Pediatric Therapy Program


What makes us different?

There is no pediatric facility in Shelby County that provides individualized care like Easter Seals Pediatric Therapy offering physical, occupational, and speech therapy services with an interdisciplinary approach (including co-treatments) to meet each family’s needs. The therapist is one on one with the child in an outpatient setting. We provide a variety of distinctive services including aquatic therapy, Augmentative/Alternative Communication assessments and treatment, year round social skills group, and collaboration with other professionals (i.e. physicians, psychologists, school-based therapists, equipment vendors, etc.).  We are also a teaching facility for graduate students who are going through Occupational Programs and Speech/Language Programs.  For more information please contact Natalie Locastro at (205) 314-2165.

Our Mission and Vision

Easter Seals Pediatric Therapy will create solutions that change the lives of children with special needs as a result of disability or injury and their families by providing top quality, family focused, and innovative services (speech and language therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy) tailored to meet the specific needs of each child/family to allow these children to have the opportunity to live, learn, and play in their communities.

Easter Seals Pediatric Therapy will be the service leader and provider of choice by people with children aged Birth-21 who have special needs or disabilities and by those making referral and funding decisions. Highly qualified staff will be recognized throughout the area for their commitment to excellence. Exceptional services that span a lifetime provide a unified sense of purpose through the network of services. Success of these programs leads to financial stability necessary for future growth.

Frequently Asked Questions About Our Pediatric Program

1. What is physical therapy?

Physical therapy targets improving the following:

  • Torticollis (head tilt to one side)
  • Muscle weakness
  • Poor balance and/or coordination
  • Abnormally low or high muscle tone
  • Limited joint mobility
  • Difficulty with gross motor skills such as walking, running, climbing stairs, playing on playground equipment, etc.
2. What is occupational therapy?

Occupational therapy (OT) targets improving your child’s fine motor skills (using his/her hands), handwriting, self help skills, and sensory processing. If your child has difficulty doing any of the following, OT may be needed

  • Preschool/Kindergarten tasks: cutting with scissors, coloring, etc.
  • Academic tasks: handwriting (holding a pencil incorrectly)
  • Self help: difficulty using utensils to eat, trouble dressing self with buttons, snaps, zippers, etc.
  • Sensory Processing: Covers ears often, appears over-stimulated, does not like touch, moves too much (excessive swinging, spinning, etc), or does not eat a variety of textures.
3. What is speech/language therapy?

Speech therapy targets communication difficulties including:

  • Articulation (pronunciation of sounds)
  • Receptive Language (poor comprehension and following directions)
  • Expressive Language (talking)
  • Syntax (grammar)
  • Fluency (stuttering)
  • Voice (hoarseness and/or other abnormal vocal quality)
  • Resonance (nasal voice)
  • Oral motor and Feeding
4. How is private occupational or physical therapy different from school-based services?

Children must qualify for school-based services. A child cannot receive occupational or physical therapy unless they meet the criterion set up by the state to be eligible for special education. Goals may be set that are related to how your child functions in the school. On the other hand, private services are medical-based. If your child exhibits difficulties, our therapists will target those needs. You will be involved in your child’s treatment plan and progress. Some families choose to have both school-based and private services for their child. The therapists at Easter Seals often collaborate with school-based therapy to ensure consistency of care.

5. How is private speech therapy different from school-based services?

Children must qualify for school-based services. Your child is eligible for school-based services with a total standard score of 70 or below on a language test, and/or significant articulation difficulties that affects his/her academic potential. On the other hand, private services are medical-based. If your child exhibits difficulties, our therapists will target those needs. You are able to watch your child’s therapy and participate by carrying over goals at home. Some families choose to have both school-based and private services for their child. The therapists at Easter Seals often collaborate with school-based therapy to ensure consistency of care.

6. Can my child receive private therapy and Early Intervention Services?

Yes. Early intervention services are provided in the natural environment for children birth to 3. Like school-based services, your child must qualify for services. Private services are medical-based. If your child exhibits difficulties, our therapists will target those needs. The therapists at Easter Seals will collaborate with your Early Intervention team to ensure consistent care.

7. Will my insurance cover occupational, physical, and speech therapy services?

At Easter Seals, we accept most insurance including Blue Cross/Blue Shield, United Healthcare, Alabama Medicaid, ALL KIDS, and Aetna. Insurance coverage for therapy services is dependent upon your individual plan with your employer. Our benefits counselor will be happy to review your insurance coverage with you.

8. What if my insurance does not cover services?

We have a sliding fee scale based on your family’s income to help make services affordable.

9. How often will my child receive services?

It depends on your child’s needs. Most children receive services once weekly for 30 minute sessions. We also see children twice a week, every other week, monthly, and/or as needed. This will be decided with your therapist following the evaluation.

10. How long will my child need therapy?

It depends on your child and regular attendance to therapy. Every child is different.

11. How do I get started?

We will need a physician’s prescription for therapy services. You may ask your pediatrician for a prescription that says “speech therapy, OT, and/or PT.” Upon receipt of your prescription, we will call you to set up the evaluation.

12. What is an evaluation?

An evaluation determines if there is a delay, if therapy is needed, and what goals need to be targeted.

13. What does “therapy” look like?

It looks a lot like play. We have creative ways to target your child’s goals during play activities.

14. Should I bring previous testing reports and his/her IEP from the school?

Yes, this information will be very helpful for the therapists.

Please click here for the documents needed for initial visit.

 

Easter Seals is now offering a Parent Support Group one night per month at the Pelham clinic location.  The group will focus on discipline with special needs children, improving parent communication, stress management, parent advocacy, and improving overall family functioning.  The goal of the group is to offer a collaborative and supportive network where parents can share their own experiences and concerns in a supportive environment.

The group will be facilitated by Dr. Debbie Grant, a Licensed Mental Health Care Provider.  Hope you join us!

For more information please contact the Pediatric Clinic at (205)314-2165

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