Thrive by IU Health

March 26, 2020

Adding to your parent/caregiver toolbox

IU Health Bloomington Hospital

Adding to your parent/caregiver toolbox

Sudden changes in routines can be difficult, especially for children. But there is support available for parents and caregivers who have found themselves in this temporary, new normal.

“At IU Health Children’s Therapy we continue to be committed to family-centered, play-based care,” said Heather Birk, manager of IU Health Children’s Therapy in Bloomington. “We recognize that children and families in our community are facing challenges they may not be prepared for and we want to offer our expertise to help families navigate this uncertain time.”

That’s why the Children’s Therapy team is offering a call center that is available 9 am – 3 pm, Monday – Friday for parents and caregivers in the community.

“With extended school closures and the addition of e-learning in the home we are here to provide tools for your parent/caregiver toolbox,” said Birk. “This may in the form of helping families establish new routines, giving tips for sensory breaks and body movements, and ideas for play-based learning.”

The team’s pediatric therapists are available to help families problem solve and give recommendations for things such as:

  • Establishing or modifying routines
  • Sensory play
  • Easy to do at home fine motor and gross motor activities
  • Language or vocabulary development activities
  • Interactive play and reading ideas

These will be general tips and guidance to help ease the potentially overwhelming changes families are facing in a broad sense, like a “help line.” This service is intended for our patient families and families in our community to connect and problem solve. It is not intended to serve as a method of providing direct patient care.

“Additionally, our pediatric social worker is available to help direct families to community resources and support parents in this time of need,” said Birk. “During this unprecedented time, we want to support the entire community so any family with children who needs support is welcome to call.”

Interested families can call 812.353.3407 or 800.663.4606, or email