Special Programs

Therapy Works offers several specialty programs for infants, children and teens including:

  • Feeding Program
  • Serial Casting
  • Augmentative Communication
  • Premature Babies
  • Physical Therapy for Torticollis

Feeding Program

Normal feeding cycles can be disrupted because of difficulties in physical, sensory, structural, and environmental skills. Therapists with training and experience can be instrumental in overcoming these problems and helping children become lifelong healthy eaters.

Common symptoms of a feeding disorder include:

  • Poor weight gain
  • Feeding tube dependence
  • Difficulty changing bottle to cup
  • Distress at mealtimes
  • Anxiety and refusal of new foods
  • Inability to increase textures
  • Inability or refusal to feed oneself
  • Gagging or coughing at mealtime
  • Disruptive behavior during meals

Feeding Treatment and Training Therapuetic Options:

Individual Therapy: Children can be evaluated by the therapist and services provided on a weekly, biweekly or monthly basis depending on the needs of the child and family.

Intensive Feeding Therapy: Therapists can provide an intensive therapy program where the child and parent receive intensive daily therapy for a two to three week period.

The therapists, family and physician select the most appropriate service option based on the needs of the child family. 

Serial Casting

Serial casting is a specialized technique used by the physical therapists and occupational therapists at Therapy Works in conjunction with therapy to provide increased range of motion of a joint(s). This safe and effective process involves a series of repeated applications of casts, typically every one to two weeks, as range of motion is restored.

The therapist applies a semi-rigid, well-padded cast to the joint in a comfortable position and the family is instructed in care.  The cast is simply removed, without a cast saw, and is often removed by the family the night before the next cast is to be applied.  Serial casting requires a commitment from the family to come to therapy one to two times a week for 4-6 weeks for a series of casts and then follow up therapy. After casting is completed the therapist will make recommendations for orthotics such as AFOs and hand splints.

Serial casting is a cost effective non invasive process that can often prevent surgery and more invasive procedures. It is most often used for children with cerebral palsy or other injuries impacting joint movement of the ankle, knee, hand and/or wrist.

Augmentative Communication

The Augmentative Communication Program, led by our speech language pathologist, focuses on identifying options for children with communication impairments and determines the most appropriate high-tech, low-tech or no-tech solution for each individual child. Our interdisciplinary team includes speech language pathologists, occupational therapists and/or physical therapists and involves vendors from a variety of companies. These professionals consider the best method of communication after evaluating speech, language, vision, motor skills and seating.

 

Our team recommends the best method of communication and then provides guidance in acquiring any devices needed and the follow up therapy needed to assure success.

 

This program may be appropriate for children with:
  • autism spectrum disorders
  • cerebral palsy
  • developmental delays
  • metabolic and genetic conditions
  • neuromuscular conditions
  • traumatic injuries
  • apraxia of speech


Premature Babies

Premature babies are often small for their age and may develop slower than a full-term baby.  If you feel your child is at risk for developmental delays or has feeding difficulties, discuss your concerns with your pediatrician and inquire about the need for physical therapy and/or occupational therapy.

Our physical therapists can evaluate and determine if exercises can help your premature baby’s development. Physical therapists look closely at how a baby’s muscle tone is affecting his or her ability to move, and they can develop a plan to change movement patterns and assist the baby in acquiring new skills. Exercises help develop strength and coordination and can include head lifting, rolling and crawling.

 

Premature infants may have difficulty sucking from a bottle or breast, eating baby food and gaining weight. Our Occupational Therapists specialize in helping babies with feeding issues.  This program stresses the participation of the family/caregiver and includes home exercises with periodic visits for therapy as needed.  Some children benefit from regular weekly therapy, but often premature infants benefit the most by our therapists helping the families learn techniques to use at home.

 

Physical Therapy for Torticollis

Torticollis is a condition of the neck where the baby’s head tilts toward one shoulder and the chin rotates towards the opposite shoulder. It occurs when one of the muscles in the baby’s neck is tight. Torticollis limits the ability of the baby to move their head freely to see, hear and interact with his/her environment. Most babies with torticollis respond very well to physical therapy intervention. It is important that physical therapy begin as soon as possible, the older the child is the tighter the muscle becomes and the harder it is to stretch.

A home exercise program including range of motion exercises, strengthening exercises and positioning ideas is crucial. Your therapist will work with you and establish the best program and ideas for your child. The combination of physical therapy and a consistent home exercise program is the key to success! Most parents are surprised at how quickly they see changes and improvements in their child.