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Rehabilitation services and therapy

Rehabilitation services and therapy

Shriners Hospitals for Children — Spokane offers a fully inclusive rehabilitation services department, including physical and occupational therapy for both inpatients and outpatients. When a physician feels a child can benefit from therapy evaluation or treatment, the services can be provided on site before or after surgery. Therapists can help patients learn new skills, as well as regain skills they had previously. Frequently, families are asked to participate in training in how best to assist their family member. Therapy can be provided before surgery, after surgery and for other nonsurgical reasons. A referral is required from a Shriners Hospitals for Children physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant before therapy can begin.

Physical therapy (PT)

The physical therapists at the Spokane Shriners Hospital will begin the therapy event by performing an evaluation. Following the findings, an individualized plan of care is developed to help patients regain function, maintain function or make accommodations for any deficits they may be experiencing.

Our physical therapists have expertise in improving mobility and motion to improve function and can also assist with alleviating or lessening pain. Our goal is to assist your child or adolescent to re- enter activities that are fun and/or assist in developing accommodation strategies if necessary.

Physical therapy focuses on gross motor skills. For example, in PT a patient will work on larger movements such as walking. The Spokane Shriners Hospital has a fully equipped rehabilitation gym where our physical therapists conduct one-on-one supervised exercises with our patients.

Therapy plans are personalized and designed for each patient’s individual needs, goals and challenges. Our physical therapists take the time to understand specific needs in order to create effective, individualized care plans.

Occupational therapy (OT)

Occupational therapy involves regaining and assisting in fine motor skills and activities linked with daily living to help children prepare for the transition away from the hospital and back to home or school. The occupational therapist works with the patient to determine which areas need improvement and how to help kids perform these activities in a more functional, successful and independent way.

The occupational therapists create therapy plans to help patients regain function, maintain level of functioning or make accommodations for any deficits they may be experiencing. The occupational therapists use stretches, exercises, equipment and possibly assistive devices to accomplish their goals.

The OTs may work on upper extremities and assist with activities of daily living (ADLs). Occupational therapy is also able to assist adolescents in individualized transition programs to prepare for functioning as a young adult.

There are many aspects of OT that overlap with PT. Our patients often have multiple goals and these are best treated with an integrated and collaborative approach. As with PT, the goal in OT is the same: shorten recovery time, increase the effectiveness of treatment, improve function and improve the overall quality of life of our patients.

Additional services available:

  • Helping families and patients determine equipment needs
  • Assist patients in fittings for wheelchairs, orthotics and other durable medical equipment

Speech-language therapy

Our pediatric speech therapy program focuses on the core areas of speech and language. Our goal is to understand each patient’s needs and help them achieve functional communication skills. We are committed to providing high-quality individualized services to facilitate your child’s communicative success. This includes family education and collaboration with your child’s teachers or therapists.

Our speech-language therapy program can provide services/treatment for:

  • Articulation and phonological disorders
  • Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS)
  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
  • Paradoxical vocal fold dysfunction (PVFD)
  • Concussion care
  • Stuttering and fluency
  • Pragmatic and social communication disorders
  • Receptive and expressive language disorders
  • Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC)
  • Bilingual (Spanish) speaking patients
  • Additional speech services to an individualized education plan (IEP) or continued services during school breaks

If you have concerns about your child’s communication development, they may benefit from a speech-language evaluation. After a comprehensive evaluation, we will determine if your child would benefit from therapy and collaborate on communication goals to help them develop age-appropriate or functional communication skills.

Scoliosis-specific exercise program

At Shriners Hospitals for Children — Spokane, we have a certified scoliosis-specific exercise program practitioner on our rehabilitation staff.

The scoliosis-specific exercise program is an exercise plan intended to elongate the trunk and correct imbalances of the spine. The goal is to develop the inner muscles of the rib cage in order to change the shape of the upper trunk and to correct any spinal abnormalities. The physical therapist will instruct the patient in specific exercises to straighten, centralize and de-rotate the spine.

The primary goal is to slow the progression of the spinal curve. The scoliosis-specific exercise program approach is used to treat scoliosis patients 10 and older, and can be utilized in all stages of scoliosis, including after surgery.