Reaching Milestones with Pediatric Rehabilitation Services
The future seemed uncertain for Bashir Alloush, who was born at Danbury Hospital at 26 weeks with a host of medical problems, including clubfeet. "I worried a lot," said his mother, Nisrin Alsadka. "He weighed only one pound and five ounces."
Now three years later, worry has turned to hope thanks to the pediatric specialists in physical medicine and rehabilitation who treated Bashir in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and continue to see him at the Main Street Physical Rehabilitation Center.
"He has progressed so much," said Mrs. Alsadka. "I feel good about the future."
The Main Street Rehabilitation Center offers families a convenient location to find physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists - all under one roof - who specialize in treating children from birth through adolescence. Therapists also treat infants born prematurely during their stay at Danbury Hospital's NICU.
"We're here to assist children who are born with developmental and communication disorders improve their functional capacity and lead as typical a life as possible," said Carolyn Howell, a physical therapist and pediatric program coordinator at Danbury Hospital. Patients include children with autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and other diagnoses. "In some cases, there's no definitive diagnosis at all," she said.
To some children, the family-friendly center at 235 Main Street in Danbury seems like a giant playhouse full of puzzles, building blocks, balls and more. Therapists use the toys to engage and help children reach developmental goals. Physical therapists focus on gross motor skills (crawling, walking, climbing stairs), while occupational therapists work on fine motor skills (handwriting, cutting, dressing, eating). Speech-language pathologists tackle issues with communication, swallowing, articulation and social pragmatics.
While rehabilitation services benefit people of all ages, these interventions are crucial for children. "With kids, much learning is derived from moving their bodies through space to explore their environment," explained Howell. "Learning will be impacted if children cannot move or communicate."
But rehabilitative services and persistence can turn things around. "It's very rewarding to see a child acquire a skill that you have been working on for a long time," she said.
Howell began working with Bashir during his four-month stay at the NICU. Bashir was born with multiple problems, including respiratory distress syndrome, with subsequent chronic lung disease, and bilateral clubfeet. Now he visits the Main Street Physical Rehabilitation Center several times a week for physical, occupational and speech therapy.
"Bashir has come a long way," said Howell. "His parents have been able to postpone foot surgery. He's a great example of the outcomes that can be achieved with excellent medical care and dedicated caregivers."
"The people at Danbury Hospital and the rehabilitation center are wonderful," said Mrs. Alsadka.
Although many challenges remain, she envisions a bright future for Bashir, who will begin attending pre-school in Danbury this month.
"We know there is a long journey ahead of us. We have our up and down moments," she said. "But we believe there is a big prize at the end with my son being healthy and independent."
For more information about programs and services available at the Main Street Rehabilitation Center in Danbury, please call 1-800-516-4743.
About Main Street Rehabilitation Center's Pediatric Services
The Main Street Physical Rehabilitation Center, an affiliate of Western Connecticut Health Network and Danbury Hospital, has served patients in the greater Danbury community for more than 20 years. Pediatric Rehabilitation services at the center comprise a comprehensive and coordinated program of care designed to help children with special development needs. Specially trained therapists treat patients for a variety of medical issues that may be affecting a child's development.
- Occupational Therapy promotes and enhances the fine motor, visual-perceptual, sensory and organizational skills of children. Occupational therapy helps to promote a child's functional independence for daily activities, including play, self-care, feeding and school-related activities.
- Physical Therapy promotes and enhances the development of gross motor/mobility skills in children, providing therapeutic intervention for children with neurologic, orthopedic and developmental disorders.
- Speech and Language Therapy promotes and enhances the skills necessary for functional communication, addressing deficits in language development, articulation, fluency, voice and social pragmatics, swallowing and feeding.
The Main Street Rehabilitation facility houses numerous services and specialties in a single facility, at a convenient, central location. The center offers the quality and expertise of a large network, along with the personal attention of a friendly, compassionate staff of professionals.
About the "New" Western Connecticut Health Network
Western Connecticut Health Network is the region's premier, patient-centered health care organization serving residents of Western Connecticut and adjacent New York. With this recent affiliation, the organization is now anchored by three nationally recognized hospitals, Danbury Hospital, New Milford Hospital and Norwalk Hospital, as well as their affiliated organizations. In addition to the three hospitals, the continuum of care offered includes numerous medical practices and sub-specialties across the region, home health care services, a nationally renowned biomedical research institute, the Western Connecticut Health Network Foundation, the Norwalk Hospital Foundation and other affiliates. For more information, visit TheNewWCHN.org. Share your comments with us at Facebook.com/DanburyHospital; Facebook.com/NewMilfordHospital and/or Facebook.com/NorwalkHospital.