Intensive Therapy Session :
Our intensive sessions consist of four week sessions for 4 hours each day, Monday through Friday. The specific dates of the intensive program are flexible in order to meet the needs of your family. We are limited with enrollment, thus request for this service are on a first come first serve basis. Our program serves both children and adults with a variety of diagnoses, such as cerebral palsy, post-stroke, and TBI. Our NeuroSuit-sensory program ranges from 1 to 2 hours per day based on need and physician recommendation for children with autism/ASD.
During this intensive session, we utilize a variety of therapy interventions to facilitate the patient’s progress. One of the tools that we use is the NeuroSuit, a resistive rehabilitation suit that provides joint compression, correct alignment and facilitates a more upright posture.
The suit is a modified version of the original Penguin suit which was first developed by the Russians for the cosmonauts. The suit consists of a vest, shorts, knee and elbow pads, gloves, shoe attachments and a hat, which are hooked together in an individualized manner with the use of elastic cords.
The suit itself is used to either facilitate or inhibit movements that are produced during functional activities, dependent upon the individual patient’s goals. It is also effective at providing deep proprioceptive input, aligning the body correctly, creating a more typical gait pattern, providing tactile stimulation, decreasing uncontrolled movement due to ataxia or athetosis, improving speech production and its fluency through improved head and trunk support, as well as possibly increasing bone density.
The NeuroSuit can be used on children as young as 2 years of age as well as older adult patients. NeuroSuit has 5 children’s sizes and 3 adult sizes to accommodate any individual.
Another tool commonly used in our center is the Universal Exercise Unit (UEU), sometimes also referred to as the “cage”. Within the UEU we can utilize the “Pulley System” or the “Spider.” The Pulley System allows specific muscles to be isolated and strengthened by suspending the body part being exercised. The system also prevents compensatory use of other muscles during a specific movement. During the evaluation, we determine which muscles require additional strengthening and whether or not the Pulley System would be appropriate to assist with this. This system is most beneficial when performed within the intensive a session and is combined with functional activities after the strengthening has been performed.
The Spider System consists of a belt that is placed around the patient’s waist and 8 bungee cords that are attachment to the UEU. With the use of this system, the patient is able to perform independent, functional movements while the body is supported through the dynamic system of the elasticity of the bungees. The patient may freely experience activities such as going from quadruped to tall kneeling, tall kneeling all the way up to standing, kicking a ball and even jumping! While suspended in the Spider System, the patient can even participate in Partial Weight Bearing Treadmill training.
The UEU, combined with traditional occupational and physical therapy interventions, helps achieve developmental milestones, improve muscle strength and stability, improve balance and coordination, and increase a patient’s independence and self confidence. In addition, it assists with sensory integration through safe vestibular movement—learning how to kick a ball and swinging or “flying” activities, to name just a few of the possible activities.
Suit Therapy Program