Blank Children's Hospital offers a full range of therapy services for inpatient and outpatient care for infants, children and teens who have an injury, developmental condition or illness. Our services include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and audiology. The medical director for pediatric rehabilitation medicine is Dr. Fred Klingbeil.
Audiologists offer hearing tests and rehabilitative services for children with hearing disorders. Hearing tests for newborn babies are done while they are still in the hospital. The test is painless and takes only a couple minutes while the baby sleeps. For toddlers and infants, audiologists are able to watch how the child responds to different sounds and/or play games with them to determine how well they hear. Sedated and unsedated Auditory Brainstem Response Evaluations are available if needed. If a child needs help to hear better, audiologists fit the child for a hearing aid or advise parents on other options. When a child receives a hearing aid, audiologists manage the fitting and adjustment of the hearing aid.
Occupational therapists focus on helping children become as independent as they can be in all areas of their lives. A child's "occupations" are playing, taking care of self, learning and interacting with others. Occupational therapists assess the following skills and areas:
- Self care
- Fine motor
- Oral motor
A treatment program is made specifically for each child using fun and educational activities. The child's program may include working one-on-one with a therapist, doing a home program, making a splint for the hand or arm and educating family and other caregivers. Occupational therapists also help with changing physical barriers, adapting equipment for the child's use and working with other therapists and teachers.
Physical therapist help infants, children and teens to develop, regain and improve their ability to move. Depending on the age of the child, or the child's physical limitations, moving may be learning how to roll or to sit on his/her own. Physical therapists assess the following skills and areas:
- Muscle strength
- Range of motion
- Motor skills
- Special equipment
A treatment program is made specifically for each child using fun and educational activities. The child may need one-on-one sessions with a therapist, a home exercise program, special equipment to move, help managing care with other therapists and teachers and splints or casts to hold an arm or leg. Therapists use special equipment made just for children along with toys and play in order to encourage children to do their best in therapy.
Speech therapists help infants, children and teens who have problems with communication, learning, and feeding or swallowing. There are children who are hard to understand, can not understand what is said to them, can not hear well, or have a problem putting words together. Some infants and children have trouble with the movement of their lips, tongue and jaw that cause problems with speech or eating. Speech therapists are able to perform a video swallow and decide how well a child swallows food and liquids. Speech therapists assess the following areas:
- Child's ability to put words together
- How many words the child knows
- How well the child makes certain speech sounds
- What the child's voice sounds like
Speech therapists also test how well the child understands the words used by others, follows directions, remembers things, and solves problems. A treatment program is made specifically for each child to help improve speech and language skills. The child may need sessions with a therapist, do activities at home and use special equipment to communicate.