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Sister Kenny Rehabilitation Institute – New Ulm introduces Kenny Kids
Staff who will provide services through the pediatric rehabilitation program Kenny Kids are (front, l-r) Mary Bauer, PTA; Shari Meyer, OT; Danielle Mueller, PT (back, l-r) Wendy Guggisberg, OT; Liza Schwartz, speech; Eileen Campbell, PT; Brent Sandman, PTA; and Tammy Henle, PT. Not pictured is Shari Kotten, PTA.
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Raising children is tough, even when they're healthy. But a child with a developmental or physical challenge can present parents with a daunting task. For parents of special needs kids in New Ulm and surrounding areas, support is available.
Kenny Kids is a specialized pediatric rehabilitation program offered by Sister Kenny Rehabilitation Institute in Buffalo, Coon Rapids, Owatonna and most recently New Ulm.
"We have always provided pediatric therapy services," said Eileen Campbell, physical therapist. "Becoming Kenny Kids provides us with more standardized level of care, more educational and tool resources to share with our pediatric patients and family members."
The Kenny Kids staff consists of occupational and physical therapists and speech-language pathologists who have advanced training in pediatric rehabilitation. The goal is to provide a comphrensive team approach to support a child through various development stages in life.
The team is dedicated to providing personalized treatment for children from birth to late adolescence who have medical conditions or syndromes that may interfere with normal development.
They offer services for children with autism, ADD/ADHD, arthritis, brain injuries, cerebral palsy, chronic illness, cleft palate, delayed motor and speech development , genetic syndromes (i.e., Down syndrome, Fragile X), hearing loss, orthopedic injuries/surgeries and spasticity.
The pediatric staff helps children with their perceptual, social, motor and handwriting skills. Information is provided on augmentative communication, articulation, swallowing, auditory processing disorders, fitness and exercise and on safety concerns for children with special needs.
Before therapy begins, children are evaluated by the Kenny Kids staff and information is gathered from the parents. A treatment plan is established and recommendations are made. A child typically attends therapy once or twice a week for 30 to 60 minutes at each visit.
Parent and caregiver involvement is very essential.
"Children learn best through repetition, role modeling and family involvement," said Physical Therapist Tammy Henle. The therapist invites the parent/caregiver to the child's treatment team to help facilitate carry over of learning and skill development through a home program. A home program is taught by the therapists.
"We are very excited about the additional pediatric space," says Shari Meyer, occupational therapist. More room is available for gross/fine motor development, sensory/cognitive training and self cares/ language and communication skills for our occupational, physical and speech therapy services.
"We now have more room for new equipment. We were very fortunate to have the new equipment purchased through the New Ulm Medical Center Foundation," Meyer said.
The goal of this program is to expand the pediatric services to those in our community.
"We want to give the pediatric patients and their families the tools and resource needed to master the skills necessary to become more independent and successful individuals," said Liza Schwartz, speech/language pathologist.
"We also want to transform therapy into a fun and enjoyable experience for the patients and their caregivers," said Physical Therapist Danielle Mueller.