Like A Second Home…

Ralph Griffin, a spunky seven-year-old boy, runs around Children’s Clinics with ease and confidence after his speech therapy appointment. “He has grown up here. It’s like a second home,” his mother, Amanda Griffin, explains regarding his comfort level. “He’s not afraid here. He feels welcomed and safe, even on the days with blood draws.”

Ralph has been coming to Children’s Clinics as a patient since he was discharged from the NICU to see a cardiologist for his heart. At the time, Amanda and Ralph were seeing the same cardiologist at Children’s Clinics. Amanda has a heart condition that brought her to Children’s Clinics as a child, and when she became pregnant with Ralph, her condition needed monitoring.

“It was really comforting to see the same cardiologist. It made life so much easier at the time,” Amanda shares. “And everyone here feels like an extension of family. Everyone knows him. He’s not just another face. I’ve never had a bad experience at Children’s Clinics. The entire staff, from scheduling to even the janitors, they’ve never treated him like he wasn’t a kid. They’ve always treated him like he was a human.”

Ralph grabs Amanda’s hand and escorts her over to the craft table. He motions for her to begin coloring on a Paw Patrol sheet while he begins coloring on a Spiderman one. Amanda naturally reflects on his actions pointing out that he’s a sharer and wants everyone to feel included. He is also a very social and outgoing child and particularly loves little kids.

Despite Ralph’s multiple healthcare needs, he is in every way a typical boy. He’s an active and physical child, with P.E. and Motor Lab being his favorite activities at school. He loves Spiderman, The Incredibles, puzzles, Legos, and the video game Kingdom Hearts.

His communication skills have improved recently after receiving his new talker device (speech tablet) from Children’s Clinics in April. These devices typically help children express a wider range of words, thoughts, and emotions than with speech and gestures alone. Amanda confirms that the tablet has helped Ralph with demonstration and assists him with putting together full thoughts. She’s seen his confidence grow as a result of it.

Amanda dives into how speech therapy hasn’t been the only help she’s received from Children’s Clinics. She is very grateful for the assistance she received during the first few months of Ralph’s life. Being a new mother is challenging, but being a new mother of a child with special medical needs, she was completely unprepared. The most impactful memory she recalls is of Ralph’s feeding therapy.

“He didn’t understand hunger. He didn’t show any hunger cues. He refused to eat in any kind of way. If it wasn’t for the feeding therapy and primary care here, helping me keep up with the G-tube feedings and the education I received, I wouldn’t have known what to do. Even the physical and speech therapy, on my own, he never would be where he is without those teams.”

It is this multi-disciplinary model of care at Children’s Clinics that has facilitated support to not only Amanda and Ralph but to the over 5,000 children in Southern Arizona and their families. The focus is not only on healing and helping children but assisting the whole family in their care.

“One thing I am thankful for is all the therapists were here for him of course – the goal is to get him to learn, but they do a very good job of educating me on the things I can do at home. They always make sure I have the tools at home and that is so helpful.”

Ralph’s attention is pulled away by another boy in the lobby and he’s off to go play. As Amanda leaves her coloring sheet to go watch him she mentions, “I learned early on that I am not alone in his care. They see his care as important. That’s never changed.”

Holiday Toy Market

STAYED TUNED FOR THE HOLIDAY TOY MARKET DATE FOR 2024!

Join in our biggest event of the year – The Holiday Toy Market! Visit the clinic to celebrate the winter holidays, pick out a special toy, and visit Santa in this inclusive, jolly event.

 

 

Bike Decorating & Pizza Party Sponsored by Hughes Federal Credit Union

STAY TUNED FOR DATES AND TIMES FOR 2024!

 

Come and decorate your bike for the big Family Fun Ride. Have pizza and receive giveaways!

El Tour will award prizes for children 12 and under in the BEST DECORATED BIKE CONTEST! Children’s Clinics and Hughes Federal Credit Union want you to WIN! Join the party and outfit your bike for FUN.

Decorate your bike. Wear a costume. Let your imagination run WILD! Selections will be made at the Finish Line of the Fun Ride. The winner will bring home an El Conquistador Trophy, El Tour’s highest award!

 

Benefits of Adaptive Arts for Children

Adaptive arts, which refer to art forms and activities that are tailored to accommodate individuals with varying abilities and needs, offer numerous benefits for children. These benefits can extend to children with disabilities, neurodiverse traits, or other unique circumstances. Here are some of the key advantages of adaptive arts for children:

  1. Inclusivity and Participation: Adaptive arts programs create an inclusive environment where children of all abilities can participate and express themselves. This promotes a sense of belonging and community, helping children feel valued and respected.
  2. Enhanced Communication: For children who may struggle with traditional communication methods, adaptive arts provide an alternative means of self-expression. Through visual arts, music, dance, or other creative activities, children can communicate their thoughts, emotions, and ideas more effectively.
  3. Motor Skill Development: Adaptive arts activities can be designed to support the development of fine and gross motor skills. Engaging in activities like painting, sculpting, or playing musical instruments can help children improve their coordination, dexterity, and muscle control.
  4. Sensory Integration: Many children with sensory processing challenges benefit from adaptive arts activities that engage their senses in controlled and enjoyable ways. These activities can help children better process sensory input, leading to improved self-regulation and overall sensory integration.
  5. Emotional Regulation: Engaging in creative arts can serve as a therapeutic outlet for children to express and regulate their emotions. Artistic activities provide a safe space for children to explore and process their feelings, reducing stress and anxiety.
  6. Boosted Self-Esteem: Adaptive arts programs focus on each child’s unique strengths and abilities, fostering a sense of accomplishment and pride. As children see their creations take shape and receive positive feedback, their self-esteem and confidence can significantly improve.
  7. Cognitive Development: Artistic activities stimulate cognitive processes such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and imaginative exploration. Through adaptive arts, children can enhance their cognitive skills while enjoying a fun and engaging experience.
  8. Social Interaction: Adaptive arts programs often involve group activities, which can improve social skills and peer interactions. Children can work collaboratively, share ideas, and learn from one another in a supportive environment.
  9. Cultural Awareness: Exposure to various art forms can introduce children to different cultures, traditions, and ways of thinking. This exposure promotes empathy, tolerance, and a broader understanding of the world around them.
  10. Creative Thinking: Engaging in adaptive arts encourages children to think outside the box, develop their creativity, and embrace their individuality. This skill set can benefit them across various aspects of life and learning.
  11. Personalized Learning: Adaptive arts programs can be tailored to the specific needs and preferences of each child. This personalized approach allows for more effective and engaging learning experiences.
  12. Parent and Caregiver Engagement: Adaptive arts activities can be enjoyed by children and their parents or caregivers together. This shared experience can strengthen relationships, create lasting memories, and foster a deeper understanding of each child’s abilities.

In summary, adaptive arts provide children with a wide range of physical, emotional, cognitive, and social benefits. By tailoring creative experiences to individual abilities and needs, adaptive arts programs empower children to explore their potential, express themselves, and enjoy the many rewards of artistic engagement.

You can help support Children’s Clinics adaptive recreation programs which include theatre, improv, rock orchestra, and dance. These programs are not covered by insurance, but we believe they are vital to a child’s health and well-being. Please support these programs by donating today!

Benefits of Adaptive Sports for Children

Adaptive sports offer a range of physical, emotional, and social benefits for children with disabilities. These sports are specifically designed to accommodate individual needs and abilities, ensuring that all children can participate and experience the joy of physical activity. Here are some of the benefits of adaptive sports for children:

  1. Physical Health:
    • Improved Strength and Coordination: Adaptive sports help children develop better muscle strength, coordination, and balance through regular physical activity.
    • Cardiovascular Health: Engaging in sports promotes cardiovascular fitness, helping to maintain a healthy heart and circulatory system.
    • Bone Health: Weight-bearing activities in adaptive sports can contribute to better bone density and overall bone health.
    • Motor Skills: Children can enhance their fine and gross motor skills through the various movements and challenges presented by adaptive sports.
  2. Psychological Well-being:
    • Self-Confidence: Participating in sports empowers children by showing them that they can overcome challenges and achieve goals, boosting their self-confidence.
    • Self-Esteem: Success and improvement in adaptive sports can lead to a more positive self-image and higher self-esteem.
    • Stress Relief: Physical activity, including adaptive sports, helps reduce stress and anxiety, promoting mental well-being.
    • Sense of Achievement: Achieving milestones and mastering new skills in sports can provide a sense of accomplishment that positively impacts a child’s emotional state.
  3. Social Interaction:
    • Teamwork: Many adaptive sports involve team activities, fostering collaboration, cooperation, and a sense of belonging.
    • Friendships: Children can build friendships and social connections with peers who share similar interests and experiences in adaptive sports.
    • Communication Skills: Being part of a team or engaging in sports-related activities can improve communication skills and enhance social interactions.
    • Community Involvement: Adaptive sports often bring together a supportive community of families, coaches, and volunteers, creating a supportive network for children and their families.
  4. Inclusion and Acceptance:
    • Promotes Inclusion: Adaptive sports promote inclusivity by providing opportunities for children with disabilities to participate in physical activities alongside their typically developing peers.
    • Educates Others: Inclusive sports help educate the broader community about the capabilities and potential of children with disabilities, promoting acceptance and reducing stigma.
  5. Skill Development:
    • Transferable Skills: Many skills learned in adaptive sports, such as communication, problem-solving, and perseverance, can be applied to other areas of life, including education and employment.
  6. Healthy Lifestyle Habits:
    • Long-Term Benefits: Engaging in adaptive sports from a young age can instill a love for physical activity, encouraging a healthy lifestyle into adulthood.
    • Prevention of Secondary Conditions: Regular physical activity can help prevent secondary conditions associated with certain disabilities, such as obesity and muscle atrophy.

Adaptive sports provide children with disabilities the opportunity to lead active and fulfilling lives, enhancing their physical and emotional well-being while promoting a sense of belonging and achievement.

You can help support Children’s Clinics adaptive recreation programs which include basketball, soccer, tennis, cheer, and dance. These programs are not covered by insurance, but we believe they are vital to a child’s health and well-being. Please support these programs by donating today!

Cleft Lip and Palate Resources

Approximately 1 in 700 children are born with a cleft lip and/or palate every year. The ACPA is an international nonprofit medical society of healthcare professionals who treat and/or perform research on birth defects of the head and face. Here are links to the resources available on the ACPA website. The site is available in both English and Spanish.

ACPA Resources:

ACPA General Resource Center

Introduction to Cleft Lip & Palate

Feeding Your Baby

Your Baby’s First Year

Help With Social Situations

Paying for Treatment/Dealing with Insurance

Financial Assistance Programs

Letter to Teachers/Information

Educational Materials

Additional Resources:

Children’s Craniofacial Association One-Sheets Overview

 

 

Ten Benefits of Aquatic Therapy

BY: Amy Serafin

 

FUN IN THE POOL FOR PATIENTS

Aquatic therapy, also known as hydrotherapy or aquatic rehabilitation, is a form of physical therapy that takes place in a pool or other water-based environment. It offers numerous benefits for children with disabilities, promoting physical, cognitive, and social development. Here are some of the key benefits of aquatic therapy for children with disabilities:

  1. Buoyancy and reduced weight-bearing: Water provides buoyancy, which reduces the effects of gravity on the body. This allows children with disabilities to move more easily, experiencing reduced weight-bearing and less strain on their joints. The water’s buoyancy also helps improve balance and stability.
  2. Increased range of motion: Water’s natural resistance provides gentle pressure against the body, which can help improve muscle strength and flexibility. The buoyancy of water allows children to move their limbs through a wider range of motion, promoting joint mobility.
  3. Improved muscle strength and endurance: Aquatic therapy offers an environment where children can engage in various exercises and activities that target muscle strengthening. Water resistance increases the challenge for muscles, leading to improved strength and endurance over time.
  4. Enhanced cardiovascular fitness: Engaging in water-based exercises helps promote cardiovascular fitness. The resistance of water provides a gentle yet effective workout for the heart and lungs, improving overall cardiovascular health.
  5. Sensory stimulation: Water provides a unique sensory experience with its temperature, texture, and hydrostatic pressure. Aquatic therapy can stimulate the sensory systems of children with disabilities, enhancing their proprioception, tactile awareness, and overall sensory integration.
  6. Pain management: Warm water used in aquatic therapy can help relieve pain and muscle spasms, providing a soothing effect on the body. The hydrostatic pressure of the water can also reduce swelling and inflammation, providing pain relief for children with disabilities.
  7. Balance and coordination improvement: Water’s buoyancy and resistance challenge the body’s balance and coordination systems. By participating in aquatic therapy, children can enhance their balance, coordination, and overall body awareness.
  8. Increased confidence and self-esteem: Aquatic therapy can be a fun and enjoyable experience for children with disabilities. Achieving new physical milestones and experiencing success in the water can boost their confidence and self-esteem, transferring to other aspects of their lives.
  9. Social interaction and peer support: Participating in aquatic therapy often involves group sessions, providing opportunities for children with disabilities to interact with their peers. This social aspect promotes communication, cooperation, and the development of social skills.
  10. Relaxation and stress reduction: Water has a calming effect on the body and mind. Aquatic therapy can help children with disabilities relax, reduce anxiety, and manage stress levels.

Aquatic therapy at Children’s Clinics integrates the unique knowledge, skills, and training of a physical therapist, occupational therapist, and speech and language pathologist to provide rehabilitative services in a pool that are individual to each patient. It’s important to note that the specific benefits of aquatic therapy may vary depending on the individual needs and disabilities of each child. Consulting with one of our physical therapist can help determine if the aquatic therapy program is suitable for a specific patient.

 

Teen & Young Adult Group

Children’s Clinics offers a fun and free Teen & Young Adult Group for ages 13 years and up. We invite you to join us once a month as we enjoy light snacks, connect with others, and participate in fun and inclusive activities.  

Teen & Young Adult Group Registration

  • Please identify an individual other than yourself that we can contact in case of an emergency.
    I authorize my child to participate in Children’s Clinics Childhood Experiences Programs. I acknowledge the risks inherent in the participation by my child. In my absence, I further authorize the staff representing Children’s Clinics to act for me according to their best judgment in any emergency requiring medical attention for my child and I hereby waive and release those staffers, and volunteers of Children’s Clinics from all liability for any injuries or illnesses, that may be incurred while participating in Children’s Clinics Childhood Experiences, while in attendance, except for injury directly resulting from gross negligence or willful misconduct.
    I consent to the photographing/video recording/ audio recording of the above-named patients by Children's Clinics staff at this event. I agree the resulting images or recordings may be used for Children's Clinics publicity or marketing purposes (brochure, pamphlet, lobby display, social media posts, printed material, etc.). I understand that I have the right to reverse this consent, in writing, at any time before the image or recording is used for the purposes indicated above.

 

Adaptive Theatre

Join us for this eight-week Adaptive Theatre program that engages the Children’s Clinics community in various theatre and improvisation games. The goal is to support participants in exploring their imagination, creativity, and improvisation skills to build confidence and community – all in the spirit of joy and fun!

REGISTRATION IS NOW FULL. If you would like to be added to the waitlist, please fill out the application below.

Adaptive Theatre 2024

    Our team will notify you if a spot opens up in our theatre program.
  • MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • (English, Español, etc)
  • Please identify an individual other than yourself that we can contact in case of an emergency. / Por favor identifique a un individuo aparte de usted mismo que podamos contactar en caso de emergencia
  • Example (Please list all that apply): - Speech / Hablado - Other Sounds / Otros Sonidos - Eye Gaze / Mirada - Gestures / Gestos - A communication device / Un aparato de comunicación
  • Example (Please list all that apply): - Short Simple Directions / Instrucciones cortas y simples - Repetition / Repetición - Face to face communication / Comunicación cara a cara - Speaking at a slow pace / Hablar lento
  • Example (Please list all that apply): - crawling / gateando - walking with assistance / camina con asistencia - walking with out assistance / camina sin asistencia - wheeled mobility / movilidad con ruedas - other assistive device / otro aparato de asistencia
    I understand that I must remain and be present at Live Theatre Workshop for the duration of the program while my child participates in Music. / Entiendo que debo permanecer presente en Live Theatre Workshop de Tucson durante la duración del programa mientras mi hijo participa en Musica
    I authorize my child to participate in Children’s Clinics Childhood Experiences Programs. I acknowledge the risks inherent in the participation by my child. In my absence, I further authorize the staff representing Children’s Clinics to act for me according to their best judgment in any emergency requiring medical attention for my child and I hereby waive and release those staffers, and volunteers of Children’s Clinics from all liability for any injuries or illnesses, that may be incurred while participating in Children’s Clinics Childhood Experiences, while in attendance, except for injury directly resulting from gross negligence or willful misconduct. /Autorizo que mi hijo participe en los Programas de Experiencias Infantiles de la Clínica de los Niños. Reconozco los riesgos adjuntos a la participación de mi hijo. En mi ausencia, autorizo al personal representante de la Clínica de los Niños a actuar por mi acorde a su mejor juicio en cualquier emergencia que requiera atención médica para mi hijo y por el presente exento y libero a esos empleados y voluntarios de la Clínica de los Niños de toda responsabilidad de cualquier lesiones o enfermedades que pudieran adquirir mientras participan en Experiencias Infantiles de la Clínica de los Niños, mientras atienda, excepto por lesiones resultantes directamente de negligencia grave o mala conducta intencional.
    I consent to the photographing/video recording/ audio recording of the above-named patients by Children's Clinics staff at this event. I agree the resulting images or recordings may be used for Children's Clinics publicity or marketing purposes (brochure, pamphlet, lobby display, social media posts, printed material, etc.). I understand that I have the right to reverse this consent, in writing, at any time before the image or recording is used for the purposes indicated above. / Yo consiento la toma de fotografías/grabación de video/grabación de audio de los participantes mencionado anteriormente por el personal de la Clínica de los Niños en este evento. Estoy de acuerdo con que las imagines o grabaciones resultantes sean usadas para los propósitos de publicidad o marketing (folleto, panfleto, exposición en el vestíbulo, publicaciones de redes sociales, materiales impresos, etc.). Entiendo que tengo el derecho de revertir este consentimiento, en escrito, en cualquier antes de que la imagen o grabación sean usados para los propósitos indicados anteriormente.
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