Intensive Therapy provides the burst that our children need to help them reach the next level in their movement and play. We are fortunate to have great publicly funded therapy services in New Zealand. However, the frequency and duration of therapy may not always be enough to maximise your child’s potential. We know the timing of therapy is also very important as young brains have a greater ability to adapt and learn which is known as neuroplasticity. Utilising this window of opportunity to teach them new skills and prevent them from developing poor movement patterns that need unlearning is supported by current research and is a fundamental principle of intensive therapy. Programs are specially designed to provide 2- 3 hours of therapy, 4-5 days per week over a two to three-week period.
Our intensive therapy goal:
To drive motor learning by creating permanent neural pathways that lead to lifelong skill development.
What type of therapy is used ?
At Auckland Children’s Therapy, we utilises a number of different treatment methods and approaches.
- Physiotherapy & Occupational Therapy (Speech Language Therapy on request)
- Bobath approach
- Neuromuscular facilitation
- TheraSuit® Method – Therasuit Method Intensive Program (TMIP)
- Universal Exercise Unit (spider cage)- full and partial body weight suspension
- Resisted weight training
- Electrotherapy- EMG feedback & Neuromuscular facilitation
- Manual therapy techniques- soft tissue and joint mobilisation
Therasuit® Method Intensive Program and Universal Exercise Unit
TheraSuit® Method Intensive Program is suitable for children older than two years of age. It is used internationally in leading paediatric rehabilitation centers such as John Hopkins All Children’s Hospital with recent changes to public funding within Australia to support the packages (for Australians). Trained therapists utilises a suit system to improve joint alignment and modify underlying muscle tone to promote movement and improve sensory stimulation. The Universal Exercise Unit is often referred to as a ‘Spider Cage’ due to its bungee attachments and is used as part of the Therasuit program. It allows children to feel what it is like to experience movement on their own if they usually need help to sit or stand. As a therapy tool, it allows the therapist to facilitate or challenge them building strength and sensory experiences in a number of different positions. It can also be used to isolate specific movements to target areas that need special attention. Auckland Children’s Physiotherapy is the only clinic to have a permanent Universal Exercise Unit available locally to New Zealand children. Contact us if you would like to know more about how our intensive therapy program can help your child.
Post-operative Selective dorsal rhizotomy rehabilitation
Selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) is a permeant (irreversible) procedure to help reduce lower limb spasticity in children with Cerebral palsy. The goals of the procedure is to; reduce spasticity, prevent the progression of orthopaedic impairments, improve function (sitting balance, standing, transfers, walking ability), or improve care and comfort (GMFCS IV, V).
In children who stand and walk (ambulant children), post-operative rehabilitation is a vital element to maximise the benefits of the surgery. International best practice recommends 24 months outpatient therapy following a SDR with improvements in function continuing to be seen beyond two years post-op. Within New Zealand, if you have self-funded the surgery abroad and not completed pre-operative assessments through The Child Rehabilitation Service then it is unlikely that you will receive publically funded post-operative therapy.
At Auckland Children’s Physiotherapy, we understand this important need to receive timely, appropriate, and specific therapy for your child. We have worked with a number of children and their family’s who have completed their self-funded SDR journey. We look forward to the possibility of helping your child post this milestone surgery.