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Pediatric Therapy

Specialized rehabilitation services for our youngest patients

Young girl with stretching bands working with therapist


St. Elizabeth’s Hospital provides specialized rehabilitation services for children from birth to 18 years. Our interdisciplinary team offers services to a wide range of diagnoses including neurological, orthopedic and developmental deficiencies. Physical, occupational and speech therapists coordinate their professional expertise and experience to design treatment plans tailored to help children reach their full potential. Each child is evaluated one-on-one with a therapist using standardized and specialized evaluations.

Our goal is to help develop each child to his or her potential to participate in meaningful life occupations such as play and self-care, as well as activities in school, home and the community. Outpatient therapy can also be used to supplement School Based Therapy.

Benefits of pediatric therapy

Infants and children of all different abilities can benefit from our pediatric therapies. Some children’s therapy needs will be short term as in the case of sport injuries. Other children may require therapy over a longer period of time, as in the case of developmental delay and neurological involvement.

Commonly treated pediatric conditions include:

  • Developmental delay
  • Autism and autism
  • Down syndrome spectrum disorders
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Dyspraxia
  • Torticollis
  • Spina bifida
  • Bone and joint disease
  • Orthopedic injuries
  • Neurological disease and injury
  • Congenital disorders
  • Pervasive developmental delay
  • Speech and language disorders
  • Hyperactivity disorders
  • Neuromuscular diseases
  • Stuttering
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Feeding Disorder

Getting a referral

In order to have your child treated in St. Elizabeth’s Pediatric Rehabilitation Program, a physician’s referral is required. A pediatrician, an orthopedic specialist, or your family practitioner usually makes these referrals. Parents, guardians and professionals who have questions about the program or how their child may benefit from the specialized therapy should call 618-624-3668.

Evaluations and assessments

An evaluation is set up for each child during a one-hour block of time per discipline. The hour will consist of assessing the child’s skills and interviewing parents/caretakers for pertinent information. The actual evaluation is different for each child depending on the presenting problems. Various assessment tools are used. Results of the evaluation and treatment plan are discussed with the family and other team members when applicable. Parents and caretakers are encouraged to actively participate in therapy and to learn therapy techniques for use in the home.

Girl stretching legs working with therapist

Pediatric physical therapy

Pediatric physical therapists are trained to assess motor development, range of motion, strength, coordination and muscle tone of children. They have the expertise to determine the appropriate treatment for physical limitations or functional impairments. They primarily use modalities and exercise in the form of play as treatment techniques. Their goals may include improving a child’s functional skills and preventing or limiting disability in a variety of developmental areas.

Pediatric occupational therapy

Occupational therapists help children to perform functional tasks that normally occupy their lives. The “occupation” of childhood is to develop the skills necessary to become functional and independent adults. These skills include the development of motor skills, self care skills and school readiness skills. A sensory integrative approach is provided by certified therapists in order to refine sensory processing and discrimination.

Pediatric speech therapy

Speech therapy helps children who are having difficulty being understood and understanding others, expressing their thoughts in words, articulating sound, attending conversation and swallowing. The pediatric speech therapists work one-on-one with the child in a fun and positive atmosphere for therapy.