Physical therapists assist in early detection of health problems and use a wide variety of modalities to treat disorders in the pediatric population. They are specialized in the diagnosis, treatment and management of infants, children and adolescents with a variety of congenital, developmental, neuromuscular, skeletal, or acquired disorders/diseases. Treatments focus on improving gross and fine motor skills, balance and coordination, strength and endurance, as well as cognitive and sensory processing/integration.
Physical Therapists can help with the following diagnoses:
Incoordination and balance
Hypotonia (Developmental Delays)
Musculoskeletal Injuries (back/neck pain, muscle strains, ligamentous sprains)
Brachial Plexus Injuries
Genetic or Metabolic Disorders
Foot dysfunctions (pronation/supination)
Adaptive Equipment Assessments
Occupational therapists are trained to assist children in developing the skills necessary to become functional. These skills include regulation of arousal level in order to attend, refinement of sensory discrimination and processing, continual refinement and development of motor skills, development of communication skills, appropriate social interactions, language and cognitive skills, age appropriate self-care skills, and self-concept.
Occupational Therapists can evaluate and treat the following areas:
Sensory Processing Disorders
Autism Spectrum Disorders
Dyspraxia and motor incoordination
Low muscle tone and weakness
Attention Deficit Disorder / ADHD
Fine motor and visual motor delays
Oral motor delays
Speech Therapy/Feeding Therapy
Speech/language evaluation and treatment may address:
- Apraxia of Speech
- Articulation and Phonology
- Assistive Technology/Augmentative Communication
- Auditory Processing Disorders
- Expressive/Receptive Language
- Fluency or Stuttering
- Pragmatic/Social Skills
- Vocabulary Development
- Voice Quality/Disorders
- Dysphagia: feeding and swallowing disorders
- Oral Motor Delays (including tongue thrust and drooling)
Diagnoses that frequently warrant speech/language therapy include:
Speech Language Milestones
- Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Specific Language Impairment
- Cerebral Palsy
- Sensory Processing Disorder
- Seizure Disorders
- Down Syndrome
- Attention Deficit Disorders
- Learning Disabilities
- Developmental Delays/Disorders
- Cleft Lip/Palate
- Deaf/Hard of Hearing
- Genetic Disorders
Specialty Speech Services Available at Abilitations Include:
1. Comprehensive Pediatric Dysphagia Programs: Several of our SLPs have completed continuing education and certification programs, including NOMAS, and mentorship programs, including an advanced training program with UNC’s multidisciplinary feeding and swallowing team. The Neonatal Oral-Motor Assessment Scale (NOMAS) is a specialized evaluation tool for assessing the sucking patterns in preterm and term infants. It can be completed only by a trained, certified practitioner. Several of our team members have focused on the treatment of infants, toddlers, and school-aged children with feeding and swallowing disorders. At Abilitations, we are fully equipped to address feeding and swallowing concerns across the continuum and lifespan including difficulties with choking while eating or drinking, spoon feeding, gagging with textures, transitioning to table foods, texture aversion, immature chewing, picky eating, and G-tube dependence.
Parent Handouts: Oral Motor Feeding Treatment
2. Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets (PROMPT): PROMPT is a specific evaluation and treatment program provided only by a trained or certified therapist to retrain the motor speech system by utilizing tactile, kinesthetic on-line shaping of target phonemes (sounds) to improve the motor planning and provide the motor input needed to produce intelligible speech at the word, phrase, and sentence level. PROMPT has been shown to be effective at correcting errors with consonants and vowels.
PROMPT parent handout
What is PROMPT?
3. Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS): PECS is a picture-based system for establishing and developing communication exchanges for children with autism spectrum disorders and developmental delays. PECS can only skillfully be implemented by a trained and/or certified therapist due to the specificity of the six phases involved to ensure mastery of the system.
What is PECS?