The Physical Therapist (PT) evaluates the client’s ability to change positions, sit, stand and walk. After a thorough evaluation process, the Physical Therapist implements an individualized treatment program to optimize movement, flexibility, strength, muscle control and balance. Physical mobility is the goal of this therapy, whether it is via wheelchair or walking. To aid in walking, clients often use assistive devices such as braces, a cane, a walker or orthosis.
The goal of Occupational Therapy is to help the client gain independence in a wide range of daily life skills. Skills include the basics such as eating, dressing and bathing to more complex tasks in the home, school, workplace and community. The Occupational Therapist develops individualized treatment plans that include focused exercise to increase strength, range of motion and coordination. Actual or simulated settings are often utilized in the practice and development of these skills. An occupational therapist may also visit the client’s home, work environment or school to make recommendations for architectural modifications or to suggest different ways of approaching a task. Assistive technology equipment may also be extremely helpful. Such equipment can range from adaptive devices for a variety of tasks, computers and environmental control units to specially equipped cars and vans.
COGNITIVE REHABILITATION THERAPY
The Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy program is an individualized multifunctional design system, which focuses on functional and practical skills acquisition. Sessions focus on everything from compensatory memory skills, executive functioning, social / behavioral / attention and leisure activities to body awareness and motor planning. Cognitive therapy acts in tandem with all other disciplines to help clients maximize information processing and master new strategies to compensate for deficits in order to accomplish their fullest potential during therapeutic intervention.
SPEECH-LANGUAGE AND AUDIOLOGY
Some individuals at Universal require specialized help with communication, swallowing or hearing. The Certified Speech-Language Pathologist can diagnose and treat a wide variety of difficulties resulting from acquired brain or spinal cord injury, developmental disability or other neurological conditions. Therapy may involve both retraining efforts and education in ways to compensate for the disability. Special procedures are available for those with swallowing problems and electronic devices and computers are utilized when appropriate.