Pediatric Therapy Program - Milwaukee, WI - Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

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St. Joseph Campus Pediatric Therapy Program

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Please call the Pedatric Therapy Program at

Physician referral is required.

For more than 20 years, Wheaton Franciscan – St. Joseph Campus has offered a dynamic, multi-disciplinary Pediatric Therapy Program that consistently receives outstanding feedback from families whose children have been helped by our services. In addition to working directly with children, we work with their parents by providing problem-solving skills and methods to optimize their child’s development.

The St. Joseph Campus Pediatric Therapy Program offers a broad scope of services for children from birth through adolescence.

In fact, we begin work with many of our young patients when they are in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and offer a continuum of services that grows as our children grow – from promoting basic motor, behavior and feedings skills to developmental monitoring and treatment through ongoing therapy. We evaluate and treat children with:

  • Developmental delays
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Neuromuscular diagnosis/disease
  • Swallowing and feeding problems
  • Orthopedic diagnoses such as brachial plexus injury, torticollis, clubfoot
  • Genetic disorders such as cleft lip/palate, Down syndrome, spina bifida
  • Speech/language delay/disorders, including voice and fluency problems
  • Sensory processing problems
  • Visual-perceptual or visual-motor concerns
  • Fine/gross motor coordination issues, characterized by:
    • Poor handwriting
    • Clumsiness
    • Difficulty learning new skills
    • Excessive toe walking
    • Decreased strength or endurance

Pediatric Physical Therapy

Our physical therapy staff has advanced skills in the assessment and treatment of premature and full-term infants. We understand the subtle differences between typical, atypical and premature infant development and combine traditional and new treatment approaches to develop innovative plans of care. This philosophy is particularly effective with orthopedic patients (torticollis, clubfoot) in achieving outstanding outcomes.

We use the following equipment to work with our physical therapy patients:

  • LiteGait™ – This is a harness system that suspends the child in a weight-bearing position with decreased effects of gravity. It can be used with or without a treadmill to promote improved gait patterns.
  • Electrical Stimulation – We use low levels of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) to help activate and strengthen targeted muscles.
  • Splinting – Our physical therapy staff has advanced training in the use of lower extremity splinting to prevent positional deformities or increase range of motion. The devices we use allow your child to make continued progress – even when they’re at home.

Pediatric Occupational Therapy

Our experienced pediatric occupational therapists offer a continuum of therapeutic care. Our work starts in the hospital nursery or neonatal intensive care unit, when we assess your baby’s neuromuscular skills and identify factors that may hinder development. We’ll work with your family to set the care plan in motion and then provide periodic progress checks on an outpatient basis.

Our staff is skilled in evaluating and treating children with motor processing, sensory processing and sensory modulation disorders.

We optimize your child’s ability to be included in play with peers, recreational events and classroom competition through:

  • Specially-designed, individual one-on-one sessions
  • Therapy gyms with suspension equipment
  • Therapeutic listening
  • Handwriting Without Tears program

We’re also available to help you in adapting your home to encourage your child’s progress, and we can also work with teachers and community resources to make sure the same support is offered wherever your child goes. Children who may benefit from these particular services include those who display:

  • Poor eye-motor control
  • Poor coordination
  • Decreased strength
  • Slow response speed and timing

Pediatric Speech Language Therapies

Our pediatric speech language pathologists are specially trained to meet the challenging needs of infants. We have extensive experience in working with preterm, at-risk and medically-fragile infants, as well as healthy newborns, to best support their language development.

Through assessment and appropriate treatment, we can help your child develop critical early speech, hearing and language skills such as cooing, babbling and parent-infant communication.

Our interdisciplinary approach combines with close physician contact to create a supportive environment for impacted families.

Pediatric Swallowing & Feeding Therapies

Our experienced pediatric speech language pathologists provide expert assessment of swallowing/feeding problems to meet complex and urgent needs.

For medically-based swallowing issues, studies are conducted by a pediatric speech language pathologist with 25 years of experience in treating pediatric dysphagia. Studies are scheduled within one to two weeks of referral, and results are provided within 48 hours. A pediatric registered dietitian provides supportive diagnostic nutritional services.

Some of the problems we evaluate and treat include aversions, medically based feeding difficulties or being a “picky” eater. We have helped many parents successfully increase their infant’s intake, weight gain and swallowing safety.

Our young patients include “graduates” of our neonatal intensive care unit to school-aged children.

To provide your child with the comprehensive treatment, other team members may be involved – depending on the problem and diagnosis of the cause of the issue(s). Additional team members may include pediatric occupational and physical therapists and a registered pediatric dietitian.

Pediatric Language-Speaking Skills

Language processing difficulties can affect toddlers as well as preschool and school-aged children. These challenges may impact how your child communicates, talks with others and accomplishes academic-based tasks.

Our experienced therapists partner with parents, teachers and other professionals to build the skills critical for communicating, conversing and succeeding in school.

If your child’s challenges include stuttering and other voice problems, our program can help. We offer:

  • Collaboration with Ear, Nose and Throat doctors (ENTs)
  • Use of the latest technologies such as computerized learning and the Visi-Pitch™ system to remediate a variety of voice problems in children
  • Family education on how to use “normal treatments” in everyday life

Other Services

  • Pediatric dietary and nutrition services
  • Extended hours and creative scheduling to meet the needs of your family
  • Convenient location with valet parking
  • Acceptance of most insurance plans and Title 19
  • Assistance in identifying alternate resources if needed
  • Timely follow-up with physicians, schools and community organizations

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