Rehabilitation Services is here to help you and your child cope with the effects of illness, including any side effects from treatment. Our services are designed to help your child do everyday activities as well as possible. Rehabilitation can give your child hope and confidence, both during and after treatment.
The services below have therapists and other health care professionals who can examine, treat, and teach you and your child to cope with challenges from illness and treatment:
- Occupational therapy
- Physical therapy
- Speech-language pathology
Audiology is care for hearing. If your child has a hearing problem, an audiologist can do tests to learn more about it, find the cause, and recommend treatment. Treatment might include hearing aids or other devices that help your child hear better. An audiologist will also help you decide which device is best for your child and make sure it fits correctly.
The audiologist can also test your child’s hearing during treatment to check for any changes. Your child’s St. Jude doctor can refer you to audiology if you have concerns about your child’s hearing, including the following:
- You or your child are concerned that your child does not hear normally
- Your child fails a school hearing screening
- Your child has had medicines or treatments that can damage hearing, including cisplatin or carboplatin chemotherapy, cranial radiation, or aminoglycosides antibiotics
- Your child has had problems with hearing loss, repeated ear infections, or talking and communicating later than most children
Occupational therapy helps your child do the normal “occupations,” or activities, of childhood, such as learning, playing, and growing. An occupational therapist uses exercises and activities to help your child develop skills for independence at home, at school, and in your community.
Your child’s St. Jude doctor can refer you to occupational therapy if you are concerned that your child needs help in any of the areas below:
- Daily activities such as eating, dressing, washing, and using the bathroom
- Strength, motion, and coordination of the arms and hands, including learning to use an artificial arm, hand, or other device
- Making small movements, such as grasping a toy or holding a spoon
- Thinking and learning
- Doing normal activities for your child’s age
- Doing school activities
Physical therapy helps your child do physical activities better and more comfortably. A physical therapist uses exercise, play, and other treatments to help your child be as physically independent as possible at home, at school, and in your community.
Your child’s St. Jude doctor can refer you to physical therapy if you are concerned that your child needs help in any of the areas below:
- Muscle strength and ability to make large movements, such as walking
- Moving the joints
- Coordination and balance
- Endurance (ability to do activities longer)
- Using equipment such as crutches or a wheelchair to move around
If your child uses equipment to move around, a trained physical therapist will examine and test your child and talk with you about the best options. The physical therapist will also teach you and your child how to use the equipment safely.
Speech-language pathology helps your child with speech, language, and swallowing problems. A speech-language pathologist uses exercises and other treatments to help your child communicate and eat as well as possible.
Your child’s St. Jude doctor can refer you to speech-language pathology if you are concerned that your child needs help in any of the areas below:
- Understanding and expressing language skills that fit the child’s age
- Producing sounds that fit the child’s age
- Eating and swallowing
- Voice problems, such as a hoarse or weak voice
- Weakness of the face
- Controlling the muscles of the mouth, tongue, palate, and vocal cords, which are used to make speech
- Opening the jaw normally
A speech-language pathologist can give your child a communication board or other device, including a device to help your child speak with a tracheostomy.
Talk to your child’s St. Jude doctor or nurse about Rehabilitation Services, or call us at 901-595-3621.
This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.
St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.
ATTENTION: If you speak another language, assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).
ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).
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