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Programs & Services

Outpatient Rehabilitation Program

The right therapy can improve any condition that limits a child’s abilities. The therapies we offer at Phoenix Children’s can sometimes look like play. However, every therapy is carefully planned and highly structured to help kids achieve specific functional goals.

Phoenix Children’s offers the latest advances in pediatric rehabilitation, including the latest technologies, equipment and facilities. We offer a variety of therapies to meet the unique needs of each child, including:

Physical Therapy (PT)

Physical therapy helps children improve movement, strength, skills and functions for increased independence and a better quality of life. Our pediatric-trained physical therapists evaluate your child to determine what is limiting their ability to access their environment or participate in desired activities.  They then work with your child to optimize movement through strength, flexibility, balance and coordination training for increased independence in mobility and meaningful participation in play and leisure. Physical therapy may include:

  • Balance, agility and coordination training — Building muscles, toning the body, and enhancing body awareness and efficiency of movement 
  • Therapeutic Exercise — Strength, endurance, range of motion and posture, including age-appropriate developmental mobility
  • Gait and mobility training — Enhances strength and movement, such walking
  • Gross motor skill development — Use of large muscles involved in walking, running, throwing and other functions
  • Serial casting – Applying a cast to a tight joint, such as the ankle, and then recasting it periodically as healing progresses to improve flexibility and movement

Occupational Therapy (OT)

Occupations are the activities you do that are important to you. This includes activities of daily living such as getting dressed, moving around, going to the bathroom, or eating.  They can also include participation in arts, sports, school, work, relationships, or something else. 

Occupational therapists help you figure out which occupations matter the most to you. They help you build the physical, social, emotional, cognitive, or other personal skills and strategies that you need in order to participate in those valued occupations.

Therapists focus on a variety of targeted skills, which include:

  • Activities of daily living (ADLs) — Skills for activities of daily living at home, school, work and play, including self-care, such as feeding, dressing, bathing and grooming 
  • Adaptive equipment use – Helping patients and families learn how to use a wide range of adaptive or assistive tools and technologies, such as adaptive utensils for eating, wheelchairs, and bathing and toileting devices 
  • Fine motor skills — Including grasping skills, object manipulation, writing, using scissors and tying shoestrings
  • Hand rehabilitation – Therapies to improve hand and wrist strength and function  
  • Physical and mental health management – Creating and maintaining healthy lifestyles as kids transition from childhood into adolescence and adulthood
  • Sensory oral feeding and sensory integration therapies — Improving the ability to process, integrate and manage information received by the brain through touch, taste, vision and sound, and involving motor skills, feeding and other functions
  • Splinting and positioning — To protect, support and promote healing and function of the hand, arm or other parts of the body affected by burns, injuries or other conditions
  • Visual-motor skills and perception — Coordination of eyes and hands for activities of daily living 

Speech-Language Therapy

Speech therapy focuses on a child’s speech, language and communication skills. It also includes help with feeding problems, swallowing disorders, cognition and other conditions. Types of speech-language therapy include:

  • Alternative augmentative communication (AAC) — All forms of communication other than talking, such as writing, use of communication boards and electronic devices, and sign language
  • Articulation and fluency – Pronouncing words correctly and clearly, and speaking in a smooth and natural way, including addressing stuttering
  • Aural habilitation (auditory perception training for hearing disorders), including use of hearing aids and post-surgical therapies for cochlear implants
  • Cognition impairment therapies — Includes help with functions such as problem-solving, reasoning and memory  
  • Eating and swallowing (feeding therapy) — Includes systemic weaning process (SWP) therapy and therapies for a range of feeding and swallowing disorders
  • Oral-motor therapy — Works on conditions such as abnormal tongue thrust, tongue protrusion and other disorders affecting speech, communications, feeding and other functions
  • Social communication skills — Includes improvement of a child’s expressive communication and comprehension abilities and functions
  • Receptive and expressive language skills – Listening and talking, including understanding and using words effectively
  • Voice therapy – including resonance voice therapy

Feeding Therapy

A speech-language pathologist provides feeding therapy. It can range from infant bottle- or breastfeeding therapy to complex swallowing disorders that can lead to nutritional imbalances. Our specialists evaluate the source and nature of related challenges and recommend appropriate therapies. Related tests and treatments include:

  • Feeding and swallowing therapy – Helps kids who have trouble swallowing food and liquids by improving related skills 
  • Fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES) – Use of a flexible scope to examine parts of the mouth and throat involved in swallowing  
  • Modified barium swallow studies (MBS) or video fluoroscopic swallowing studies (VFSS) – Different names for a test that shows moving, real-time images of what happens in your mouth when you swallow different foods or liquids
  • Neuromuscular electrical stimulation for swallowing (Vital Stim) – A device that helps to improve swallowing and related muscle functions
  • Oral motor therapy – Improves skills needed to coordinate use of the lips, tongue, palate, jaw, teeth and other parts of the mouth involved in speaking, eating and swallowing
  • Thickener weaning – A step-by-step process to wean children from thickened fluids, which are sometimes used to treat feeding disorders

Features and Equipment

Phoenix Children’s uses cutting-edge technology for comprehensive and innovative therapy. Our outpatient services, equipment and resources include:

  • Andago System — We pioneered the pediatric use of this sophisticated suspension system for overground gait training. It enables a child or adolescent to practice gait training and other exercises independently, bridging the gap between treadmill-based and free walking.
  • Armeo Spring – Our therapists use this sophisticated training device to rehabilitate arm and hand function.
  • Balance Master – We use this equipment as part of testing and treatment of balance disorders.
  • BITS (Bioness integrated therapy system) – BITS is an innovative, all-in-one therapy tool we use for visual motor training.
  • Integrated therapy systems — We use smart systems such as RT 300, which uses electrical stimulation for strengthening after a neurologic injury.
  • Spacious areas to work, practice and play — Our therapy areas include a large open gym and other gym spaces, plus private treatment rooms.

See Why It Matters

Meet our motivated kids, smart equipment and the leadership that makes it possible:

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