The old adage, you have to learn to walk before you can run is the foundation on which we base our practices. If your child is struggling to sit up or feed themselves, we’re not going to spend our days trying to teach them long division and diagramming sentences. We’re going to begin by working the muscles needed to lift their head, to sit on their own, to hold a cracker. We want to get them engaged not just in their mental education but also their physical education.
We will develop a specialized course of treatment that will incorporate exercises, stretches and, when applicable, assistive and adaptive equipment like the Universal Exercise Unit. Ultimately, our goal is to maximize independence through the development of coordination, strength building, balance and flexibility.
The Universal Exercise Unit (UEU) aka The Spider Cage has revolutionized how physical therapists work with patients with cerebral palsy, down syndrome, spina bifida, traumatic brain injury as well as a variety of other physical and mental limitations.
The UEU assists in the development of functional skills including sitting, crawling, standing, walking, climbing and jumping. Depending on the child’s diagnosis, the UEU is used in conjunction with the TheraSuit.
TheraSuit might look a little unusual, but for children impaired by disabilities, this suit promotes proper posture, muscle tone and patterns of movement.
The suit consists of a hat, vest, knee pads and shoes. Each piece has adjustable rings and elastic bands strategically placed that are then affixed to bungee cords. The purpose of these cords is to provide pressure and support to the muscle groups and joints affected by diseases such as cerebral palsy. In essence, the suit acts as a soft exoskeleton that brings a child’s body into alignment by correcting abnormalities and retraining the brain to recognize correct muscle movements.