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Pediatric Therapy Services

Altru's Pediatric Therapy Services utilizes a team approach for the treatment of neurological, orthopedic and genetic disorders, as well as problems associated with premature birth and developmental delays. The team includes occupational, physical and speech therapists, social work, the child's medical team, and our prosthetic and orthotic specialists. Our goal is to assist each child to live the fullest life possible by enhancing function and fostering independence through innovative therapeutic programming. 

If you are interested in applying for funds, please review the Spin for Kids Funds Application Form.

For more information about Altru's Pediatric Therapy Services, call 701.780.2477.

Specialized Programs

Altru's Pediatric Therapy Services program provides inpatient and outpatient services to infants, children and teens. Specialized evaluation and treatment programs have been developed for patients with the following diagnoses:

Development Disabilities

  • Autism/Pervasive
  • Developmental Disorder
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Developmental Delay
  • Epilepsy

Birth Defects

  • Cleft Palate
  • Down Syndrome
  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
  • Metabolic Disorders
  • MicrocephalyMyelomeningocele (spina bifida)
  • Phenylketonuria (PKU)

Learning, Communication and Behavioral Disorders

Head Trauma

Neuromuscular and Orthopedic Disorders

  • Amputation
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Postural Disorders (Scoliosis)
  • Spinal Cord Injuries

Teen Social Skills Class

Altru’s Teen Social Skills Class, for middle and high school age children, is designed to support and empower teens and pre-teens as they maneuver through age-appropriate social challenges. Children who benefit most from social skills groups are those who are able to be in general education classroom, but who experience challenges with social etiquette, developing and maintaining friendships and interpreting and responding to social cues. The four-week group addresses social skills through various activities, including social outings, role-playing, games, hands-on activities, and identification of appropriate and inappropriate behaviors based on situation. The Teen Social Skills Class is free of charge to participants thanks to grants from NDAD’s Faye Gibbens Memorial and the Myra Foundation.

For more information regarding the Teen Social Skills Class, please call 701.780.2329.

Pediatric Therapy Social Skills Class

Altru’s Pediatric Therapy Social Skills Class, for children ages three to ten, helps children improve skills such as greetings, personal space, playing with others, eye contact, conflict management, feelings and friendships by completing different activities.  Sessions run 6-weeks in length. Cost of sessions is offset by Harvest Gala funds. Watch your child develop and mature before your eyes by signing up now.

Call 701.780.2477 for costs and to learn more.

Specialty Clinics

Our pediatric therapy team is involved in providing several specialty clinics throughout the year.

Autism Diagnostic Clinics provide access to a multi-disciplined autism screening for parents of children from 1-12 years of age at no cost. For details or to set up an appointment for your child, contact Tiffani at 701.780.2481.

Myelodysplasia Clinics are held quarterly and provide screening and services for children with Myelomeningocele.  It is sponsored by a grant from Children's Specialty Health Services.

Pediatric Development Clinics are held several times a month in the pediatric department. The purpose of these clinics is to provide screening for children at risk of developmental issues.

Scope of Services

The strength of Altru's pediatric therapy services is our ability to provide a wide range of services for children and teens with a variety of diagnoses.

Diagnostic Services

  • Developmental Assessment
  • Educational Assessment
  • Emotional/Behavioral Assessment
  • Special Medical Testing
  • Visual Screening
  • Hearing Assessment
  • Auditory and Visual Evoked Potentials
  • Dysphagia Assessment
  • Augmentative Communication Assessment

Educational Services

  • Family Counseling
  • Genetic Counseling
  • Nutrition Counseling
  • Parent Education

Programs and Services

  • Sensory Integration Services
  • Prosthetics and Orthotics/Bracing
  • Summer KIDS Camp
  • Adaptive technology for mobility and communication
  • Comprehensive Swallowing/Feeding Program
  • School Collaboration
  • Heated therapeutic pool
  • Autism and related disorders
  • Pediatric Developmental Clinics (including NICU children)

Universal Exercise Unit

Altru's Universal Exercise Unit (UEU), also known as the spider cage, is a suspension system using belts, bungee cords and a pulley system to allow patients with neuromuscular disorders to move more freely.

Patient conditions frequently indicating UEU usage include:

  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Cerebral vascular accidents
  • Hemi-paresis
  • Sensory integration dysfunctions
  • Any neuro-muscular disorder affecting tone and strength

In the UEU, patients wear a belt and harnessing system that allows for the attachment of up to ten bungee cords. The patient is then semi-suspended in the middle of the cage with unique support received through the elastic cords. This cording is extremely dynamic and provides just the right amount of input needed to support the patient, yet allow them to move more freely and independently than with more conventional therapy.

Exercises in UEU aid in the development of functional skills such as:

  • Sitting
  • Crawling
  • Standing
  • Walking
  • Climbing
  • Jumping

Patient Benefits

  • Increased range of motion
  • Isolates desired muscle groups to strengthen them and enable function
  • Eliminates gravitational forces acting on the body
  • Improves balance
  • Improves coordination
  • Promote developmental milestones
  • Facilitate upright position, improving breathe support and decreasing pressure
  • Promotes independence and overall improved physical image

*The purchase of the UEU was partially funded by donors and, as requested by his family, memorial gifts received for Robert M. Jacobson. To learn how you can help fund equipment, programs and services needed by Altru's patients, visit

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