Physical therapy and occupational therapy treatments

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin’s Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy treatments help children who have been injured or who have a disability.

Types of therapy

Therapies vary for each child, but some include:

  • Animal-assisted therapy. Dogs are trusted friends who help calm and encourage children.
  • Coordination/balance
  • Craniosacral
  • Handwriting
  • Massage
  • Methods such as ultrasound and electrical stimulation
  • Muscle strengthening
  • Range of motion or positioning exercises
  • Progressing developmental fine and gross motor skills
  • Range of motion
  • Sensory integration. Different types of swings provide patients with movement experiences
  • Soft tissue mobilization
  • Splinting or casting
  • Strengthening
  • Transfer training, which help children regain ability to get into and out of a car or bed, for example
  • Visual motor
  • Water therapy. An underwater treadmill helps patients regain their strength while walking. Water helps support the body while offering resistance, and warm water jets provide relaxation.

What to expect

Therapists first assess the child to decide what type of therapy is needed. After the first session, the therapist decides how long each session should be and how often therapy should take place. Follow-up appointments will be made after the first session. Therapists talk with the patient and family to set goals. They also make sure other therapists and medical team members are aware of the plan so the family has the support of an entire medical team.