Pediatric Rehabilitation Services & Programs
The Pediatric and Adolescent Rehabilitation Program at Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital provides comprehensive services along a continuum of care, including inpatient and outpatient services.
IU Health Methodist Hospital pediatric physiatrists provide medical direction on rehabilitation issues and care coordination for children and adolescents, age one day to 18 years.
Our services include:
Aquatic Therapy Program
Children of all abilities can benefit from aquatic rehabilitation to improve muscle strength, endurance, coordination, balance, body awareness and range of motion.
Children who have conditions such as spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy, high and low muscle tone, and orthopedic and sensory integration problems benefit from learning to control movements while in the water.
We are fortunate to be able to take advantage of the excellent pool facilities at IU Natatorium on the campus of IUPUI in downtown Indianapolis.
Day Treatment Program
Our day treatment program is designed for children and adolescents who need intensive occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, therapeutic recreation and schooling, but do not require hospitalization.
"Intensive therapy" means your child receives therapy twice a day. Children and adolescents in our day treatment programs spend all or part of their days attending therapy and school sessions, then return home at night and on weekends.
Inpatient Rehabilitation Program
IU Health Methodist Hospital's inpatient rehabilitation program is for children and adolescents who need 24-hour nursing care from rehab nurses and daily monitoring from physicians. This intensive therapy is provided six days a week, and most patients are involved in our rehab programs from 9 am to 4 pm.
Families with children in our inpatient programs are provided with the following accommodations:
- 24-hour visitation for parents
- Bedside sleeping accommodations for one parent
- A parent may eat meals with his/her child
- On-site laundry facilities
- Free parking
Music Therapy Program
Music therapy is an established health profession using music and music activities to address physical, emotional, cognitive and social needs of children with disabilities or illnesses. Music therapists use music activities, both instrumental and vocal, designed to facilitate changes that are nonmusical in nature. Music therapy objectives are specific and relevant to the child's medical diagnosis, course of treatment and discharge timeline.
Our therapists use music to assess patients' emotional well-being, social functioning, communication abilities, physical health and cognitive skills based on how children respond to music. Therapy sessions may include music improvisation, receptive listening techniques, song writing, lyric discussions, imagery and performance.
Our music therapists have received specialized training at Colorado State University and have received their credentials in Neurologic Music Therapy.
Our occupational therapist, or OT, specializes in developing skills needed to perform daily tasks, such as dressing, bathing and eating. This includes gross motor (moving arms) and fine motor (moving fingers) skills.
The OT may also provide splints and specialized equipment to further increase independence of these skills. Our therapists provide assessment and training of functional cognitive skills and day-to-day activities, including telling time, using a phone and shopping.
You've probably heard the saying, "Dog is man's best friend."Judging from the faces of our patients, you'll see that this is true.
Specially trained dogs visit patients in their rooms through our Pet-A-Pet Program. This time is very special for our patients because they quickly discover that dogs don't care what they look like or how well they move--dogs love them all the same. These pets are wonderful companions for our patients, particularly those who've sustained burns and may be self-conscious about their appearance.
If your child has suffered a severe injury or illness, a physical therapist (PT) will prescribe activities to promote wellness and help your child reach his or her potential. There are many different forms of physical therapy designed for all sorts of sports-related injuries and mobility needs.
Additionally, physical therapy can be used to evaluate joint mobility, build muscle strength, and maintain flexibility, coordination and balance, as well as assist with all types of mobility.
Our physical therapist may also have your child advance to activities that focus on his or her ability to skip, jump, hop, run and other age-appropriate and challenging skills.
School Reintegration Program
Since many of the children we see require months and sometimes years of rehabilitative care, we fulfill an important need by addressing the child's academic needs. This starts while the child is either in the day treatment program or receiving inpatient rehabilitation, and it continues after program discharge.
We have a full-time teacher whose main objective is to address the child's academic issues so he or she can transition smoothly back into school when rehabilitation is complete. In addition to the teacher, the pediatric neuropsychologist is an integral part of planning for the transition back to school. This academic process is highly individualized and requires us to work closely with parents and the child's school for a successful transition.
Our rehabilitation programs are often used as a model for other hospitals in the region, and our school reintegration program has received international attention from a rehabilitative exchange program in New Zealand.
Spasticity Management Program
When a child's central nervous system is affected by abnormal development, injury or illness to the brain or spinal cord, spasticity may occur. Spasticity is a motor disorder characterized by increased muscle tone, stiffness and abnormal motor reflexes. Medical conditions associated with spasticity include, but are not limited to, cerebral palsy, brain injury, stroke and multiple sclerosis.
Spasticity may contribute to impaired control of body movements, making daily functions such as walking, dressing, bathing and writing very difficult. This condition may lead to a range-of-motion loss and orthopedic deformities.
Our spasticity management program is specific to each patient. In general, we strive to reduce muscle stiffness and resistance to movement while increasing range of motion.
While we recognize that these therapies won't totally eliminate spasticity, we have seen children make incredible strides by learning to care for themselves and becoming more mobile by either walking, using a wheelchair and/or using arms and hands to perform tasks.
Because spasticity treatment requires a multifaceted approach, our physiatrists use a comprehensive, systematic evaluation and treatment protocol. This includes reviewing your child's medical, neurological, orthopedic and functional status to achieve goals important to you and your child.
These interventions can include the following:
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Serial casting, splinting and bracing
- Oral medications (Baclofen, Dantrium, Zanaflex)
- Medication injections (Botox, phenol)
- Surgical interventions: selective dorsal Rhizotomy, Baclofen pump or orthopedic procedures.
Our team includes the following:
- Primary care physician
- Pediatric physiatrist
- Pediatric neurologist and/or pediatric neurosurgeon
- Pediatric orthopedist
- Pediatric physical therapist
- Pediatric occupational therapist
For more information call 317.962.5302.
Speech and Language Therapy
This therapy focuses on speech, language and swallowing disorders. Speech disorders refer to pronunciation problems, whereas language disorders refer to difficulties understanding words and/or putting words together to communicate with others. Swallowing difficulties refer to problems getting liquids and solid food safely from mouth to stomach.
Our speech therapy addresses articulation, fluency, and voice disorders that distract listeners from what is being said. Language therapy deals with receptive (trouble understanding or processing language) and expressive disorders (difficulty putting words together or an inability to use language in socially-appropriate ways).
Children require speech and language therapy for many reasons, including the following examples:
- Hearing impairments
- Cognitive impairments (thinking skills)
- Weak oral muscles
- Swallowing disorders