Mary Free Bed Kids provides a full range of rehabilitation services and resources for children of all ages, from birth to adulthood. We offer a combination of expert care and love to help your child reach his or her fullest potential.
There are multiple outpatient options available, whether your child continues treatment after an inpatient stay or is new to Mary Free Bed Kids. Our pediatric rehabilitation specialists help patients recover from an illness or injury, and promote independence for kids with disabilities.
Mary Free Bed Kids has several program specialties:
We also provide specialized rehabilitation for kids with various conditions and diagnoses, including:
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Brachial plexus injury
- Brain injury
- Cerebral Palsy
- Feeding difficulties
- Limb differences
- Spasticity management
- Speech and language difficulties
- Spinal cord injury
- Sports injuries
Your child’s outpatient care begins with an evaluation. Based on his or her individual needs and goals, we’ll create a rehabilitation plan that may vary from a few sessions to several months. We’re here for you for as long as your family needs us.
Your child may see professionals from many disciplines or just a few. The experts at Mary Free Bed Kids partner with you to maximize your child’s potential. Your child’s team may include:
- A physician board certified in pediatric rehabilitation
- Physical, occupational and recreational therapists
- Speech-language pathologist
- Behavior analyst
- Registered dietitian
- Care manager
We require a referral from your child’s physician before we begin. When we receive the prescription and verify insurance coverage, we’ll contact you to schedule your child’s initial therapy evaluation.
Our kid-friendly outpatient location at our downtown Grand Rapids campus is specifically designed to support therapy disguised as play:
- Bright and cheery colors
- Four therapy gyms
- Individual treatment spaces
- Child-sized therapy equipment and toys
- Outdoor therapy playground
We also have a Mary Free Bed Kids outpatient location in Holland for patients who live in the lakeshore community. Physical and occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists have extensive experience treating patients with torticollis, plagiocephaly, feeding difficulties, concussion and other diagnoses. Your child’s doctor can make a referral to Mary Free Bed and request rehabilitation at the Holland location.
Mary Free Bed Kids provides access to an array of resources, including education, specialty services and therapies for specific patient needs. Our therapists can provide home, school or job site evaluations, as well as evaluations and treatment using innovative technology.
- Applied Behavioral Analysis (Autism Spectrum Disorder specialty program)
- Assistive Technology
- Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy – Mary Free Bed Kids occupational therapists have extensive training in this innovative method of upper extremity rehabilitation. CIMT is designed to improve coordination, confidence and strength for children with conditions that cause weakness on one side of their body. It may be appropriate for children who have difficulty using one arm or hand due to cerebral palsy, stroke, brain injury or brachial plexus injury.
- Day Rehab
- Driver Rehabilitation
- Feeding treatment
- General Movement Analysis (Early Development specialty program)
- Motion Analysis Laboratory
- Nutrition Services
- Serial casting
- Wheelchair & Adaptive Sports
Your child must have transportation to one of our Mary Free Bed Kids outpatient facilities. Our outpatient schedulers can provide information on community transportation resources.
Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital
235 Wealthy St. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Click for directions
Mary Free Bed Holland Pediatrics
3290 North Wellness Drive, Building D, Ste. 170
Holland, MI 49424
Click for directions
A brachial plexus injury to your child’s shoulder, arm or hand can affect everyday activities, such as play, school and self-care. Mary Free Bed Kids offers a variety of therapeutic options to improve strength and mobility to the affected nerves.
Treatment begins with an evaluation process that includes interviews with you and other caregivers and a comprehensive review of your child’s medical history. We observe how your child performs tasks, such as crawling or walking, reaching for and playing with toys, eating and dressing. We assess range of motion, sensation, muscle strength and coordination.
Individualized therapy sessions are scheduled if the assessment indicates a need for brachial plexus treatment. We use fun activities to engage your child in therapy sessions that may include gentle stretching and strengthening exercises, and sensory techniques. We also demonstrate coordination exercises to increase hand grasp, mobility and adaptive techniques for dressing, bathing and eating.
Depending on your child’s needs, your therapist may recommend specialized brachial plexus treatment, such as splinting, massage, kinesiotape, pool therapy, threshold electrical stimulation (TES) or neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES). Mary Free Bed Kids services are available with a prescription from your child’s physician.
Mary Free Bed Kids offers the Ponseti Method of specialized treatment for babies born with clubfoot. It’s a conservative, nonsurgical approach with excellent success rates and has become the standard of care worldwide.
Clubfoot should be corrected as soon as possible after birth, paving the way for your child to learn to walk with a normal gait pattern. The Ponseti Method involves weekly stretching of the deformity followed by application of a long leg cast. Full correction usually is accomplished in four to five weeks. The correction is maintained with a brace worn at night.
Fewer than five percent of children treated with the Ponseti Method will need surgical correction, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Clubfoot can be easily detected by prenatal ultrasound before birth. Early detection of musculoskeletal abnormalities improves the correction prognosis. It allows our experts to discuss treatment options with parents before birth and begin treatment within one to two weeks after your baby is born.
Dr. Michael David, who oversees treatment of clubfoot at Mary Free Bed Kids, studied directly under Dr. Ignacio Ponseti and has successfully treated many children with clubfoot over the past 15 years. He is one of only two physicians in Michigan certified in the Ponseti Method.
Dr. David teams with Mary Free Bed’s on-site Orthotics & Prosthetics + Bionics department to assist in any necessary casting and bracing to achieve and maintain successful correction. This is an important component of the Ponseti Method to maintain correction and prevent possible relapse as your child grows.
Mary Free Bed Kids offers coordinated outpatient rehabilitation appointments back-to-back on the same day for kids who may benefit from intensive, frequent therapies.
Your child’s individualized rehabilitation begins with an assessment of strengths and abilities that determine areas for improvement. You and your child will play an integral role in helping to set goals and coordinating a plan of action to support them.
Here’s what makes our program unique:
- Therapy is provided at high frequency: Two to three hours a day, three to five days per week. Don’t worry, we’re experts at disguising therapy as play.
- Your child’s plan of care is individually tailored to best meet his or her needs and goals, and may include physical, occupational, speech-language and recreational therapies.
- We know specialization, experience and familiarity pay off. That’s why your child will have the same team throughout the program.
- Sessions are held in our kid-customized, safe and secure space.
- The primary therapist from each discipline attends a weekly team conference, ensuring efficient collaboration.
- Assistance is provided to support a successful transition back to school and community, and less-intensive outpatient therapy when your child is ready.
Mary Free Bed Kids evaluates and treats children having trouble chewing, swallowing, eating or drinking due to a variety of medical conditions.
Our goal is to maximize your child’s feeding skills and improve his or her overall well-being through treatment, training and parental support. A team of experts works with families to develop feeding techniques catered to your child’s specific needs.
Feeding treatment may be needed if you see any of these signs:
- Arching or stiffening of the body during feeding
- Irritability or lack of alertness during feeding
- Failure to accept different textures of food
- Prolonged feeding times (more than 30 minutes)
- Excessive drooling or leaking food/liquid from the mouth
- Wet, hoarse or breathy voice quality
- Coughing, gagging or throwing up during or after meals
- Recurring pneumonia or respiratory infections
- Difficulty coordinating breathing with eating or drinking
- Frequent spitting up
- Less-than-normal weight gain or growth
- Pocketing food in the mouth for prolonged periods
Feeding treatment is based on a physician’s evaluation and written prescription. Our comprehensive services include:
- Oral motor evaluation – A specially trained speech-language pathologist or occupational therapist will complete a clinical feeding evaluation, including a review of your child’s medical history, and reports from other health care providers. Nutrition and nursing support is available.
- Videofluoroscopic swallow study (VFSS) – This is an x-ray video that provides your child’s feeding therapy team a way to record, observe and assess the way your child swallows. An oral motor evaluation is included in this step. We provide same-day initial results and recommendations. Video swallow studies are provided only at our Grand Rapids location with follow-up treatment available in Holland.
- Feeding therapy – Coordinated by our multidisciplinary team, we also work with other community providers such as WIC, Early On, schools, specialty clinics, VNA and referring physicians. Some areas of focus are:
- Decreasing oral defensiveness and aversion
- Learning new ways to meet a child’s needs
- Optimal positioning to increase safety
- Oral motor strengthening and coordination
- Diet modifications to increase safety and improve respiratory health
- Acceptance of new foods and textures
- Acceptance of age-appropriate variety and amount
- Family and caregiver feeding education.
Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine that affects an estimated 7 million people in the United States, according to the National Scoliosis Foundation. While common in children with congenital and neuromuscular diseases, scoliosis is most prevalent in seemingly healthy children and has no known cause. Early detection and proper treatment is key to stopping this potentially debilitating condition.
Mary Free Bed Kids has physical therapists certified to provide the Schroth Method to correct adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Widely used in Europe for decades, the proactive, non-surgical approach corrects spinal abnormalities to a more natural position and prevents it from progressing.
The Schroth Method of physical therapy is customized to each patient’s unique curvature of the spine:
- Frequency and duration of treatment are tailored to specific needs of the patient.
- The three-dimensional exercise approach includes physical therapy, corrective breathing techniques and postural awareness.
Mary Free Bed Kids outpatient services have a therapy gym equipped with specialized tools to facilitate Schroth exercises, including stall bars to elongate the spine and mirrors for visual feedback.
We also provide customized bracing options to hold the spine in a corrective position to prevent progression. We work closely with your physician to determine the best course of care.
Depending on your child’s age, degree of curve and bone maturity, customized orthotic bracing also is recommended to manage scoliosis. Mary Free Bed’s Orthotics & Prosthetics + Bionics professionals are well-versed in fitting patients with custom scoliosis braces to achieve the most function, independence and mobility.