Meet the Beaumont Center for Children’s Rehabilitation

Girl on floor puzzle holding a letter.

Floor puzzles offer great visual, sensory and motor skill development.

Therapy services at the Beaumont Center for Children’s Rehabilitation have become very diverse. Not only has our program grown geographically (we now have clinics in Royal Oak, West Bloomfield and Grosse Pointe), but we’ve broadened our specialty services and our scope of care.

Overview
We provide therapy for children with long-term rehabilitation needs, but we’re focused on shorter bursts of therapy–capturing a child’s key developmental times, providing therapy, and then taking a break until they are ready to resume again. Often children are transitioned into other programs either within our clinic or within the community, which provides for intensive and successful therapy and better long-term results. We also provide therapy for children with more short-term needs where a brief course of treatment is provided and they rarely need to come back.

Therapist holding a child on foam slide.

In our sensory rooms, children are able to participate in therapy on swings, padded slides, large cloud pillows, and ball pits.

Services Offered
Our patients come to us with neurological, orthopedic, sensory and developmental needs. We’re trained to work with a large range of diagnoses and ages (birth–18). In addition to offering groups for children with special needs, we also offer groups for children without a diagnosis. For example, we offer very successful handwriting groups for children who are struggling with all aspects of handwriting and letter formation.

We also offer group programs which help to enhance therapy goals, and/or offer therapeutic activities for children who may not need intensive therapy. We offer adapted dance, martial arts, sports groups; as well as sensory integration, feeding, social, peer support and vision groups.

Our programs fall under four main therapy areas:

  • Occupational: Focus on fine motor, arm strength and movement, dressing, eating, vision, sensory and feeding (picky eaters, babies with latching or swallowing difficulties).
  • Physical: Focus on gross motor, leg strength and movement, walking, head and neck movement and position
  • Speech Therapy: Language skills (expressive, receptive, articulation)
  • Social Work: Family and patient coping skills, emotional support, assist with insurance and community assistance.
Child doing therapy using a universal exercise unit.

Every clinic has a universal exercise unit that helps children isolate muscles for strengthening and they can stand inside and experience standing and jumping with the help of bungee cords.

Getting Help
If you have a concern about your child’s development or recovery from an injury, please talk to his/her physician about a referral to therapy. While children all develop or recover from an injury at a different pace, even siblings, don’t disregard concerns you have. A parent’s instinct is important and your pediatrician can help you determine the best plan. We can evaluate and offer suggestions for ongoing treatment or a program for home. For more information, visit us online.

Have a wonderful summer; this is a great time to develop motor, sensory and language skills by just getting outside and playing with your children.

– Debbie Adsit, OTRL, is the Supervisor, Pediatric Rehabilitation at the  Beaumont Center for Children’s Rehabilitation. She can be reached at (248) 655-5687.

 

 

 

Have a Less-Stress Summer!

Now that summer’s here, it’s time to relax and unwind … right? Maybe not, if you’re like many parents! Summer sports, vacations, work, visiting friends or relatives … we can end up just as busy as were before. How can it already be late June, anyway?

Of course we have things that must be done, and all families have different needs and priorities. Being busy is sometimes inevitable, but sometimes we take on too much and overschedule ourselves into a no-win situation. We rush from activity to activity, multitasking or staying up late to get things finished. We don’t enjoy the time we do have “free” because we’re thinking of the endless to-do list.

We’ve discussed mindfulness before and how slowing down a bit and being “here” in the moment can help clarify things. With respect to stressful overscheduling, we can reconnect with our values to make decisions. What really matters? Does each and every activity need to happen, right now? Are there some things we could reduce, or even take a break from, just for a little while?

Delegating or asking for help is another way to reduce overscheduling. So many of us feel we “have to do it all” or have expectations that no one else can meet, so we end up taking on too much. Maybe the dishwasher won’t be filled exactly the way I wanted it to be, but if someone else handles it, that’s great! It’s challenging, but when we can begin to let go of the need for everything to be perfect or “our way”, we allow others to give, which is a gift in itself.

Are you overscheduled because you want to please everyone? We can run ourselves ragged doing for others, and end up exhausted and resentful. Again, reconnecting to your values and asking yourself what matters most will help you decide if some things on the calendar can be handled by others.

Even when you’re busy, a few minutes of deep breathing or a quick burst of some kind of exercise can help refocus and refresh you. Take time to really examine how you are spending your time, and you may find ways to carve out some wonderful relaxing hours that help you engage and enjoy all the other activities!

– Lori Warner, Ph.D., LP, BCBA-D; Director, HOPE Center at Beaumont Children’s Hospital

Special Touches Add to Patient, Family Experience at Center for Children’s Surgery

Karen Justin just created a growth chart for the kids. Most of them measure how tall they are by the animals and tree branches, not the numbers.

Karen Justin just created a growth chart for the kids. Most of them measure how tall they are by the animals and tree branches, not the numbers.

Talking to Karen Justin about why she loves her job, you’d swear that she gets teary eyes. A patient and family liaison in the Ghesquiere Center for Children’s Surgery at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, she treats each child as someone special.

“I love children,” says Karen. “To make a child smile is the best part of my job. Just seeing their face light up when we can do something special for them that takes their mind off their procedure is priceless.”

Though she’s been a member of the Beaumont family for 20 years, she’s a newbie in the surgery center. “I’ve been here since January,” says Karen. “When I saw this job open up, I knew it was my dream job.”

For the last eight months, Karen has worked on making the surgery center experience as pleasant as possible for the kids and their parents. She created a play area with a zoo theme using images of animals that she laminated and placed around the walls. She also worked with Childlife Services to have zoo and animal-themed toys available.

There’s now a coloring table with an assortment of crayons and pages to decorate. “I make it fun for them,” she says. “I hang up the pictures the kids color around the front desk and that makes them so proud. When they come out of surgery, some of the kids actually look to make sure their picture is still hanging up.”

But perhaps one of the most meaningful things she does for the kids is something that she does on her own time. Several years ago, Comfort Bears for Kids started dropping off stuffed bears for the children having surgery in the Ghesquiere Center. The donor was dropping off the bears himself, but was unable to keep up the schedule.

Hearing about this, Karen and her husband Tom took up the task. “We don’t mind doing it, and we’ll keep doing it until the donor stops,” she says. “To see those kids smile when they get those bears just makes my day. We see some kids frequently here and one time there was a little boy yelling down the hall, ‘I gotta go get my bear!’”

As the seasons and holidays change, Karen decorates the waiting room, and hands out bears accordingly. For St. Patrick’s Day, everyone gets a green bear. On Valentine’s Day, the bears are red. For her, every gesture has meaning. Even though the Ghesquiere Center is for children’s surgery, some adult surgeries take place there, too. Karen can see patients who are preemies and older adults. But she doesn’t care how old they are. “We’re here to make people happy,” she says. “That’s why we’re here – for service.”

Beaumont Children’s Hospital Opens a Headache Center

image credit: Hey Paul Studios

image credit: Hey Paul Studios

Beaumont Children’s Hospital recently opened a Headache Center offering comprehensive, specialized care for children and adolescents who experience headaches.

The Royal Oak-based center’s medical director, Elizabeth Leleszi, M.D., is a pediatric neurologist, Beaumont Children’s Hospital and an assistant professor, Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine.

According to the National Headache Foundation, about 20 percent of school-age children in the U.S. have headaches. Of that group, 15 percent experience tension-type headaches and 5 percent migraine headaches. Says Dr. Leleszi, “Head pain is a common symptom affecting kids. Children and teens may experience many different headache types and the problem can, in some cases, be debilitating. Patients and families are often frustrated; children sometimes experience chronic pain, often missing school and extracurricular activities. Our Beaumont Children’s Hospital opens Headache Center center utilizes a team approach in implementing a care plan for each patient.”

The clinic team is comprised of pediatric specialists from neurology, physical therapy, psychology, dietary and social work. Beaumont Children’s Hospital’s Headache Center also offers family-centered comprehensive specialized care, including advanced diagnostic testing, neuroimaging such as MRI and an on-site laboratory.

“The initial focus is a comprehensive evaluation by a pediatric neurologist,” explains Dr. Leleszi. “Using headache diagnostic criteria, combined with a patient history and neurological exam, a pain management plan is developed to decrease the frequency and severity of the headaches.”

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 248-551-7370.

8 Things You Should Know About Colds, Flu and Antibiotics

antibiotics

Besides sharing recent holiday cheer, many shared viruses too. Knowing when antibiotics will help – and when they won’t – is key to preventing antibiotic resistance.

“We all need to remain smart about antibiotic use, and by ‘we,’ I mean doctors, nurses and patients,” says Christopher Carpenter, M.D., director of Beaumont’s Antimicrobial Stewardship Program. “We have a program that promotes appropriate antibiotic use in the hospital and with the help of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Michigan Antibiotic Resistance Reduction Coalition we are providing materials and education to encourage appropriate outpatient use in our Emergency Center and doctors’ offices.”

The CDC offers the following facts and tips:

  1. Colds, fl u and most sore throats and bronchitis are caused by viruses. Antibiotics do not help and may do more harm than good by increasing the risk of a resistant infection later.
  2. Antibiotic resistance – the development of “superbugs” that are resistant to available drugs – has been called one of the world’s most pressing public health problems.
  3. When antibiotics fail to work, the consequences are: longer-lasting illnesses; more doctor visits or extended hospital stays; and the need for more expensive and toxic medications. Some resistant infections can cause death.
  4. Children are of particular concern because they have the highest rates of antibiotic use. They also have the highest rate of infections caused by antibiotic-resistant “bugs.”
  5. Patients should not demand antibiotics when a health care provider has determined they are not needed.
  6. When an antibiotic is prescribed, take all of it, even if symptoms dis appear. If treatment stops too soon, some bacteria may survive and reinfect.
  7. The spread of viral infections like cold and fl u can be reduced through frequent handwashing and by avoiding close contact with others.
  8. Viral infections sometimes lead to bacterial infections. Keep your health care provider informed if your illness gets worse or lasts a long time.

8 Myths and Facts about Postpartum Depression

Myth #1: Postpartum depression is a normal part of motherhood. All new mothers experience exhaustion and mood swings.

Fact: It is important to be aware of the three types of mood changes associated with childbirth. While it is true that new mothers are likely to feel overwhelmed and sleep deprived in the early weeks after having a baby, this is most likely the Baby Blues which is experienced by 70-80% of women. The Baby Blues is not considered a disorder and generally does not require treatment. Symptoms such as tearfulness, mood swings, lack of concentration, mild anxiety and irritability, begin within the first week postpartum and can persist until baby is about 3 weeks old. This is caused by the major lifestyle change and changing hormone levels that are present during this time in a woman’s life.

We become concerned that a mother may be experiencing more than the Baby Blues, when symptoms are still present after that third to fourth week postpartum. Postpartum depression (PPD) is a serious, yet common medical condition (occurs in 10-20 percent or 1 in 7 new mothers) and can occur any time in a mother’s first postpartum year. Symptoms typically include uncontrollable crying, irritability, poor concentration, anxiety, hopelessness, feelings of failure, guilt, intrusive and disturbing thoughts, and appetite and sleep disturbances. PPD is very treatable. The sooner it is identified that a mother is not feeling like herself and she reaches out for help, the sooner she can start recovering and be able to enjoy her baby and motherhood.

A very small percentage of women experience a much more serious mood disorder called postpartum psychosis, which can cause women to hear, see, feel or smell things that are not there. Symptoms may also include paranoia, mania or catatonic states. This rare illness affects one in every thousand women, usually occurring within the first three weeks after birth. Postpartum psychosis is a serious emergency and requires immediate medical attention.

Myth #2: If a woman is able to take care of her baby, keep a tidy home, looks happy and appears as if she has it all together, she is not experiencing postpartum depression.

Fact: Women are very good at masking the signs and symptoms of PPD, some will go to great efforts to appear as if they are well, but on the inside they may be falling apart and dealing with much anxiety and worry. Shame, guilt or fear may cause women to hide their feelings and suffer in silence.

Myth #3: Pregnant women do not get depressed.

Fact: Studies have shown that rates of depression and anxiety actually increase during pregnancy. Many women who seek treatment for postpartum depression report that their symptoms actually began while they were pregnant.

Myth #4: Postpartum depression is only treated with medication.

Fact: While many women find that medication is very helpful, there are many options for treating PPD, including, individual therapy, support groups, exercise, biofeedback, acupuncture and herbal supplements. Most women are treated with a combination of these treatment options.

Myth #5: Women can’t be treated with antidepressants if they are breastfeeding.

Fact: There are medications that can be taken for depression that are safe for breastfeeding moms. Women should be sure talk with their physician about their options for treatment.

Myth #6: My life is great! PPD could never happen to me.

Fact: PPD does not discriminate. It can happen to those who have never experienced depression or anxiety in their lives. It does not discriminate against race, age, gender, class or income.

Myth #7: Only mothers experience postpartum depression.

Fact: Dads can also experience PPD. Studies have shown that 1 in 10 Dads will experience postpartum depression.

Myth #8: Sharing your personal experience with postpartum depression with pregnant women will only scare them and should be avoided.

Fact: When women have information and resources before symptoms occur, they are less likely to get to the point of a crisis. When a woman is able to hear about signs and symptoms of PPD while she is emotionally well, she will better be able to identify what she is experiencing should symptoms occur, and will be more likely to reach out for treatment and support. It is imperative that women share their stories to dispel these myths and the stigma that is unjustly attached to PPD and other types of mental illness.

Beaumont has many resources, including free support groups, to assist families who are experiencing postpartum depression or difficulty with their postpartum adjustment. You may also reach the Parenting Program staff Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 248-898-3230.

After-hours support from a Mother/Baby Care nurse is available at:

Royal Oak            248-898-6396

Troy                    248-964-3995

Grosse Pointe       313-473-1705

–Kelly C. Ryan, LMSW, Postpartum Adjustment Coordinator, Beaumont Parenting Program

Bringing Light to Unsafe Toys

Drats! Looks like a few disappointed kids have some reconsidering to do on their wish lists to Santa. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pencil bag in the photo has suspect pigment and is on this year’s list of unsafe toys from PIRGIM.

Drats! The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pencil bag in the photo has suspect pigment and is on this year’s list of unsafe toys from PIRGIM.

Hopefully, your children received some toys from their wish list for Christmas, Chanukah and Kwanzaa. But parents beware, the Public Interest Research Group in Michigan announced dangerous toys can still be found at retailers nationwide.

The good news, according to PIRGIM’s 28th annual Trouble in Toyland report, is stronger rules helped get some of the most dangerous toys and children’s products off the market the past five years.

PIRGIM’s report reveals the results of laboratory testing on toys for lead, cadmium and phthalates. All of these toxins are proven to have serious adverse health impacts on the development of young children. The survey also found small toys that pose a choking hazard; loud toys that threaten hearing and toy magnets that can cause serious injury.

“It’s the unseen dangers that trouble me, lead and phthalates,” explains Donna Bucciarelli, RN, trauma prevention coordinator, Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak; and education program manager, Safety City U.S.A., a Beaumont Children’s Hospital program. “Thanks to the ongoing efforts of PIRGIM, parents and gift-givers can purchase safer, less toxic toys.”

One key finding from the “Trouble in Toyland” report shows toys with high levels of toxic substances can still be found on store shelves. PIRGIM found toys with high lead levels including a toddler toy with 29 times the legal limit of lead and play jewelry for children with 2 times the legal limit. They also found an infant play mat with high levels of the toxic metal antimony, and a child’s pencil case with high levels of phthalates and cadmium.

To help you choose the safest toys for your children, U.S. PIRG put together Toy Safety Tips at www.ToySafetyTips.org.

The Ecology Center, a non-profit group in Michigan, has also teamed up with environmental health organizations around the country and  lists some toys with toxic levels on their Healthy Stuff site.