The intensive method for pediatric physical therapy is traditional pediatric physical therapy that is provided for multiple hours on a daily basis for a limited number of weeks. Intensive therapy is designed to retrain the brain and body to work together more effectively by utilizing high repetitions of movement patterns and exercises in a concentrated period of time.
Intensive therapy is most often utilized with individuals who have a neuromuscular disorder that requires a significant amount of repetition and reinforcement to learn a new skill, or re-learn a lapsed skill. All children learn by a process of trial and error, as well as repetition. A child will attempt a new skill a multitude of times, learning from each repetition what worked and what did not work, before they are able to integrate the movement to achieve success. A child with developmental delay and/or a neuromuscular disorder requires just as many, if not more, repetitions of functional skills. By providing them increased (i.e. intensive) opportunities to practice these repetitions in correct movement patterns, mastery of the skill is being facilitated in a shorter time frame.
Many children who have developmental delay and/or neuromuscular have muscle weakness and/or abnormal muscle tone that is contributing to their delayed motor development, therefore strengthening may be a necessary and critical component of their physical therapy plan of care. A muscle will get stronger if it is challenged consistently. Intensive physical therapy and the use of the Universal Exercise Unit provides us with an effective and consistent means of making this happen. With the newly developed strength, new functional skills are possible, and with the acquisition of new functional skills, your child is utilizing their new strength in a functional way and therefore maximizing their ability to maintain their therapeutic and functional gains. Contact us to see if the intensive physical therapy method is appropriate for your child.