Parents often dream about the many firsts their child will experience: first smile, first steps, first words. Whether the result of an injury, a genetic disorder or some other factor, children sometimes need help reaching those milestones or retraining the body to do what it once did effortlessly.
“Our goal is to help children of all ages with sensory, movement, feeding and communication difficulties overcome those disorders so they can lead functional, happy lives,” said Suzanne Barje, PT, system manager for Wolfson Children’s Rehabilitation Services. “Since we only work with children, our clinics are designed and equipped with their needs in mind.”
While children develop at different paces, with some achieving milestones faster or slower than others, Barje said parents should be sure to let their pediatrician know if:
- A baby is not cooing by 6-8 weeks
- A baby or child is not making great eye contact by 3 months
- A baby is not rolling side to side by 4 months
- A baby is not holding his or her head steady by 4 months
- A baby is not sitting by 9 months
- A baby is not babbling by 6-9 months
The pediatrician will determine whether to refer the child to Wolfson Children’s Rehab.
Celebrate the small steps
Each child who walks through the doors at one of Wolfson Children’s Rehab’s six (soon-to-be seven) locations begins a journey not only for him or herself, but the entire family.
“As the child makes progress, even small steps, we celebrate,” Barje said. “Depending on the child’s cognitive level, he or she may get excited learning something new or conquering a task that seemed impossible a short time ago. It just gives the family hope.”
The programs aim to give families the knowledge, resources and support to continue making progress outside of therapy sessions, Barje said.
Conditions treated at Wolfson Children’s Rehab through occupational, physical and speech-language therapy include:
- Cerebral palsy
- Developmental delays
- Spina bifida
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Acute and chronic medical or traumatic conditions
- Feeding disorders
- Speech impairments
In November 2020, Wolfson Children’s Rehabilitation will expand its services by opening a new Intensive Therapy Center (ITC) at Baptist HealthPlace at Nocatee. The ITC will offer individualized combinations of physical and occupational therapies to help children make gains in leg strength for standing and walking, as well as in the use of their arms for improved independent life skills.
Patients must apply for the programs offered at the ITC, which typically consist of three to five sessions per week, lasting three to six weeks.
Wolfson Children’s Rehab offers a wide range of services at locations throughout Northeast Florida. To learn more about Wolfson Children’s rehabilitation services, call 904.202.4200. For more information about the Intensive Therapy Center (ITC), call 904.516.1818.