UnityPoint Health - St. Luke's Hospital


Witwer Services

We offer services including Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Speech Therapy and more!

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy can help children succeed with activities of daily living including feeding, dressing, writing and playing. Occupational therapists identify and treat problems in development or sensory processing that may interfere with these skills.  Watch our video to learn more about the services we provide.

Diagnoses include:

  • Autism
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Sensory processing difficulties (over- or under-sensitive to movement, sounds, touch, taste, sight)
  • Difficulties with focus/ attention
  • Pervasive developmental disorder (PDD)
  • Developmental delays
  • Learning disorders
  • Coordination dysfunction (clumsy, running into things, frequent falling)
  • Feeding/ swallowing difficulties
  • Behavior problems (oppositional, meltdowns, difficulties with transitioning from setting to setting or task to task)
  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Delays in self-care skills (dressing, fasteners, grooming)
  • Difficulty with fine motor skills (pinching, manipulating small objects)
  • Difficulty with bilateral coordination (using both sides of the body together)
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Spina bifida
  • Chromosomal abnormalities (including Down Syndrome)
  • Handwriting problems
  • Brachial plexus injury
  • Seizure disorders
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Mental retardation
  • Failure to Thrive

Occupational therapy treatment tools include:

  • Therapressure touch protocol (Wilbarger brushing program) (developed to decrease sensory defensiveness; involves applying deep pressure touch with a special brush throughout the day for calming and overall body awareness)
  • Therapeutic Listening Program (a structured program of listening to specially designed music that is individually selected for each child based on his or her problem areas; used along with sensory treatment techniques to treat individuals with sensory processing difficulties)
  • Interactive Metronome┬« (IM) (a computer-based program designed to improve timing, attention, and coordination in children and adults with a wide range of physical and cognitive difficulties, including ADHD and sensory processing difficulties)
  • Integrated Listening Systems (specific sound frequencies and patterns are delivered via specially designed headphones that include vibration; visual and balance activities are completed while listening)
  • Astronaut Training Program (Therapeutic Rotation Program; a specialized technique that provides specific movement input used in combination with other sensory treatment techniques to improve integration of the visual, movement and auditory systems)
  • Coordination exercises and activities
  • Fine and gross motor strengthening, stretching, and endurance activities
  • Sensory Diet activities (tasks specifically chosen for an individual to complete at home and school on a daily basis to help that individual to receive the sensory input he or she needs to function well in all aspects of daily life)
  • Handwriting/fine motor skills
  • Self-care skills training
  • Feeding/ swallowing treatment
  • Hippotherapy (therapy with/on a horse)
  • Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (E-Stim, NMES; treatment technique used to provide sensory and motor input while the child is involved in an activity; unused or weak muscle is stimulated to promote motor learning, coordination, strengthening, increased range of motion, muscle re-education, or relaxation of muscle spasm)
  • Vital Stim (Non-invasive therapy uses an electrical current to stimulate the muscles responsible for swallowing while trained specialists help patients re-educate the muscles with special exercises)
  • Splinting
  • Stabilized Pressure Input Orthosis (SPIO; Lycra-blend suits provide deep pressure input over a large surface of the body throughout the day)
  • Pediatric video swallow studies
  • Functional vision assessment and treatment
  • Constraint Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT; encourages the use of the affected side by restraining the unaffected side)

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy can help children develop skills needed to crawl, walk, run and play. Physical therapists evaluate and treat problems in a child's development, coordination, strength or balance that might make physical activities difficult.

Diagnoses include:

  • Developmental delays (delayed rolling, sitting, crawling, walking)
  • Torticollis (abnormal condition where the head leans to one side due to tight neck muscles)
  • Plagiocephaly (abnormally shaped skull)
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Spina bifida
  • Coordination dysfunction/ motor planning difficulties (clumsy, running into things, difficulty riding a bike, skipping)
  • Orthopedic injuries
  • Balance problems (unable to balance on one foot, walking a balance beam, frequent falling)
  • Pain
  • Chromosomal abnormalities (including Down Syndrome)
  • Seizure disorders
  • Hydrocephalus (abnormal fluid in the brain)
  • Hypotonia (low muscle tone)
  • Abnormal gait (toe walking, toes turned in/ out, uneven walking pattern)
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Mental retardation
  • Physical therapy treatment tools include:
  • Strengthening, stretching, and endurance activities
  • Coordination exercises and activities
  • Gait training
  • Partial Weight Bearing Balance and Gait Training (using a gait training device that controls weight bearing, posture, and balance over a treadmill or the ground)
  • Serial casting (a noninvasive procedure that helps children improve their range of motion so they can perform daily activities with less difficulty)
  • Kinesio Taping (A special type of athletic tape used to improve motion, support and stability without decreasing the natural range of motion)
  • Joint mobilization
  • Balance training
  • Aquatic therapy
  • Hippotherapy (therapy with/ on a horse)
  • Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (E-Stim, NMES)
  • Splinting
  • Orthotics/ prosthetics/ mobility specialist consultations
  • Constraint Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT) (constraint-Induced movement therapy encourages the use of the affected side by restraining the unaffected side)
  • TheraTogs and SPIO suit fittings (TheraTogs are an orthotic garment and strapping system used to provide deep pressure, bracing, splinting, and joint alignment)
  • Interactive metronome program
  • Astronaut training program
  • Integrated listening systems

Speech Therapy

Speech therapy can help children to understand what is being said to them and express their needs, thoughts and ideas. Speech-language pathologists assess all aspects of communication such as understanding/ comprehension, pronouncing sounds, voice problems, social language, and stuttering.

Diagnoses include:

  • Speech delays
  • Receptive/ Expressive Language delays (understanding/ expression of language)
  • Autism
  • Pervasive developmental disorder (PDD)
  • Auditory processing difficulties
  • Pragmatic language disorders
  • Stuttering
  • Articulation/ phonology difficulties
  • Voice disorders
  • Fluency disorders
  • Oral motor disorders (dysarthria and apraxia)
  • Hearing loss
  • Cleft lip/ palate
  • Chromosomal abnormalities
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Seizure disorders
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Mental retardation
  • Speech Treatment Tools include:
  • Assistive technology
  • Augmentative communication devices
  • Interactive metronome program
  • Earobics
  • Kauffman approach

Dietitian Services


Complimentary visits with our dietitian are available for all patients being seen by OT, PT or Speech at Witwer Children's Therapy. The dietitian works with parents and caregivers to determine individual nutrition needs for each patient. Often times, occupational therapists will see patients in conjunction with the dietitian when addressing sensory issues or picky eating. 

The dietitian works with OT feeding therapy patients, and is part of our feeding clinic team. Nutrition assessments with a dietitian cover food history, medications, and any nutrition concerns of parents, caregivers or primary care physicians/providers. They may also include concerns with feeding difficulties, adjustment or recommendations concerning tube feedings, tips for increasing specific nutrients, education on general nutrition and a well-balanced diet, label reading, or problems with constipation/elimination. 

Special Programs

For more information about any of the above Witwer Children's Therapy services, please call (319) 369-8407.