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insights is a helpful blog brought to you by Child & Family Development

Child & Family Development is a multi-disciplinary pediatric clinic serving the needs of Charlotte area children and their families.

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  • MIDTOWN OFFICE
  • 4012 Park Road, Suite 200
  • Charlotte, NC
  • 704.332.4834
  • PINEVILLE OFFICE
  • 10516 Park Road
  • Charlotte, NC
  • 704.541.9080

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General
The information contained in this website is intended to provide general educational information and client education on certain topics only and is not intended to offer healthcare/medical advice. This information should not be considered complete and should not be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice from a licensed healthcare professional. Child and Family Development is not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information or services you obtain through this website. If you have, or suspect you have, a health problem you should never disregard medical advice or delay seeking medical attention because of something you have read on this website. Never rely on information on this website in place of seeking professional medical advice. If you have questions about a medical condition or seek advice, see your healthcare professional immediately.

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Links from our website to other websites are provided as a service to help users find appropriate information. Absolutely no responsibility is taken by Child and Family Development or its employees for the accuracy of the information you may receive from any of the referred links. If you have questions about a medical condition or seek medical advice, contact your healthcare professional.

Looking for pediatric therapy services near Matthews?

Friday, Feb 27, 2015 by Child & Family Development

Our Pineville office is located next to Carolinas Medical Center- Pineville.  It is about 13 miles from downtown Matthews and easily accessible from Highway 51 and from the 485 loop.

The office is about 7000 square feet of space and includes private therapy rooms as well as a large open gym. We have comfortable and warm space and necessary equipment including computer based programs, a trampoline, swings and much, much more.  

Our multi-disciplinary clinic has been helping children and families since 1980. The team of experienced therapists can assess and treat a wide range of childhood concerns, including autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and other learning disabilities or special needs.  Multi-disciplinary services include Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Speech-Language Therapy, as well as Educational and Psychological assessment and support.

We participate in many insurance plans.

The Contact Us tab on our website will link you to our address and Mapquest.

Sign up for C&FD News

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IEP Meetings: before the meeting

Thursday, Feb 26, 2015 by Child & Family Development

In North Carolina, most public schools manage an Individualize Education Plan (IEP) for elementary, middle and high school students via a standard process.  There are many resources available to parents including the Exceptional Children's Assistance Center Parent Training & Information Center

At Child and Family Development, Mary "Mo" Froneberger and the other Educational Specialists can help parents make the most of an IEP meeting, based on their professional experiences in local public schools and working knowledge of the system.  

Mary is starting a blog series that offers some suggestions, including what to do before the IEP meeting, based on the ECAC.

REVIEW:  A parent will receive a written invitation or a notice from the school to schedule the IEP.  Read over the notice carefully to determine the purpose of the meeting, who will be attending and the date and time. 

RESPOND: Sign the notice and make a copy for your records.  Then, return it in a timely manner. You should include your suggestions, comments or concerns here.   

Connect with our Educators directly if you have questions about the IEP process by calling 704-541-9080.  

Read more about our educational assessment and support services here

Be on the lookout for the next blog which will include suggestions on what to do during an IEP meeting.

 

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Topics: Mary Froneberger

C&FD celebrates with medical records specialist, Nikki Griesmer

Wednesday, Feb 25, 2015 by Child & Family Development

Nikki Griesmer marks 7 years at Child and Family Development this month! She is a medical records specialist supporting all of Child and Family Development and our clients.

Nikki helps all of us stay up-to-date on our communications with other community organizations, especially schools, pediatricians, specialty physicians and insurance companies. She shares important therapy documents with parents and community professionals. She supports us in electronic medical records system and in our HIPAA/ privacy matters.  In other words, Nikki does it all! 

Since she works at her computer quite a bit, Nikki keeps some of favorite things nearby on a bulletin board. Here, Elvis outnumbers her husband 3:1! 

IMG_4906

Happy C&FD Anniversary!

Want to learn more about our team? 

Sign up for C&FD News

 

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C&FD celebrates with Amy Gossett, speech therapist

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 by Child & Family Development

Amy Gossett, MA, CCC-SLP marks 3 years at Child and Family Development this month! She is a speech therapist at the Midtown office.

Amy enjoys working with kids of all ages, but is particularly passionate about language development in preschoolers and school-age children.  She offers both individual and small group treatment.  

She loves the parent involvement that happens at Child and Family Development.  We have so many fantastic families.  Often, parents either observe or participate in the speech therapy sessions and this helps with family carryover and quick progress.  

Amy thinks C&FD is a great choice for families because of the amazing pediatric therapy team here. We all put 100% into helping families and children achieve their goals.  The enthusiasm and spirit of the other therapists keeps her wanting to learn and be a better clinician everyday! Speaking of spirit, here is Amy getting around from the occupational therapy space to the speech therapy space on a pedalo: 

algpedalo

Read more about Amy's clinical expertise, including her social skills groups, here

Happy C&FD Anniversary!

Want to learn more about our team? 

Sign up for C&FD News

 

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Topics: Amy Gossett

6 signs of Dyslexia during kindergarten and elementary school years

Monday, Feb 23, 2015 by Child & Family Development

Dr. Devon Redmond provides this summary which is adapted from Overcoming Dyslexia by Sally Shaywitz, M.D.

A substantial number of enthusiastic, cooperative and bright children may experience significant difficulty with learning to read.  We now understand that dyslexia has a neurological basis, and fortunately, it is now possible to accurately identify children who have dyslexia from an early age and treat and remediate their difficulties. 

Early identification and treatment has been associated with very positive outcomes Parents can play an active role in the early identification of a reading problem.  The following are clues to dyslexia during kindergarten and first grade years.  The first clue to a language (and reading problem) may be delayed language.  Once your child is speaking, look for the following difficulties:

Kindergarten and First Grade

1.  Failure to understand that words come apart; e.g., that football can be pulled apart into “foot” and “ball”, and later on, that the word foot can be broken down and sounded out as “f” “oo” “t"

2.  Inability to learn to associate letters with sounds, such as being unable to connect the letter b with the “b” sound

3. Reading errors that show no connection to the sounds of the letters; e.g., reading “big” as “goat

4.  Difficulty reading common one-syllable words or with sounding out simple words such as mat, cat, hop, nap

5.  Complaints about how hard reading is, or attempting to avoid reading (running and hiding

6.  A history of reading problems in parents or siblings

If your child has some of these problems, note how frequent they are and how many there are.  You don’t need to worry about isolated clues or ones that appear rarely.  If you are concerned about a consistent pattern of problems, you may wish to consult with his or her pediatrician, who can then make a referral for further psycho-educational evaluation, if appropriate.  

Learn more about services for dyslexia at Child and Family Development here.  

Read More

Topics: Devon Redmond

C&FD celebrates with Melinda Bumgardner, speech therapist

Friday, Feb 20, 2015 by Child & Family Development

Melinda Bumgardner, MA, CCC-SLP marks 4 years at Child and Family Development this month! She is a speech therapist at the Midtown office.

Melinda brings so much to her work with clients.  Her ability to relate to and engage children is something that makes her unique as a therapist.  She shares that even before she decided to be a speech therapist, she knew that she wanted to work with children.  She thinks her office space is a reflection of who she is and we agree.  She strives to make everyone feel comfortable and welcome.  Melinda has a slight obsession with children’s toys and loves to find a new toy or material that can be incorporated into speech therapy sessions – at a bargain price of course.  All of her co-workers know that her shelves are the go-to place for awesome games and toys!  

One of her great acquisitions this past year was a play kitchen set for the room.  She like toys that facilitate speech and language and encourage a child to use their imagination.  She shares that the kitchen has been a big hit! We have cooked pizza, made coffee and even ordered food off of menus.  What would you like from the “L Sound Café”?

Read more about Melinda's clinical expertise, including the Hanen Program, here

Happy C&FD Anniversary!

Want to learn more about our team? 

Sign up for C&FD News

 

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Topics: Melinda Bumgardner

Learning disabilities: 10 warning signs during preschool years

Friday, Feb 20, 2015 by Child & Family Development

Our psychologists and educators can help children, teens and young adults with learning disabilities through comprehensive assessment and goal-directed support.  

There are some classic warning signs of a learning disability during the preschool years: 

  1. Late speech development
  2. Late development with learning alphabets letters and sounds (late is considered by 5 to 5 ½ years)
  3. Inconsistent development and learning of the alphabet and sounds
  4. Poor rhyming skills
  5. Avoiding drawing/coloring, pre-writing tasks
  6. Weak fine motor skills
  7. Late established hand dominance
  8. Difficulty with word retrieval (says ummm and thing)
  9. Advanced vocabulary in comparison to development of reading skills
  10. Late color recognition

Learning disabilities, and specifically dyslexia, impact approximately 20% of the population. The NC and SC public school systems have resources in special education to identify individuals with learning disabilities however, procedures and guidelines are such that most children are not identified with learning disorders until 2nd or 3rd grade and in order to be identified their delays must be significantly impacting their educational performance. Therefore, many children with mild delays simply “fall through the cracks” as their mild delays turn into moderate and severe delays without appropriate intervention. Research indicates the children make the greatest gains in learning to read in grades K through 2nd. Research has also shown that if the reading gap is not remediated by the 3rd grade, it is very hard to close. Therefore, it is imperative that professionals in the medical field collaborate with parents and educators to help identify individuals with learning disabilities.

Talk with a pediatrician or teacher if you have concerns.  They may recommend psycho-educational evaluation.  

Learn more about services preschoolers with signs of a learning disability at Child and Family Development here.  

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Topics: Aleksandra Liss, Gretchen Hunter, Chris Vrabel, Joy Granetz, Mary Froneberger, Marie Pacini, Jessica DeLing, Brandyn Street, Devon Redmond

SOS Approach and lunch time at Child and Family Development

Thursday, Feb 19, 2015 by Child & Family Development

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Topics: Barbara Hartshorn

Child and Family Development welcomes physical therapist, Jessica Braun

Thursday, Feb 19, 2015 by Child & Family Development

Jessica Braun, DPT, physical therapist, joins the Child and Family Development team this week.  She is based at the Pineville office.

Dr. Braun recently relocated to Charlotte from Florida where she worked at the University Of Florida pediatric centers.  Her clinical experiences include kinesiotaping, serial casting and Litegait.  Jessica earned her BS in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology at the University of Florida and her DPT at Washington University in St. Louis.

Welcome Dr. Braun!  

She and the 5 other physical therapists are accepting referrals now. 

Read more about our physical therapy services here

Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Call to schedule a free phone consultation with a  Physical Therapist

Read More

Topics: Jessica Braun

Speech Therapist approved: Thinkfun Roll and Play Board Game

Wednesday, Feb 18, 2015 by Child & Family Development

Stephanie Gerlich, MS, CCC-SLP, speech therapist at the Pineville office of Child and Family Development, is always on the lookout for new games that incorporate speech and language skills to play with her clients. Many times, these activities can be enjoyed in a speech therapy session and at home. 

Read More

Topics: Stephanie Gerlich

Child and Family Development free seminar: Children & Social Media

Tuesday, Feb 17, 2015 by Child & Family Development

We are hosting another free seminar: Children & Social Media

Need some strategies to help your child navigate the online world? 

Devon Redmond, PhD will share the basics about some popular social media sites, including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, Vine, Twitter, and Ask.Fm.  

Dr. Redmond is a licensed psychologist providing assessment and therapy for children and adolescents.   Her focuses include ADHD, learning disorders and developmental delays, with an emphasis on autism spectrum disorders. She strives to help her clients capitalize on strengths and build upon weaknesses. She helps school-age children and teens to manage issues such as ADHD, anxiety and depression.  One passion is working with teenage girls to build self-esteem, improve relationships with family and friends, navigate transitions and life changes, enhance communication skills and target academic and organizational issues. 

This event is primarily for parents and caregivers of kids age 10 years and up.  

Event Details: 

Thursday, March 12, 2015 

6:15-7:15 PM 

Child and Family Development- Midtown office

4012 Park Road, Suite 200

Charlotte, NC  28209

Space is limited so RSVP to reserve your spot: http://goo.gl/pYq6z6 

 

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Topics: Devon Redmond

Walking on ice: an Occupational Therapy review

Monday, Feb 16, 2015 by Child & Family Development

iceJessica Hoffarth, MS, OTR/L, an occupational therapy team member at the Midtown office of Child and Family Development, recently reviewed a most appropriate article for today, in anticipation of the snow and icy weather.      

This article from IFL Science summarizes research from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California that suggests that in addition to the normal mechanisms the body uses to remain upright, a group of neurons on the spine are clustered in a “mini-brain” that combines sensory information and motor commands to make small, unconscious movements of the foot in order to provide better balance. 

The article reviews how we humans use sensory information of all sorts during what we sometimes consider the simple act of walking.  Of course, as an occupational therapist, Jessica often works on balance on surfaces of all kinds- carpet, tile, uneven, etc.  While we don't replicate icy conditions in pediatric therapy sessions, the theory stands up (so to speak!).  

As you go out to PLAY in the winter weater this week, consider the WORK involved and have fun! 

Jessica and the 7 other licensed occupational therapists on our team are available to share their expertise.  

Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Call to schedule a free phone consultation with a  Occupational Therapist

 

 

 

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Topics: Jessica Hoffarth

Looking for pediatric therapy services near Pineville?

Friday, Feb 13, 2015 by Child & Family Development

Our Pineville office is located next to Carolinas Medical Center- Pineville.  It is less than 5 miles from the South Carolina border and easily accessible from I-77 and the 485 loop.

The office is about 7000 square feet of space and includes private therapy rooms as well as a large open gym. We have comfortable and warm space and necessary equipment including computer based programs, a trampoline, swings and much, much more.  

Our multi-disciplinary clinic has been helping children and families since 1980. The team of experienced therapists can assess and treat a wide range of childhood concerns, including autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and other learning disabilities or special needs.  Multi-disciplinary services include Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Speech-Language Therapy, as well as Educational and Psychological assessment and support.

We participate in many insurance plans.

The Contact Us tab on our website will link you to our address and Mapquest.

Sign up for C&FD News

Read More

Don't Take Our Word For It: social skills group leads to friendship

Thursday, Feb 12, 2015 by Child & Family Development

Amy Gossett, MA, CCC-SLP is a speech therapist leading a social skills group for 10+-year-old boys who struggle interacting with other children.  

Kids meet weekly at our Midtown office to develop greeting, turn taking and social skills, with an emphasis on expressing themselves and responding to others appropriately.  Kids can practice and model with one another. This group is ongoing so new clients may join in at anytime.  Families may use insurance benefits or pay privately per session.  

Recently, 2 moms shared how the group has benefitted their kids: 

“Amy's speech group is excellent! Brandon has achieved a refreshing confidence and a fearless daring spirit in his language skills.” 

“Our son has not only increased his speech abilities substantially under the guidance of Amy Gossett, he has made a great friend!”

Read more family feedback about Amy's social skills group here

Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Call to schedule a free phone consultation with a  Speech Therapist

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Topics: Amy Gossett

Planning ahead for summer? Consider Cogmed.

Wednesday, Feb 11, 2015 by Child & Family Development

Cogmed Working Memory Training is an evidence-based program that helps children, adolescents and adults sustainably improve attention by training their working memory.  The program is based on strong scientific research and is delivered under the supervision of one of the few Qualified Practitioners in the Charlotte area, Dr. Joy Granetz.  

The standard program includes:

  • Initial interview
  • Start-up session
  • 25 training sessions (30-45 minutes) over 5 weeks with weekly coach calls
  • Wrap-up meeting
  • 6-month follow-up interview
  • Access to Cogmed Training Web
  • Cogmed Extension Training (6 months)

Some of the timelines may be adjusted on a case-by-case basis. 

The software adjusts the complexity level for each exercise, in real time, for maximized training effect.  It can be done from the convenience of your own computer.  

The user/family sets the training schedule, with plenty of flexibility. You are supported by Dr. Granetz who leads the training, tracks results and gives support and motivation. 

Visit their website, www.cogmed.com, for more information about this state-of-the-art intervention.  A free parent webinar is available. 

To find out if Cogmed Working Memory Training is right for you, call our Pineville office at 704-541-9080 to schedule an initial appointment. 

Read more from our blog about Cogmed here

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Topics: Joy Granetz

Physical Therapy for kids

Tuesday, Feb 10, 2015 by Child & Family Development

Parents should be actively involved in their child's physical therapy sessions.  Our team of 6 PTs has these ideas to make most out of pediatric therapy sessions:

  • Tell your physical therapist about significant events in your child’s medical history, even if you feel that it doesn’t pertain to this particular appointment.  For example, is there a history of seizures?  It may not seem important but it will give us information that can help to guide things that we may or may not do during treatment.
  • Let your therapist know what other specialists are involved in your child’s care.  Do they receive therapy at school?  Do they go to any special doctors?  Oftentimes we like to collaborate with other healthcare professionals in the area to ensure the best care.
  • Ask questions.  We like to hear things like “what is this obstacle course helping my child work on?” or “what are you looking for when you are working on this activity?”  Sometimes we can get a little wrapped up in what we are working on but are always more than willing to talk about what we are doing and why we are doing it.
  • Let us know if something new is going on in your child’s home life.  Sometimes we may see behaviors that are different because of something changing in school or home, and we don’t know why.  Things like home changes or even medication changes can be channeled into different behaviors.
  • Do your best to follow through on your therapist’s recommendations.  Between all of the therapists and all of the families that come to see us on a weekly basis, Child and Family Development is a great resource for contacts in the community for things that your child may benefit from.  Also, therapy is designed to be carried over at home.  You will truly see the benefits of therapy much quicker if you are able to carry over some of the work at home.  It’s all about practice, practice, practice!
  • Have fun with it!  We try our best to find ways to motivate each child in their own way.  We work hard during therapy but like to have fun while we are doing it.  If you are able to keep the same fun environment when doing therapy work at home, you will see good results!

Read more about pediatric physical therapy services here

Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Call to schedule a free phone consultation with a  Physical Therapist

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Topics: Amy Sturkey, Jessica Sapel, Lisa Gigliotti, Erin Harkins, Gail Fennimore, Jessica Braun

5 signs of Dyslexia during preschool years

Monday, Feb 9, 2015 by Child & Family Development

Dr. Devon Redmond provides this summary which is adapted from Overcoming Dyslexia by Sally Shaywitz, M.D.

A substantial number of enthusiastic, cooperative and bright children may experience significant difficulty with learning to read.  We now understand that dyslexia has a neurological basis, and fortunately, it is now possible to accurately identify children who have dyslexia from an early age and treat and remediate their difficulties. 

Early identification and treatment has been associated with very positive outcomes Parents can play an active role in the early identification of a reading problem.  The following are clues to dyslexia during the preschool years.  The first clue to a language (and reading problem) may be delayed language.  Once your child is speaking, look for the following difficulties:

The Preschool Years

1.  Trouble learning common nursery rhymes such as “Jack and Jill” and “Humpty Dumpty”

2.  A lack of appreciation of rhymes

3.  Mispronounced words or persistent baby talk

4.  Difficulty learning (and remembering) names of letters

5.  Failure to know the letters in his/her own name

If your child has some of these problems, note how frequent they are and how many there are.  You don’t need to worry about isolated clues or ones that appear rarely.  If you are concerned about a consistent pattern of problems, you may wish to consult with his or her pediatrician, who can then make a referral for further psycho-educational evaluation, if appropriate.  

Learn more about services for dyslexia at Child and Family Development here.  

Read More

Topics: Devon Redmond

Parents as speech therapists and the Hanen Program

Friday, Feb 6, 2015 by Child & Family Development

hanen

Melinda Bumgardner Schatz, MA, CCC-SLP, a speech therapist at the Midtown office of Child and Family Development, is one of two Hanen certified speech therapists here. 

The Hanen Program - It Takes Two To Talk is appropriate for children that are not yet intentionally communicating to children that are beginning to combine words. The child must also have an identified language delay. Parents and caregivers will learn how to identify their child's current stage and style of communication and practical strategies for developing their child's language skills. 

Melinda places high importance on parents and caregivers.  They have a big influence on a chlid's speech and language development.  

Find information about parents as therapists here and the Hanen website, www.hanen.org.   

Read more about our It Takes Two To Talk program here

Our Hanen certified therapists, Melinda Bumgardner Schatz and Stephanie Gerlich, are available to share their expertise.  

Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Call to schedule a free phone consultation with a  Speech Therapist

 

 

 

 

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Topics: Stephanie Gerlich, Melinda Bumgardner

Child psychologists can help alleviate the stress of test taking

Monday, Feb 2, 2015 by Child & Family Development

Students often worry about taking tests. Elementary school-aged children stress about the Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools End of Grade (EOG) tests and older kids stress about the PSAT and SAT as they prepare for college.  

Anxious feelings can develop prior to test taking, including lack of sleep, lack of appetite, lack of confidence, easy agitation, and irritability.  Thus, students experiencing test anxiety may not be off to such a great start.  While sleep and food are important, proper preparation prior to testing as well as being able to relax your mind and body during testing so optimal performance can be reached are extremely important. 

If your child experiences stressful and anxious feelings about test taking, consider getting help.  A child psychologist helps students experiencing test anxiety through a series of sessions aimed at reducing worry and fear, raising self-confidence, becoming aware of proper study habits and test taking techniques.

Our team of 6 is ready to help: 

MIDTOWN OFFICE  PINEVILLE OFFICE
Gretchen Hunter, Ph.D. Joy Granetz, Ph.D.
Aleksandra Liss, Psy.D.  Brandyn Street, Ph.D.
Devon Redmond, Ph.D. Chris Vrabel, Psy.D.

 

Read more about anxiety in children here.  

Want more information about our team and services?

Sign up for C&FD News

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Topics: Aleksandra Liss, Gretchen Hunter, Chris Vrabel, Joy Granetz, Brandyn Street, Devon Redmond

Physical therapy is beneficial for pain disorders in children

Sunday, Feb 1, 2015 by Child & Family Development

 

Erin Harkins, DPT and the other physical therapists on our team often help kids and teens with pain disorders that impact gross motor activities and tasks. Erin notices more and more literature and research on this topic of chronic pain in children, including a recent Boston Globe article. Erin shares her insights into this condition:

Pain in children is a complex situation.  Due to nervous systems and musculoskeletal systems that are still developing, children’s and teens’ perception of pain is much different from that of adults.  They are unable to differentiate types of pain – sharp, dull, and intensity.  This makes treating pain very challenging in children.  No one wants to see a child in pain!  While some types of pain are straight forward, post-injury for example, there are many other types of pain that require a “little more digging” from the therapist.  These include pain resultant from migraines, pain after a virus, pain after surgery, fibromyalgia, reflex sympathetic dystrophy (chronic regional pain syndrome).  I have treated reflex sympathetic dystrophy in children post-injury.  The most important piece to remember is that even though in x-rays and imaging there appears to “be nothing wrong” – the body is reacting in an acute level of distress.  This impacts both the neuro and muscular systems and the body reacts according with the cardiovascular system as well.  Elusive pain disorders can be very upsetting for families and often the child and family feel like there is no end in site.  The orthopedic doctor may say that there is no reason for the pain, pain specialists offer various techniques to alleviate the pain, and often the child gets lost in the shuffle.  At the young age of these children, being on pain patches or pain pills indefinitely is not a good answer.  Seek out a physical therapist who should work hand-in-hand with a counselor or psychologist who treats pain disorders.  You will be amazed at the ability to retrain the brain and body! 

Read more about our physical therapy services for children with chronic pain here

Our team consists of 6 licensed physical therapists, rather than assistants or aides.  The ladies have vast experience and special expertise including 3 doctoral practitioners, 2 Neurodevelopmental Treatment (NDT) certified practitioners, 2 Aquatic Therapy & Rehab Institute (ATRI) certified practitioners, 1 Pediatric Clinical Specialist, as well as many other expanded specialities.     

Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Call to schedule a free phone consultation with a  Physical Therapist

 

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Topics: Erin Harkins