Pediatric Rehabilitation Program at Springfield Provides Comprehensive Care
- Crozer Keystone’s pediatric rehabilitation program, located at Springfield Hospital, offers services for children who require physical, occupational, and/or speech-language therapy.
- Evaluation and treatment sessions can be scheduled for children from birth to 18 years of age.
- Pediatric therapists are proficient in early detection and intervention using a variety of evidence-based techniques and materials to advance the skills of their patients, and provide support and education programs to family members.
Like adults, the best strategy for treating children with physical disorders is to diagnose and treat symptoms early. That’s the goal of the Pediatric Rehabilitation program at Springfield Hospital, where success is achieved through a collaborative effort among physicians, parents and therapists.
The Pediatric Rehabilitation program provides physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language therapy and dysphagia services to children from birth to 18 years of age who have been identified or are suspected to have congenital, developmental, neuromuscular, skeletal, or acquired disorders/diseases. Members of the team assess whole body activity, dexterity (use of fingers and hands), adaptive behavior, language, and personal-social behavior.
“It is very rewarding to see these children progress and grow. We enjoy getting to know the families and helping address their needs,” says Carla DeWald, administrative director of Rehabilitation Services at Springfield Hospital and general manager of the HealthplexÒ Sports Club.
When a young patient comes for rehabilitation, specialized physical and occupational therapists provide a thorough evaluation. They then focus treatments on improving gross and fine motor skills for increased body awareness, balance, coordination, strength and endurance for activities of daily living, and to address cognitive and sensory issues. Sessions for young children consist of play using obstacle courses, swings, balls and games used to advance skills. When traditional land-based physical therapy is not appropriate for a child, children can receive treatment in the HealthplexÒ Sports Club’s therapy pool.
Pediatric speech-language therapists evaluate and treat children with various diagnoses who have needs in the areas of speech (individual sounds or sound system), language (comprehension and expressive communication skills, voice, fluency) and dysphagia (feeding and/or swallowing). According to DeWald, “Children may require therapy for many reasons, and therapy should begin as soon as possible. Whatever the circumstances, a speech-language evaluation can help determine the scope of the child’s needs.”
A team approach is utilized when a pediatric patient receives therapy in more than one discipline, and co-treatments may be prescribed to achieve better outcomes. Parents and other family members are an important part of a child’s therapy program. They are permitted to observe and, when beneficial, participate in sessions. Home exercise programs are provided to help achieve targeted goals and provide family and caregivers with ideas to stimulate the development of skills in the home and community setting.
Parents must contact their child’s physician with their concerns and request a referral, if required by their insurance company. For additional information, or to schedule an appointment with a pediatric therapist at Springfield, call (610) 328-8822.