Every child deserves a chance to shine
We know you have big dreams for your child. We do, too. At Children’s Minnesota, we believe that all kids, from newborns to teens, should have a chance to reach their unique potential.
If your child needs some extra help, you’ve come to the right place. We offer a wide range of physiatry and rehabilitation services including physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech and language pathology. Our experienced team of professionals can help your child meet challenges with movement, self-care, communication and hearing.
We help develop confident, capable kids
At Children’s, we’re always working to improve lives. Our physical medicine and rehabilitation professionals play a key role by helping children with a number of conditions, such as:
- Autism spectrum disorders — A range of developmental disorders that can cause challenges with behavior, communication and social skills.
- Brain tumor — An abnormal growth on the brain, which can cause issues with motor control and speech.
- Cancer — A serious disease caused by abnormal cells that can spread to one or many parts of the body.
- Chronic pain — Pain that can last weeks, months or years. The cause can be an injury or illness, or the cause can be unknown.
- Cleft lip/palate — A birth defect where a baby’s lip or mouth does not form properly.
- Concussion — An injury to the brain that disrupts normal brain function.
- Cystic fibrosis — A genetic disease that affects the lungs, gastrointestinal tract, and pancreas and may result in postural abnormalities that limit breathing as well as endurance.
- Developmental delay — When a child’s social skills, intellectual abilities, motor skills or communication skills are not at the same level as other children of that age.
- Genetic disorders — Genetic conditions that can cause physical problems as well as intellectual disabilities.
- Feeding and swallowing problems — When a child has difficulty swallowing, he or she may be unable to easily pass food and liquids into the throat, down the esophagus and into the stomach. This can lead to inadequate nutrition and failure to gain weight and grow properly.
- Hearing impairment — Having difficulty hearing or being unable to hear.
- Hemophilia — An inherited condition in which a child’s blood doesn’t clot normally.
- Sensory disorders — When a child is overly sensitive or under-reactive to stimuli of touch, movement, sounds or sights.
- Speech-language disorders — Conditions that cause difficulty with communication, feeding and swallowing.
- Sports injuries— Physical injuries that occur in young athletes.
- Toe-walking — When a child spends the majority of their time walking on their toes.
Of course, when you look at your child, you don’t see a diagnosis. You see an amazing little person full of great potential. And that’s what we see, too. Working together, we can help your child make the most of his or her abilities.
We start out with complete, up-to-date services
Children’s is well recognized for its expertise in physical medicine and rehabilitation services for kids. Our physiatrist, physical therapists, occupational therapists, audiologists and speech-language pathologists work with children both in the hospital and in outpatient clinics. Here are just a few examples of how we make a difference:
- Relaxing paws. Kids are crazy about our four-legged therapy assistants. Pets Assisting With Healing is a volunteer program in which dogs and their owners go through special training. The trained dogs may then take part in therapy sessions, giving kids a fun way to practice their skills. Who uses it: Occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech-language pathologists
- Splish, splash! Kids love to hang out in the pool. Aquatic therapy, available in Minneapolis and St. Paul, uses a pool for rehab. The pool in St. Paul has advanced features, including adjustable floor depth and jets, a treadmill in the water and underwater cameras with a live video display. Who uses it: Physical and occupational therapists
- Growing stronger. Don’t let the name put you off: Constraint-induced movement therapy is actually a gentle treatment that helps kids who are weak on one side of the body due to a stroke, cerebral palsy or another condition. The stronger arm is put in a cast for a few weeks, while the child builds strength in the weaker arm. Research at Children’s has shown that it works. Who uses it: Physical and occupational therapists
- Message received. Kids want to communicate well and learn easily at school, and we’re here to help. For example, Fast ForWord is a cutting edge online language and reading program that targets the building blocks of phonics, spoken language, memory, attention and listening accuracy. Strengthening these basic skills results in a wide range of improved language and reading skills. And, most importantly, the gains kids achieve are lasting, the result of positive changes in their processing skills and learning capacity. Who uses it: Speech-language pathologists
- Making strides. We help kids improve their walking, one step at a time. Serial casting uses a series of below-the-knee casts to gradually improve ankle flexibility. This promotes more normal walking in kids who walk on the balls of their feet rather than putting their whole feet down. It’s also helpful for some children with cerebral palsy, lower leg injuries or nerve damage in their legs. Who uses it: Physical therapists
- Ear push-ups. We help kids flex their hearing muscles. Therapeutic listening is a program that uses music and sounds to exercise the muscles and nerves of the ears. It also stimulates areas of the brain used for processing sounds. By helping the brain develop, it can improve not only listening, but also communication and movement. Who uses it: Occupational therapists
- Down the hatch! We’ve got the inside story on swallowing disorders. Videofluoroscopic swallow study is a video X-ray that’s taken while a child is eating or drinking. It can detect aspiration — a swallowing problem in which food goes down the wrong pipe. Who uses it: Occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists
- Easy-to-swallow treatment. VitalStim Therapy is the only FDA-cleared device for treating swallowing problems. Electrodes are placed on a child’s neck. Then the device emits a small amount of electrical current, which stimulates the muscles used for swallowing. Who uses it: Occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists
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