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Roughly 36 million Americans suffer from some degree of hearing loss, which some kinds of pediatric therapy can help with. If your child experiences a neurological disorder that causes everyday tasks to be a burden, they might benefit from pediatric therapy.

A pediatric therapist helps children develop or recover basic everyday skills, such as communicating effectively and eating properly. Pediatric neurological disorders that can be treated with pediatric therapy include cerebral palsy, swallowing problems, feeding disabilities, and neurodevelopmental disorders. However, even something as basic as a slight speech impediment can be effectively treated by a pediatric therapist specializing in speech therapy.

The following are three of the most common types of pediatric therapy.

Speech-Language Therapy

Therapists who specialize in speech and language therapy try to give children the tools they need to communicate effectively with others. The purpose of this type of program is to improve children’s abilities to communicate, both verbally and non-verbally, as well as to tolerate sensory stimulation. Additionally, speech and language therapists can help with feeding and swallowing problems in young children.

Occupational Pediatric Therapy

Similar to how occupational therapy can help adults perform more effectively at their jobs, pediatric occupational therapy helps kids overcome challenges and succeed in areas of their everyday lives. Occupational pediatric therapy programs often include custom-developed treatment plans to help children with neurological disorders, allowing them to master ordinary daily skills. Depending on a child’s needs, a pediatric therapist can help them with anything from participating in social activities to improving their handwriting.

Physical Therapy

Pediatric physical therapy helps children explore their world safely and successfully. These therapy sessions are designed to be fun for children with neurological disabilities, while simultaneously improving strength, posture, flexibility, range of motion, balance, and movement patterns.

Types of physical therapy include the following:

  • Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (or NMES)
  • Neurodevelopmental treatment (or NDT)
  • Functional balance training
  • Sports skills training
  • Gait training
  • Strength training
  • Endurance training
  • Joint and soft tissue mobilizations
  • Coordination exercises

Pediatric Feeding Therapy

Pediatric feeding therapy can help to improve eating behaviors and skills for children. A typical therapy session will include some combination of the following:

  • Exercises to improve tolerance of different textures
  • Effective swallowing strategies to help minimize choking
  • Practices to enhance oral motor stretching or strengthening
  • Feeding techniques that will improve mealtime behavior, acceptance of diverse foods and liquids, and efficiency in eating

And there you have it — the major types of pediatric therapy available to your child.