Pediatric therapy is the specific sort of therapy that is designed especially for children. Human growth and development is the main factor here, rather than recovery. The word children refers to everyone under twenty-one years of age, and in some cases, eighteen. This is a specific branch of medical study because the way one relates to children while conducting the therapy. The characteristics of the ages below 21 are all very different from one another, and certainly very different from an adult mind, and thus the nature of therapies are flexible so as to accommodate a wide variety of patients. The therapies are designed such that the child can respond effectively, and the needs of the body, mind and spirit are fulfilled completely. In short, these therapies can help a child cope better with the many intricacies of life.
These therapies can be classified into several different forms:
Occupational Therapy: These therapies deal with many of the aspects of child behavior and fine-tuned motor skills that are required to go through the many ordeals in the life of a child. This arena also deals with the stress, physical effects and social effects, as well as all three related, that can be a result of diseases, illnesses, or accidents. Certain features are looked into more than the others. Sensory Integration is focused upon for perfect coordination of the five senses, as combined or taken separately with Therapeutic Listening and Visual Motor Skills. Fine motor skills like handwriting are concentrated upon. Self help skills are fine-tuned in collaboration with environmental adaptations. For special children, feeding therapies can also be done to improve their appetite and body mass index.
Physical Therapy: Many children suffer from physical disabilities which prevent them from operating effectively in the daily environment. These therapies improve child safety as well as self-dependence, by encouraging accuracy of movements, adequacy of strength, precision of balance and by improving the variety of movements.
Speech-Language Therapies: For the many children with speech troubles, speech-language therapies can provide solutions. Many different areas are looked into, the general being speech, language and swallowing. The physiological disorders too are diagnosed. Children are helped to cope with Apraxia of speech, with emphasis on articulation. Auditory processing disorders and hearing problems can also lead to difficulty in speech. Therapies also evaluate whether it is due to trouble with the fine-tuned motor skills of the mouth and other tissues related. Articulation and fluency are also addressed using the tools of phonetics and linguistics. Sometimes a child can also develop speech related problems due to the way he or she responds to society e.g. an autistic child. These expressive and receptive skills too are addressed.
Developmental Therapy: Developmental Therapies focus more on the bigger picture of the problem of the child, rather than the detailed individual disorders. This means the therapy diagnoses and evaluates the motor development of children with relation to the neural developments. The neuromuscular responses help determine which area needs more precise attention while at the same time, solving the riddle as a whole. Prematurity is taken into question as a mental disorder, while visual and auditory impairments are investigated both on a physiological and neurological level. The genetic traits and history are examined for syndromes which are hereditary. Motor Control and Motor Learning are the basic movement procedures used. The endurance of the child is also enhanced.
The procedures used for the different therapies are all very creative so as to trigger the child’s own learning and development rather than filling in an empty cup that can be poured out again. One especial technique that is used so as to complement the other therapies is the Music Therapy. Some say that music is the food for the soul. This results in the stimulation of all five senses and fine-tunes the multi sensory integration required by the child. The playing of instruments encourages fastidious control of the fine motor skills, in correspondence with the five senses. This also improves a child’s communication skills in terms of oratory precision, such as fluency and articulation. Communication skills in terms of cooperation and social interactions are also encouraged via music.