Pediatric Therapy

Physical, Occupational, & Speech Therapy for Children

The Pediatric Therapy Team at SLV Health ProTherapy includes licensed therapists who specialize in pediatric occupational, physical, speech/language, and feeding/swallowing therapy.

The Pediatric Therapy Team utilizes an interdisciplinary approach to ensure that your child receives consistent, effective therapy across disciplines. We meet as a team at least once per month to complete continuing education and collaborate with patient care.

Pediatric Therapy Services Brochure

Call (719) 589-8100 for more information. Visit your primary care provider to learn if pediatric therapy can benefit your child and to obtain a referral.

We look forward to helping your child to achieve success in every environment.

Pediatric Physical Therapy

Pediatric Physical Therapy (PT) is beneficial for children who experience difficulty in coordinating gross motor movements such as running and riding a bike. Pediatric physical therapy can also improve children’s strength and coordination. It can help to facilitate motor development and function and improve strength and endurance. Physical therapy may help children and caregivers to ease challenges with activities of daily living in order to help children better interact with the world around them.

Injuries that physical therapy helps include:

  • Back injuries from an accident
  • Broken bones and rebuilding muscle strength after removing a cast
  • Chronic foot or leg pain
  • Injuries to the tendons
  • Pain in the shoulders
  • Sports injuries while playing at school
  • Sprains and strains

Conditions that might require physical therapy include:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Arthritis
  • Chronic pain, particularly in the back
  • Heart conditions
  • Lung conditions
  • Abnormal spine development or growth that causes complications with mobility or muscle control

A child may benefit from pediatric physical therapy if he or she:

  • Demonstrates gaze preference to one side
  • Presents with flattening of the head
  • Tilts head to one side
  • Does not kick feet or bear weight through legs by 6 months of age
  • Uses hitch crawling or scoots
  • Uses one side of the body more than the other
  • W sits
  • Walks on toes
  • Uses atypical movement patterns
  • Has trouble skipping or doing jumping jacks (school age)
  • Uses poor posture consistently
  • Is unable to walk up and down the stairs (if older than 4 years of age)

Pediatric Occupational Therapy

Pediatric Occupational Therapy (OT) promotes children’s success in playing, learning, and socializing throughout the day as well as daily life skills such as dressing, bathing, and toileting, among other skills. It helps to support a child’s development of self-control, fine motor coordination, organization, and social functioning, among other areas.

According to the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), children with the following medical problems may benefit from OT:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Birth injuries or birth defects
  • Broken bones or other orthopedic injuries
  • Burns
  • Cancer
  • Developmental Delay
  • Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Learning problems
  • Mental health or behavioral problems
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy, and other chronic illnesses
  • Post-surgical conditions
  • Sensory processing disorders
  • Severe hand injuries
  • Spina Bifida
  • Traumatic amputations
  • Traumatic injuries (brain or spinal cord)

A child may benefit from pediatric occupational therapy if he or she:

  • Experiences frequent, intense meltdowns
  • Has difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep
  • Has an excessive need for intense movement (jumping, rocking, swinging, spinning)
  • Becomes upset with changes in routine, unexpected changes, or transitions
  • Is excessively cautious and afraid to try new things
  • Demonstrates poor concentration and attention
  • Is bothered by certain textures of clothing
  • Demonstrates impulsivity or decreased safety awareness
  • Uses obsessive behaviors
  • Is clumsy, awkward, or accident prone
  • Is under or over-reactive to touch, lights, sounds, smell, temperature, or movement
  • Has difficulty separating from caregivers
  • Avoids or is slow to engage in new experiences
  • Has difficulty with self-care activities such as dressing, tooth brushing, etc.
  • Has difficulty using appropriate grip form and strength for writing, cutting, gluing, etc.

Pediatric Speech/Language Therapy

Pediatric Speech/Language Therapy (ST) helps children to learn to use words or other modes of communication. Speech/language therapy can improve language expression and comprehension as well as a child’s ability to pronounce speech sounds. Speech therapy can also help children to improve their social language abilities in order to help them to form more meaningful social relationships with family members and peers.

A child may benefit from speech and/or language services if he or she has difficulty:

  • Expressing feelings and ideas clearly
  • Orienting the listener to the time/place/characters in a personal narrative
  • Learning/using specific vocabulary (uses words such as "thing" or "stuff" often)
  • Understanding/answering questions about verbally presented info
  • Following directions
  • Creating grammatical sentences and using age-appropriate grammar
  • Understanding and reading social cues
  • Playing appropriately with same-age peers
  • Pronouncing developmentally appropriate sounds correctly
  • Being understood by family members, teachers, and less familiar conversation partners
  • Speaking in a smooth, effortless manner (stuttering)
  • Speaking with a clear, healthy voice (pediatric voice disorder)

Pediatric Swallowing/Feeding Therapy

Pediatric swallowing and feeding therapy help to support safe and adequate nutrition and hydration in children with feeding and swallowing difficulties. It can help families to determine optimum feeding methods to maximize swallowing safety and efficiency. It also provides positive feeding-related experiences to the extent possible, given the child’s medical situation.

A child may benefit from feeding/swallowing therapy if he or she:

  • Has difficulty chewing foods, typically swallowing food in whole pieces
  • Has difficulty swallowing foods or refuses to swallow certain types of food consistencies
  • Refuses to eat certain food textures or has difficulty transitioning from one texture to another texture (ex: from bottle feedings to purees, from purees to soft solids or mixed textured foods)
  • Struggles to control and coordinate moving food around in the mouth, chewing and preparing to swallow food
  • Fussy or irritable with feeding
  • The child seems congestion during feedings or after
  • Frequently coughs or gags when eating
  • Frequently vomits during or immediately after eating or drinking
  • Refuses or rarely tries new foods
  • Has difficulty transitioning from gastric tube (G tube) feedings to oral feedings
  • Negative mealtime behaviors (infant cries, arches, pulls away from food; the child refuses to eat, tantrums at mealtimes or “shuts-down” and does not engage in mealtime)
  • Infant demonstrating signs of difficulty with coordinating the suck/swallow/breath pattern during bottle or breastfeeding
  • Feeding time taking longer than 30 minutes for infants, and 30 to 40 minutes for toddlers or young children