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Meeting Children's Special Needs: Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital Outpatient Pediatric Rehabilitation Center

June 2004 — "There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One is roots; the other, wings."

Although this quote is credited to Hodding Carter, it could very well have come from any of the caring individuals at the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital Outpatient Pediatric Rehabilitation Center. Helping children to develop and rehabilitate to their maximum potential, this group works to give each child wings of their own.

A Child-Centered Philosophy

"Children have special needs, and we understand those needs," says Jodi Bakalar, MS, PT and Manager of the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital Outpatient Pediatric Rehabilitation Center. "We offer a kid-friendly approach to rehab, from the colors on the walls to the equipment made specifically for children. We create a positive, safe environment in which children are encouraged to reach their full potential."

Skilled Rehabilitation Team

In this child-centric environment, children receive care from a team of highly skilled, licensed physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists and audiologists, as well as a pediatric physiatrist.

Working together, this team of experts treats children with various diagnoses, such as attention deficit disorder, autism, central processing disorder, cerebral palsy, congenital abnormalities, developmental delay, feeding problems, head trauma, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, neurological impairments and speech/language disorders.

Treating the Individual Child

"There's no single formula to treat a child," says Elissa Karl, MS, PT and physical therapist at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital Outpatient Pediatric Rehabilitation Center.

"Each program is designed around the individual child's needs. Since all of our services are provided at one facility, we're able to collaborate on each child's care and deliver a safe, comprehensive program built specifically for that child."

While a Florida physician's prescription is required for care, the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital Outpatient Pediatric Rehabilitation Center staff is specially trained to provide a wide range of services including:

  • Central Auditory Processing Testing
  • Neonatal Developmental Assessments
  • Neurodevelopmental Techniques (NDT)
  • Oral Motor Treatment
  • Orthopedic Rehabilitation
  • Sensory Integration Treatment
  • Standardized Testing
  • Strengthening
  • Swallow Studies
  • Visual-Perceptual Testing

For more information, please contact the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital Outpatient Pediatric Rehabilitation Center at (954) 985-5880. For referral to a physician, call the Memorial Physician Referral Service at (800) 944-DOCS.