and brachial plexus injuries.
Pediatric Physical Therapy
Pediatric physical therapists help kids in acquiring or regain the motor skills required for movement. This may involve encouraging infants to crawl or relearning how to walk for kids who have had brain injuries. Children can gain better balance, coordination, movement, and flexibility with the support of physiotherapists who also employ play, exercise, strength exercises, and other treatments.
Muscular Torticollis Therapy
Torticollis causes children to have their heads twisted or tilted to one side. Deformities of the head and face, developmental problems, and weakness on one side of the body can result from this. Children with torticollis are supported by physiotherapists in meeting developmental milestones corresponding to their age and strengthening and restoring the symmetry of their neck muscles. The earlier they start therapy, the better the outcome and the fewer sessions the child needs. Experts advise initiating treatment for kids with congenital muscular torticollis (CMT) before they turn three months old.
Post-Injury Therapy and Prevention
The physiotherapists assist kids and teenagers who have sustained a sports-related injury in regaining abilities and returning to the sport safely. These therapy programs include core strengthening and stabilization exercises, postural control, and strength training while taking into account your child's growth and development. They also teach your child and family how to avoid getting hurt again.
Robot-Assisted Walking Therapy
The Robot-Assisted Walking Therapy Program helps kids regain or enhance their walking abilities by using a harness device that enables body weight-supported treadmill training.
Children are guided by the harness system through natural walking. Your child is suspended over a treadmill by a harness, and their legs are attached to a pair of robotic legs. While at least one physiotherapist directs the session, a computer regulates the treadmill's speed and tracks the child's development. Improvements in walking, stamina, speed, and gross motor function are made by gradually reducing the treadmill's assistance. The harness system reduces your child's fear of falling, and the real-time feedback motivates and makes them feel accomplished.
The children who are most frequently treated with the harness system are those who have cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries, and brain injuries. Children who can safely participate actively, follow directions, take the initiative, and hold their heads up should participate in this program. Your specialist may arrange an evaluation based on the screening results to determine whether the Robot-Assisted Walking Therapy Program is suitable for your kid. The family and your child must consent to 21 sessions spread over a 6- to 9-week period.
Schroth Therapy Program
Children and adolescents with juvenile and adolescent idiopathic scoliosis can move their spines in a way that preserves alignment and balance without placing undue strain on their spines with the aid of the Schroth Therapy Program. Additionally, the training enhances body awareness, posture, and body image. Therapists provide information about the spine, the particular type of curve your child has, and bracing if necessary to your child and family. Additionally, they offer physiotherapy scoliosis-specific exercises (PSSE) that are customized to your child's specific curve or pattern of scoliosis.
Serial Casting for Idiopathic Toe Walking
Idiopathic toe walking is a condition in which children do not place their heels on the ground while walking for causes that are not medically related. Toe walking can result in tight muscles, a restricted range of movement, and incorrect joint alignment if left untreated. The physiotherapist for your child may suggest serial casting if weight training, physiotherapy, splinting, and orthotics are ineffective in correcting this behavior.
Serial casting involves applying a cast to your child's ankles, either one or both. Once the ankle has reached the movement range required for your child to walk appropriately, the cast is changed every week.
Children with the inner ear or brain injuries from concussions or other vestibular problems can benefit from an exercise-based program called vestibular therapy. Dizziness, nausea, headaches, and balance issues can all be treated with physiotherapy, balance training, and gaze stabilization. Recovery can benefit from early intervention by therapists with specialized training.
Pediatric Occupational Therapy
For kids, maturing involves acquiring and mastering new skills. Play is one method they use to do this. To help children with physical, sensory, or cognitive difficulties develop their fine motor skills, visual perception, cognitive abilities, and sensory processing, occupational therapists offer playing in addition to other methods and therapies. This can involve teaching a kid how to get dressed, hit a baseball, hold a pencil, and enhance focus and attention.
Children with muscle stiffness and tone management issues that make it difficult to move a body part are helped by expert occupational therapists and physiotherapists in the aquatic therapy program. Your child can move in ways that may not be possible on land thanks to the intrinsic characteristics of water, such as buoyancy, as well as the warm water temperature. For ten weeks, there are two sessions per week of individual therapy.
ArmeoSpring Pediatric Therapy
ArmeoSpring Pediatric can help kids whose arm motions are restricted by orthopedic or neurological issues. This training tool encourages kids to perform repetitive actions that can enhance motion and control in the affected arm using video game technology and visual feedback.
Children who struggle with communication are trained on how to utilize assistive technology, such as computers and eye-gaze devices, by speech-language pathologists and occupational therapists. Children who struggle with speaking, writing, reading, or engaging in conventional play can benefit from these systems. To identify which technology is best suited to a child's needs, specialists analyze each child.
For kids aged 3 years and older who have weakness in one arm or hand, frequently as a result of a stroke, cerebral palsy, or the removal of a brain tumor, Camp High-Five is an intensive 4-week summertime camp.
The theory behind the therapy is that by restricting the use of the healthy limb, the brain is stimulated to form the neural connections necessary to activate the function in the hand or arm that is damaged. To do this, a removable cast is put on the stronger arm, which teaches your child to employ the weaker limb.
The teams work with your kid to help increase muscle strength during the daily sessions using activities including adapted sports, water play, arts and crafts, horticulture therapy, and meal preparation. Before and after every session, your child's abilities are assessed to evaluate improvement.
Brain Concussion Rehabilitation
Children who have sustained a concussion and their families are supported throughout the healing process by the concussion team, which consists of pediatric occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and speech-language pathologists.
Seating and Mobility
Therapists pair your kid with the wheelchair or other seating or positioning equipment best suited to his or her needs at the seating and mobility clinic.
Children use sensory data they see, hear, touch, taste, and smell, to understand the world that surrounds them from the moment they are born. Some kids struggle with organizing and processing this data, which can impair their capacity to respond correctly to their experiences.
In the sensory gym, therapists apply Ayres Sensory Integration therapy to assist kids with better environment navigation, self-care education, and emotional understanding and control. These advantages enhance engagement in family, household, and community activities and facilitate social relationships. This session intensive program meets three times a week for 45 minutes each time.
Social Skills Group
Children with autism spectrum disorder can play and interact with their peers thanks to social skills groups. Each kid will benefit from the help of a speech therapist and an occupational therapist. They also provide suggestions for activities you can engage in at home and other family-friendly strategies.
A vision program can help children who have recently developed vision issues brought on by a concussion or another neurological illness, as well as those who have developmental delays. The ophthalmologists and neurodevelopmental optometrists collaborate with occupational therapists to help your kid develop reading, eye-hand coordination, and other skills necessary for school and daily life. To enhance visual performance, therapists employ several techniques and tools, such as the Bioness Therapy Integrated System (BTIS).
Your kid may require medical care in addition to rehabilitation therapy if they have been identified with a neuromuscular issue, brain or spinal cord damage, or a musculoskeletal disorder.
Pediatric physiatrists are medical professionals that identify your child's medical issues and create a treatment strategy that takes into account both their physical and mental health needs. From the first signs of an illness or injury through recovery, physiatrists care for your child. When a kid with a chronic medical condition reaches adulthood, specialists can transition them to adult programs. Pediatric physiatrists frequently deal with the following conditions:
- Acquired brain trauma
- Brachial plexus palsy
- Cerebral palsy
- Gait abnormalities
- Limb deficiencies
- Musculoskeletal conditions
- Neuromuscular disorders
- Spina bifida
- Spinal cord injuries
Treatment for Pediatric Communication Disorders
If your child has a language problem, speech-language pathologists will evaluate him or her to identify the cause and determine how it affects their daily activities, academic performance, and social relationships. A communication device or other forms of assistive technology may be necessary for some children with communication impairments. To enable these kids to develop good functional communication, specialists closely collaborate with the assistive technology program. Treatment options for communication difficulties include the following:
- Aphasia is a language disorder that makes it challenging to communicate ideas, comprehend speech, read, or write.
- Dysarthria is a condition in which having weak muscles makes it hard to produce sounds.
- Apraxia of speech is a disease that prevents a child from linking words or syllables together in the correct order.
- Developmental language delays.
- Receptive or expressive language impairments, which make it challenging for a kid to comprehend others or express ideas, respectively.
- Voice issues.
Psychology for Children During Rehabilitation
Children who are recovering from injury or illness or who must deal with physical obstacles throughout their lives frequently require psychological support to help them understand and accept their situation. From infancy to age 21, specialists offer psychiatric treatment and neuropsychological testing for kids. They provide care for kids with learning disabilities, cognitive impairments, attention and memory problems, as well as emotional disorders including depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder that are related to their recovery. Additionally, they help kids who have been identified as having the following conditions:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury or disease
- Cerebral palsy
- Neuromuscular conditions
- Spina bifida
- Cerebrovascular accidents
- Additional chronic diseases
Children and adolescents with inherited or acquired physical limitations are treated using specialized training and interdisciplinary collaboration in pediatric rehabilitation medicine (PRM).