— By BRIAN SMITH
Pediatric Rehab, 1836 Santa Fe Dr. in Weatherford, helps serve the very special needs of extraordinary kids and their families.
Administrator Diane Beaver, who opened her first location in Fort Worth in 2007 after 12 years as CFO for another similar company, said the Weatherford location opened in March and has been doing very well. Beaver found many of her “kiddos” and their parents were coming from Weatherford and Mineral Wells to Fort Worth to have the occupational, physical and speech therapy services performed, so she began looking into another facility.
She began looking for a second location in November 2011 but admits it took her a while. After finding her Weatherford location, she admits it was a top to bottom remodel to get the facility right.
Beaver said her five employees work with children from as young as one month old up to age 21 but the average age is between four and eight years old. Children sometimes require rehabilitative services to ensure their proper health and development. The center’s goal is to ensure clients reach their fullest potential, using a specifically designed plan to do so.
In each plan, therapy is implemented to appear like play to the child, many who suffer with autism, speech delay or sensory processing disorders. At Pediatric Rehab, a room is set up like a gym with specially designed swing sets and crash pads. Therapists work together as a team using five specially designed treatment rooms and regularly consult with a child’s physician to ensure continuity of care.
Some children also undergo occupational therapy, which is commonly thought of something adults undergo to learn how to redo a job after an injury. Beaver says it’s very similar for a child, except the child may be learning their “job” in the form of improving or developing fine motor skills, social interaction or something as simple as learning how to dress themselves.
Physical therapists work with children to improve balance, coordination, motor function, strength and flexibility. Speech therapists work with children who have stuttering issues, problems with feeding and swallowing and others.
Don Wade of Willow Park brings his granddaughters to the facility twice a week for occupational and speech therapy issues. Wade said the girls, ages five and six, look forward to coming to the facility.
“There’s been a big change in both of them since they began coming here,” Wade said. “The therapists give feedback as to what is being accomplished which is real nice to see.”
Pediatric Rehab is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Fridays by appointment. For more information, call 817-341-7611.