Outpatient therapy at St. Louis Children’s Hospital takes place in our state-of-the-art therapy gym. In order to treat children of all ages with a variety of medical diagnoses and developmental concerns, we offer innovative treatments in physical, occupational, and speech therapy. Our experienced therapists are trained to use specialized treatment techniques in fun, play-based therapy sessions.
Pediatric Physical Therapy
Pediatric physical therapy focuses on age appropriate gross motor skills. Some examples of gross motor activities are rolling, sitting, crawling, standing, walking, jumping, hopping and running. Physical Therapists (PT) look at a child’s ability to move in and out of these positions and help the child be as functional as possible by providing stretches, strengthening exercises, balance activities or other appropriate strategies.
The PT also looks at the child’s strength, posture and overall mobility. When needed, the PT assists with determining equipment needs such as splinting, bracing, or acquiring assistive devices (crutches, canes, walkers, and wheelchairs) to allow your child to become more independent with daily mobility.
Pediatric Occupational Therapy
Pediatric occupational therapy focuses on the child’s “occupation” which includes play, self-care skills, feeding skills, upper extremity motor skills, and fine motor coordination. Occupational therapy treatment often includes: grasping, handwriting, dexterity, object manipulation, and visual motor activities.
Another area of specialty for Occupational Therapists (OT) is sensory integration as it relates to interacting with one’s environment, motor planning, muscle tone, body awareness, attention, and ability to focus. When needed, the OT also assists with determining equipment needs such as braces, splints, adaptive equipment, or positioning devices to help children become more independent with daily activities.
Developmental Speech/Language Therapy
Developmental speech/language therapy focuses on assessing and developing age-appropriate skills in the areas of articulation, language, fluency, and apraxia. Articulation Disorders are often characterized by difficulty with the production of individual speech sounds. Language Disorders can include difficulty with receptive or expressive communication skills. Dysfluency can be characterized by a breakdown in the flow of speech for the intended message. Apraxia refers to an oral motor speech disorder that may be characterized by difficulty positioning the muscles of the mouth and/or difficulty with sequencing sounds into words.
Speech pathologists work with the patient, family and treatment team to develop functional communication and improved speech.