Ability Plus Therapy offers traditional Physical, Occupational and Speech-Language Therapy Services. We also offer the world-renowned Intensive Suit Therapy – TheraSuit® Method. Our goal is to provide the best quality of care with state-of-the-art technology. All of our therapists and therapy assistants are licensed in the state of Florida.
Our skilled therapists utilize a variety of equipment and therapy methods to maximize strength, quality of movement and independence. In addition to the conventional equipment and toys pediatric clinics use, we offer a wide variety of innovative, high-tech, and specialized equipment and treatment methods for our patients to achieve their fullest potential:
Universal Exercise Unit – Cage Therapy
The Universal Exercise Unit is a device that resembles a cage. It contains a system of pulleys, ropes and weight. It facilitates strength training and isolation of specific muscles while preventing unwanted compensatory muscle activation. It can be used for static stretching of tight muscles.
Another important component of the cage therapy is full body suspension. With the use of slings and ropes, the child can be fully suspended in several positions (sitting, prone and supine). In these positions, the child can experience vestibular stimulation through swinging, as well as antigravity strength training to neck, trunk, legs and arms.
Universal Exercise Unit – Spider Therapy
The Universal Exercise Unit also consists of a belt and bungee cords (Spider) which provide dynamic support/suspension in various positions. The Spider allows the child to maintain and transition between sitting, kneeling, all-fours and standing positions with little to no support from the therapist. This allows the therapist to focus on the quality of movement and facilitation of muscles needed to maintain and transition through each position.
The Spider also allows children to experience jumping, which is fun and helps with body awareness, coordination, strength, and cardiovascular endurance.
The Spider is a very useful device to promote self-confidence and independence.
Go to our Intensive Suit Therapy page for details.
Multi-Sensory Room – SNOEZELEN
Go to our Sensory Integration Therapy page for details.
Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES)
NMES is also referred to as Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES). It is the transmission of electrical impulses via a device using electrodes that are placed on the skin over individual or group of muscles to cause a muscle contraction. NMES is used by physical and occupational therapists to strengthen weak muscles, improve range of motion, and promote/restore function. Therapists utilize this modality during activities such as transition from sitting to standing, standing, walking, and reaching. Speech-Language Pathologists utilize it for swallowing as well (go to our VitalStim® Therapy page for details). A remote twitch is pressed to turn on the electrical stimulation (ES) to activate the muscle when needed to perform a specific function. When the muscle activation is no longer needed, the switch button is released to turn off the ES. As the patient’s ability to recruit the muscles required to perform a specific function improves, the use of electrical stimulation to activate the muscle is eventually not needed.
Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) is a term used for the various forms of communication that can be used by people who are unable to verbally express themselves. AAC includes simple methods of communication such as gestures, facial expressions and signing, pictures, symbols, as well as speech-generating devices, including computers and tablets with speech-generating software or applications. The Speech-Language Pathologist determines which AAC method is most appropriate for each individual patient to decrease frustration and negative behaviors associated with it, and improve their educational potential, social interaction with peers and family, and overall quality of life.
Metronome is a therapeutic tool used to improve motor planning, timing and sequencing, attention, coordination, cognition, auditory processing, and control of impulsive behaviors. Metronome therapy is a structured program that challenges the patient to synchronize body movements with computer-generated beats and visual cues. The program provides visual and audio feedback to let the patient know their performance. Metronome therapy is indicated for patients with ADHD, dyslexia, autism, reading disorders, motor coordination disorder, speech disorder and auditory processing disorder.
Splinting is used to position a body part in optimal alignment to improve function, increase or maintain range of motion, prevent deformities, decrease muscle tone, and promote healing. Custom splints are fabricated by the occupational therapists to fit each individual patient according to his/her needs.
Neuro-Developmental Treatment (NDT) is also known as the Bobath Method. NDT is a hands-on treatment approach using handling techniques and guidance to facilitate proper postural alignment and typical movement patterns, and inhibit abnormal movement patterns, thus enhancing function. Collaboration with the patients, their family and health care providers is essential to achieve optimal outcomes, as well as carryover of activities to the home, school and community.
The Rifton Tram is a portable transfer and mobility device. It allows easy maneuvering around obstacles and through doorways. Intuitive control and adjustments allow the therapists to easily adjust the amount of weight patients put on their legs. It has a digital scale built in, which allows the therapists to not only weigh the patient, but also to objectively measure amount of weight bearing.
Partial Weight Bearing Training
We have a 25 foot ceiling track system which allows the patient to be supported with a harness while crawling and walking on the floor or the treadmill. This system is height adjustable to give patients variable amount of weight on their feet when walking to reduce or increase the amount of effort needed to walk. This system allows the therapist to work on specific components of crawling and walking to improve step sequence and quality.
The treadmill can be used with children of any age. It can be used with or without the ceiling track system. Treadmill training improves fitness, strength in the leg and trunk muscles, balance and walking pattern. With the use of the treadmill, the therapist helps the child learn to use the appropriate muscles for walking. The therapists use hands-on approach to promote appropriate movement patterns and/or prevent compensations. The speed of the treadmill an incline can be adjusted in very small increments to match the child’s function and fitness levels.
The parallel bars are very useful for weight shifting, squatting, sit to stand training, balance activities, and walking forward, backward and sideways, while giving the patient support and a sense of security.
Stair training is very important to help the patient develop strength in the legs, balance, weight shifting and reciprocal pattern. It positively affects the child’s walking ability.
Freedom Concepts™ & Rifton® Tricycles
Tricycle training is fun and very therapeutic. It improves range of motion and strength in the legs, coordination of the legs with pedaling and arms with steering, motor control, spatial awareness, attention, and overall fitness. Tricycle training ultimately improves the child’s ability to crawl, transition to standing, and walk.