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Pediatric rehabilitation

After a serious injury or illness, children may need to regain strength and learn new ways of completing daily activities. They may benefit from physical therapy (for strength and mobility); occupational therapy (for relearning and adapting); and speech therapy (for language and communication).

Pediatric inpatient rehabilitation (rehab) in Asheville, North Carolina

We aim to give your child a positive rehab experience as they make strides toward improvement.

Mission Children's Hospital, located in Mission Hospital, uses therapeutic interventions centered on your child's growth and recovery. We help your child develop or regain abilities, one session at a time.

Our pediatric rehab services

Our licensed therapists collaborate with your child's doctor and hospital specialists to create a rehab plan that meets their health needs.

Inpatient and outpatient pediatric rehab

If your child is recovering from surgery or injury, we provide inpatient therapeutic care during their stay. Depending on their needs, they can receive one or multiple types of support, including physical, occupational, speech or swallowing therapy. As always with our care, we focus on building a strong relationship with your child to earn their trust and maximize outcomes.

Our pediatric outpatient rehab services are offered in the Mission Children's Pediatric Rehab location on our hospital campus. Our licensed therapists are cross-trained in multiple disciplines, and they can coordinate with our many experienced subspecialists. Our approach allows for a strong continuity of care and support for your child and family from birth to young adulthood. We provide evaluations and ongoing therapies, in addition to specialized programs such as our Program for Cerebral Palsy and Integrated Neuromuscular Care.

Pediatric physical therapy

Our physical therapists have a unique perspective on problems identified in muscular, orthopedic and neurological systems. Fundamental to the profession of physical therapy is a focus on physical development and the natural changes that occur in the body over the years of growth. Our pediatric physical therapists are uniquely trained to identify and address problems that may impact your child's body later in life. We have therapists with advanced training in:

  • Manual lymphatic drainage — Light, skin-stretching massage that helps promote the movement of lymphatic fluid to improve localized or global edema
  • Serial casting — Noninvasive conservative method used to improve joint range of motion at the ankle
  • Total motion release (TMR) – Scientific process to find and resolve pain, restricted or faulty movement and asymmetry through the use of specific therapeutic motions

Our physical therapists facilitate motor development or restore motor function following an injury. In therapy sessions, you and your child engage in activities to improve their range of motion, strength, balance, coordination and endurance. We may recommend orthotics, bracing, splinting or casting to help children develop more functional movement patterns. We can assist with selecting and obtaining equipment that will allow your child to explore their environment and function more independently.

Pediatric occupational therapy

Our occupational therapists help your child learn how to develop hand (fine motor) skills and body awareness. Through appropriate therapeutic tasks disguised as play, we address sensory needs and preferences. These skills consider learning objectives and increase independence with self-care skills and self-regulation. Specialty programs include:

  • Constraint-induced therapy for hand conditions affecting one side of the body
  • Individual feeding therapy using the sequential oral sensory approach (SOS)

Pediatric speech therapy

Our speech-language pathologists partner with families to increase skills in feeding, swallowing and communication. Therapists work individually with your child to evaluate strengths and needs, create a customized treatment plan and teach you how to support your child's learning and development.

We have therapists with advanced training in various approaches to speech and language development, as well as feeding and swallowing treatments, including:

  • Auditory-verbal therapy (AVT)
  • Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC)
  • Electrode stimulation of inactive swallowing muscles
  • Evidence-based program promoting appropriate development
  • Hanen Method for parent/caregiver education
  • Kauffman method for childhood apraxia
  • Naturalistic language intervention
  • Nutrition, acceptance and therapy approach to eating
  • Orton-Gillingham approach
  • Restructuring oral muscular phonetic targets (PROMPT)

Our pediatric speech-language pathologists also provide video-fluoroscopic swallow studies.

Feeding and swallowing program

Our program provides feeding services for infants, children and adolescents. Our team of dietitians, speech-language pathologists and occupational therapists work with children and families to address problems related to growth, nutrition, oral motor skills, swallowing and sensory responses to food. We are the only hospital-based pediatric feeding program in the region, and we collaborate with physicians to address complex feeding problems. We offer instrumental swallowing assessments performed by speech-language pathologists who specialize in pediatrics.

Newborn developmental program

The Developmental Follow-Up Program sees babies who need special care after birth, are at risk for developmental delays or have ongoing medical needs. As the only program in the region that combines developmental care with comprehensive follow-up for at-risk infants and toddlers, we are committed to providing high-quality, compassionate services.

Our group of medical, therapeutic and development specialists closely monitor your child during early development. In addition to supporting their overall well-being, this proactive approach allows us to address and manage any growth, developmental and nutritional issues. We ensure coordinated care by working with your child's pediatrician, medical specialists and community resources. Your child can be referred to our program through their pediatrician or after staying in our neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

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