As part of Clay County Medical Center’s recent development of an enhanced pediatric therapy program, a brand new pediatric gym has been created and equipped to provide a space where the unique therapeutic needs of children can be met in a fun, playful environment. The gym is equipped with a variety of specialized play equipment, all of which are specifically intended to help stimulate development during therapy sessions. All of the therapeutic services at CCMC, including physical, occupational and speech therapies, can make use of the pediatric gym to augment the services provided to pediatric patients.
Proper childhood development requires reflex integration and good sensory processing. When these systems are not functioning optimally, problems can arise in the areas of speech (both talking and reading), learning, concentration, judgement, impulse control, posture, balance, and general motor development. Problems can also be sensory in nature with a child being sensitive to noise, light and touch or, conversely need extra input to get the same information as someone without the same problems.
“Our goal with the pediatric gym is to help meet these unique needs through play so the children in our community can develop into the adults they are meant to be,” said Shawna Pederson, Director of Occupational Therapy. After including the gym in children’s sessions, the occupational therapists have witnessed children laugh and smile with the use of the special play equipment, all while the children learn and grow in their skills.