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Pediatric Rehabilitation: Helping Children Reach Their Full Potential

– Physical, occupational and speech therapy for kids with special needs –

Chilton Hospital’s Pediatric Rehabilitation at the YMCA in Wayne, NJEvery child deserves the opportunity to shine. That’s what Chilton Hospital’s Pediatric Rehabilitation is all about: helping kids achieve their full potential through physical, occupational and speech therapy.

“Our comprehensive, family-centered program is designed for children who are challenged by developmental problems, whether they’re associated with illness, injury or other conditions,” explained Patrick Flannery, FACHE, MBA, OTR, Manager of Chilton’s Rehabilitation Services. 

Conveniently provided at the Wayne YMCA, Chilton’s Pediatric Rehabilitation begins with an individualized evaluation by a team of health professionals, including certified physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech language pathologists. “Our staff determines a child’s current developmental level and the highest potential level of functioning,” asserted Flannery. “Then we work with families to establish personal goals for each child, along with a customized treatment plan to reach them.”

According to Flannery, all therapies combine evidence-based techniques with an integrated, child-friendly approach. In lieu of “scary” equipment, the staff uses toys, electronics, play therapy and even aquatics to engage children in meaningful, age-appropriate activities. Physical therapy may include such treatments as gait training, neuromuscular re-education and balance training, while occupational therapy is aimed at improving motor development, strength, coordination and skills for daily living.  Additionally, speech therapy helps children with communication, swallowing problems, memory and/or other speech or language difficulties.

Of particular distinction, Chilton Hospital is the region’s only health care facility to offer specialized rehabilitation services for kids with autism. “Autistic children process information differently than other children. However, their sensitivities and challenges are commonly accompanied by exceptional skills and areas of brilliance,” noted Flannery. With that in mind, many Chilton therapists are trained in sensory integration and other techniques that are especially beneficial for children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. That expertise allows staff to assess and build upon each child’s strengths, while helping families learn how to modify his or her environment so the child can function better at home, school and other settings. 

“Our ultimate goal is to bring out the best in each child – physically, emotionally and socially – to optimize independence and enrich their quality of life,” added Flannery. 

Chilton’s Pediatric Rehabilitation center is located at the Wayne YMCA, One Pike Drive, Wayne, New Jersey. Services are provided Monday through Friday, with daytime and evening hours available. To schedule an appointment, call (973) 831-0717, ext. 2.

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