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Specialty Programs

Amtyke

Amtryke is part of AMBUCS, a national organization dedicated to creating opportunities for mobility and independence for people with disabilities. Amtrykes are adaptive tricycles designed for children with disabilities providing an age appropriate, safe, and dynamic means of building strength, endurance, and mobility as well as opportunities for interaction and fun with family and friends. Each tryke is highly adjustable and can be customized with a variety of adaptive accessories so nearly every rider can be successful.

Augmentative / Alternative communication

AAC improves a child’s ability to communicate wants and needs through high-tech devices such as a DynaVox® or an iPad®, and low-tech strategies such as the Picture Exchange Communication System. The use of AAC can provide children and adolescents with an immediate means of communication and facilitates language and speech development.

Animal Assisted Therapy

Easterseals Central Illinois partners with Paws Giving Independence to provide animal assisted therapy. Specialy trained facility dogs (mainly, our favorite employee Jarvis) work alongside the therapist to provide comfort and encouragement to a child druing therapy.  

Birth- 5 developmental Screening

Developmental Screening is a free service for early identification of developmental delays. Screenings are provided for children from birth up to three years of age and can assess areas of communication, movement, self-help skills and social interaction.

Brainpaint

BrainPaint is a neurofeedback software program administered by professionals. It is designed to improve how the brain functions by training patients to recognize the difference between a focused state and a day-dreaming state, without requiring a brain map.

Constraint Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT)

Constraint Induced Movement Therapy is an innovative, scientifically-supported method of upper extremity rehabilitation for children with neuromotor impairments. CIMT is best practice in the treatment of children with cerebral palsy and hemiplegia and results in significant improvement in the use of the impaired arm. CIMT requires close collaboration with the family and includes constraint of the non-affected upper extremity in combination with intensive therapy.

Heart to Hands Infant Massage Instruction

Infant massage is a fun way to enjoy time with your baby right from the start! Parents and caregivers learn how to customize infant massage to their baby’s personality and needs while providing a baby with tummy trouble comfort and stress relief for both parent and baby. Massage is a well-researched tool that can be used throughout childhood as a bonding and relaxing activity. Private and group sessions are available. Sessions are available in home or at our service centers. Call for details and to schedule a session with our certified infant massage instructor.

iCan Bike (summer only)

A specialized once-a-year program, iCan Bike uses adapted bicycles, a specialized instructional program and trained staff to help individuals with special needs learn to ride a two-wheel bicycle. Participants are children ages 8 through 21 that are able to walk without an assistive device. Each participant will attend a 75-minute session each day for five consecutive days where they will learn to ride while accompanied and encouraged by a volunteer spotter. Over the course of the week, the bicycles will be adjusted to appropriately challenge and encourage riders as they gradually discover the skill and joy of riding.

Inclusive Children’s Yoga

This pediatric yoga group is open to all children both with and without special needs. It is designed for children ages 4-10 years old with caregiver participation and therapeutic modifications as necessary. Program benefits include improved balance, strength, and coordination. Additionally, increased self-awareness, confidence, and relaxation are promoted in this non-competitive setting that fosters compassion and peer relations. Classes are typically held in 6-week sessions on Thursday afternoons.

Prechtl’s General Movements Assessment (GMA)

During a physical therapy evaluation, Prechtl’s General Movement Assessment can be used to assess babies from birth up to 5 months of age who are born prematurely or have a complex birth history to determine if they may be at risk for developing cerebral palsy. If atypical or absent general movements are noted during the evaluation, the baby can be monitored more closely by physical therapists, receive a referral to a specialist for further diagnostic testing if warranted, and have access to physical therapy interventions at a younger age to maximize their full potential.

The Alex Program for CVI

CVI is caused by damage to the visual centers of the brain. The eyes are able to see, but the brain is not interpreting what is being seen. CVI interventions change everyday quality of life for children and their families. CVI is the only visual impairment where vision function can be improved through specialized intervention.

Serial Casting

Serial casting is a procedure that involves a series of casts used to stretch soft tissue contractures and/or inhibit abnormal muscle tone. It is a specialized strategy used by Easterseals physical therapists to address decreased range of motion in the ankles due to muscle tightness. New casts are applied every week until the desired position or range of motion is achieved.

Sequential Oral Sensory (s.o.s) approach to feeding

Easterseals occupational therapists and speech therapists are trained in the SOS feeding approach to help picky eaters and problem feeders. This is a family-centered approach focuses on making mealtime more enjoyable. Play-based strategies teach children and their families how to explore and learn about new foods with an overall goal of increasing the types of food a child will eat. The program allows a child to interact with food in a playful, non-stressful way. The SOS approach enables therapists to meet each child at their individual skill level with regards to feeding.

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