At Thrive, occupational, physical, and speech therapists work alongside dedicated nurses to provide a circle of compassionate care designed to help children participate in family activities, increase their independence, and move more freely within their homes and communities. We look beyond the basics to find creative ways to help families work toward achieving their children’s highest capability in eating, moving, speaking, and personal care.
We provide treatment for:
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Cerebral Palsy
- Developmental Delays
- Down Syndrome
- Feeding and Swallowing Disorders
- Neuromuscular Disorders
- Seizure Disorders
- Sensory Processing Disorders
- Speech/Language Delays
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
Occupational Therapy gets its name from the word “occupation.” Occupational Therapy helps people participate in everyday activities needed to fulfill their chosen roles (occupations). For children, an “occupation” can mean being a family member, playmate, student, or member of a community group. To be successful in these occupations, children must be able to play, manage their own self-care, participate in family activities, and attend school and community events.
Occupational Therapists (OTs) help medically fragile or developmentally delayed children achieve independence by developing self-care skills such as dressing, bathing and grooming. Children who have difficulty with joint movement, coordination, balance, sensory issues, and the use of their hands can benefit from OT. OT also addresses and treats feeding, chewing, and swallowing problems.
Children with extremely high or low responses to sensory stimulation such as touch and sound often have a very difficult time completing daily tasks due to their preoccupation with avoiding or seeking stimulation. Most children who are diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum experience sensory issues. Occupational Therapists are trained to help these children respond to sensory input in a more balanced way, so they can successfully participate in the activities of daily life.
Physical Therapy is the treatment of movement problems. Pain, muscles that are too tight or too loose, as well as limited motion, strength, and coordination can make moving difficult. Physical Therapy helps people improve and maintain function and quality of life through individual treatment plans that improve their fitness and function, avoid surgery, reduce the use of drugs, and partner in their own care.
Movement problems may also impact access to home and community environments, requiring modifications to make these areas more accessible. It may also require the use of specialized equipment that enables your child to participate in an activity rather than only passively observing it.
Physical Therapists (PTs) help children improve their ability to move from one place to another by improving the mobility of joints, and by increasing strength, balance, and coordination. PTs also evaluate the use of equipment such as wheelchairs and walkers, and of safe transfers in various settings, which enhances a child’s ability to participate in daily activities. PTs can also assist with acquiring orthotics on an as-needed basis.
Speech and Language Pathology, often called Speech Therapy, helps people improve their ability to communicate through speech by assessing and treating speech and language disorders. Speech and Language Pathologists, or “SLPs,” help children to communicate by both speaking to others and understanding what is said to them.
An SLP can evaluate your child’s hearing ability, and apply the building blocks of speech and language skills in order to help your child begin to build speech. Assistive Technology is used to provide other ways to communicate when a child is unable to use his/her voice effectively. SLPs also treat children with difficulty feeding due to chewing and swallowing problems.
Thrive offers occupational, physical, and speech therapies, which often include specialized care to support your child’s progress toward achieving the highest ability to eat, move, and take care of personal needs.
Feeding is a 3-step process that includes:
- Bringing food to the mouth with the use of hands or utensils
Children born with significant challenges that impair their ability to properly feed are at a high risk for developing complications that can last a lifetime.
With Thrive, your child is thoroughly evaluated in order for us to develop a personalized plan of treatment that helps to resolve problems and develop the life skills most critical to your child’s development.
Vital Stim® is a painless and gentle application of low electrical stimulation of the muscles used for chewing, holding and moving food around the mouth, and swallowing. Children who have difficulty using their lips, tongue, and cheek muscles to chew and move food into the throat, or who show signs of food not being safely swallowed, are often successfully treated with this technique. Even children with feeding tubes often benefit from Vital Stim®, once testing is completed to determine
that it can work for them.
With a physician’s order, a certified Thrive OT or ST treats infants and children likely to benefit from Vital Stim® in 2-3 weekly sessions, the most effective frequency.
Children on the Autism Spectrum or those who have Sensory Processing Disorder can exhibit delays in motor development, activities of daily living (ADLs) skills, and social skills. They often exhibit behaviors that can make daily life difficult and disruptive.
After utilizing standardized tests to identify sensory problems that can stand in the way of development, Thrive Occupational Therapists (also STs and PTs), with training in multisensory techniques, will engage your child in fun and novel ways to help decrease over- and under-reaction to sensory input.
We encourage and invite parent and caregiver inclusion in learning how to support a child’s sensory needs and learning differences, in order to promote the child’s greatest possible independence and improve participation in daily activities.
When children need equipment, tools, or other mechanisms to help support them in their daily functions, Assistive Technology can help in the following ways:
- Communication: Children who are unable to express their needs, wants, or ideas may benefit from the use of low-tech tools, such as picture boards, or more advanced technology like Alternative Augmentative Communication (AAC) devices. Our Speech and Language Pathologists (SLPs) evaluate which tools are best suited for your child, and can assist in obtaining those tools and training the child and the family or caregivers in their implementation.
- Home Adaptation/Modification: As children grow older, their independence in activities of daily living (ADLs) should also grow. Our OTs can help to determine if your child needs special switches and/or devices that can help to control electronic devices, appliances, and even some toys in the home.
- Accessibility of Home and Community: Thrive OTs and PTs can assist with modifications to your home that make entering and moving around it easier. PTs specialize in seating, positioning, and movement equipment, such as walkers and wheelchairs, and can help you determine which of these options are best for your child.
(Currently available in our Alabama, Georgia, and Virginia locations only)
Our expert respiratory therapists will help secure and set up equipment and train families for respiratory care in the home and for travel, including:
- Oxygen systems
- Pulse oximeters
- Tracheostomy tubes, supplies, suction, and humidification
- Cough assist
- Heated humidification systems
- Intrapulmonary percussive ventilation (IPV)
- Equipment for sleep disorder breathing and other related diagnoses, including CPAP/BIPAP/BIPAP-ST and apnea monitors