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Team Approach to Pediatric Therapy

September 29, 2020

Sports Plus is a regional provider for pediatric services offering physical, occupational and speech therapy all in one place with a coordinated team approach. We provide therapy for children from birth to 18 years of age with a wide range of diagnoses. 

Who Needs Pediatric Therapy? 

Children can be referred for services by their pediatrician or primary care provider. 

Sports Plus Dyersburg uses a team approach for therapy services. While there are many children who may only need to see a single discipline for services, we offer all the services with a coordinated approach to therapy. 

Working Together to Provide Comprehensive Care

We recently treated a 4 year old who had trouble with a certain sound in speech: “S” words. Our speech-language pathologist or speech therapist, shared with the team that the child was working on that sound. Our physical therapists and occupational therapists then incorporated activities that encouraged making that sound, such as jumping on the mini-trampoline and pretending to jump to the stars, while talking about stars. Our occupational therapist might choose a puzzle with all “S” words, and work on fine motor tasks while also working to achieve the speech therapy goal. 

Speech Therapy For Children

The speech therapists here at Sports Plus work with a wide range of speech as well as feeding difficulties. Many children are seen for difficulties with their speech and for learning to make certain sounds or letter blends. 

What many people don’t realize is that speech therapy includes so much more. It includes treating children who are having difficulty with sucking or swallowing, who have difficulties with certain textures of food or chewing, and working with families on safely feeding babies who are unable to eat or drink.

Another aspect of speech therapy is working with children who cannot speak. Many of our therapists work with children on sign language or use of communication devices in an effort to allow them to express themselves. 

What is the difference between physical therapy and occupational therapy? 

We like to say that PT, or physical therapy, works on gross motor or big movements. With a baby, these are things like sitting up, crawling and walking. With older children, this may be walking on steps, standing on one foot, hopping, skipping and jumping. OT, or occupational therapy, works more on fine motor skills. With babies, this may be holding a rattle or small toy, holding a bottle and how they use their hands. With older children, OT is looking at their ability to button, zip, complete a puzzle, or thread beads on yarn. Occupational Therapists also work with children on handwriting skills and are increasingly working with our tech savvy kids on computer and keyboarding skills.

Family-Centered Approach

All our pediatric therapists work with families on equipment usage. Orthotics and bracing allow children to be as independent as possible.  Need for these devices as well as items such as wheelchairs, walkers, shower or bath chairs and other specialized equipment can be assessed by PT and OT.   ST will also assess needs and these devices can include communication devices, specialized cups or bottles for feeding.  The therapy department at Sports Plus Dyersburg has its own dedicated area for pediatric patients in private treatment rooms, as well as an outdoor play area placing children in the most comfortable environment.

If you’re looking for pediatric physical, occupational or speech therapy, Sports Plus Rehab Centers offer comprehensive care. With 14 clinics across west Tennessee, Sports Plus is conveniently located close to you.