Getting kids where they need to go: Kidz physiotherapy boosts mobility | Business

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Editor-in-Chief, The Caledonia Argus

“Oh, the places you’ll go,” wrote Dr. Seuss, and in the pediatric physiotherapy arena, it helps kids be as independent as possible.

Kidz Physical Therapy is a home clinic business in La Crescent under the direction of Lindsey Shay, MSPT, DPT, who is passionate about helping children with physical needs and neurological disorders.

“I have always enjoyed working with children. They want to move, learn to be as independent as possible, ”she explained.

Shay received his masters degree in physiotherapy from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, a doctorate in physiotherapy from the University of Des Moines and a bachelor of science degree. She works with children who have been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, spina bifida, stroke, traumatic brain injury, developmental delay, Down syndrome, developmental coordination disorder, walking on toes, stiff neck, among others.

Kidz physical therapy is not meant to replace traditional therapy, but it can give children a mobility boost. Shay’s programs or camps are “intensive” in the sense that therapy sessions last approximately three hours. During these three hours, repetition and different activities help children learn to move.

“There is a potential for change. The children are definitely making progress. It’s the excitement they feel, the parents excited, the family getting involved, ”she said.

Shay uses many different types of equipment including treadmill with walking aid, tumbling mat, adaptable bikes, mechanical horse, therapy balls, swings, hand weights, blankets weighted, a push-up stand made by a business owned by a local woman in La Crosse. and “the cage”, or a universal exercise unit.

This piece of equipment comes from Poland, where physiotherapists have designed a system that can help children walk, jump, sit, stand, squat and move using body weight supports and elastic bands. Shay is trained and certified to help children move around in this equipment.

Her 11-year-old son, Conner, likes to move, stand and jump in. Conner has cerebral palsy, does not speak, has a feeding tube and uses a wheelchair.

“He loves to move. So many people think he’s fragile, but he loves to move. He can stand up, he jumps… ”Shay said.

Conner is a twin born four months earlier. Her sister was three days old when she died. At the time, Shay was working for Team Rehab in Decorah, Iowa. This clinic also had an “intensive” physiotherapy program for children.

After 8 months at the NICU with Conner, Shay worked at the Hiawatha Valley Education District with pediatric physiotherapy from birth to three months. Then she worked for the La Crosse school district, but something was missing. Shay missed the intensity of the physiotherapy sessions.

The idea of ​​her own clinic came to fruition when she and her husband built their home in La Crescent. They built a therapy room for their son, connected to their garage. Since Conner was already amassing essential therapy tools and equipment, this was the perfect fit.

“In my continuing education, everything I read and researched, intensity was the most important factor in moving forward,” she said. Even before the birth of his son, the idea of ​​his own business was there.

The room is small, but warmly decorated with characters and quotes from Dr. Seuss, a tribute to the doctor who took care of Conner when he was born.

“That fat six-foot-seven doctor walked into the room, looked at Conner, just a pound, and said, ‘A person is a person, no matter how tall he is,’ Shay recalls. Since then, Dr. Seuss has been a part of Conner’s life.

Part of the idea of ​​his own practice comes from the limitations of insurance companies. In hospitals, physiotherapists usually see patients for about 45 minutes, then ask parents to do the exercises at home with their child. In schools, physiotherapy is a related service that improves functions in school, but at a low level of intensity and only once or twice a week.

For kids like Conner, a combination of therapy programs can take eight hours a day, which can be difficult for parents with full-time jobs and families.

Shay’s program does not take insurance, which seems scary at first, but this freedom gives the flexibility to tailor programs to suit children’s needs. Financial waivers are available under several different programs, including the Children’s Miracle Network.

“Traditional physiotherapy could see them once a week forever. This program has a start, a stop, ”she said. “We make sure it’s appropriate and that they have goals to accomplish.”

Whether long or short term goals, Kidz physiotherapy programs typically consist of four to five days per week, for about two to three hours per day.

“It’s not capped at 45 minutes. We don’t do anything in less than an hour, ”she said. “So many children with cerebral palsy and other disorders don’t get the same repeats as a normally developing infant. A baby who crawls can swing 500 times before they have the courage to put their hand out to crawl. Children with neuromotor problems might need to do this tilt 1,000 or 5,000 times before they can take this step forward. It puts a lot of pressure on parents when you can only get therapy once a week.

“That short camp window, the repetition and the intensity, parents can come home and relax and have fun with their kids,” Shay said.

Parents, siblings, support workers and grandparents are allowed to attend the sessions or they can take a break and spend time on site.

Much of the equipment is things that might not be available in a typical clinical setting, and it’s a good way to hone any skills or weaknesses that kids need to work on. Different toys are also used during therapy sessions, especially if children like music or movies.

During the session, Shay records the exercises on video and puts together photos and video clips for parents to see what they have learned and what they can manage at home. It also helps Shay review each child’s exercises.

“I like to think of it as if you want to play high school basketball and start on the team, you train every day for several hours, or if you want to be a honorary musician in high school, you don’t care. just don’t practice for 30 minutes once a week, ”she said,“ Then we have children with special needs. Their brains and bodies work a little differently. We tell them to come to therapy once a week. It’s more difficult to be successful.


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