MANDAN, N.D. (KXNET) — As we continue our CPABLE Kids Telethon, it’s important that we not only anticipate the changes that organizations are doing around North Dakota and the world to aid those with developmental disabilities, but celebrate those doing work in our own communities as well. One business doing just that is Mandan’s own Kids in Motion.

The organization is located off of East Main Street, and offers a variety of helpful programs to children in the area — including physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech development and language services. The company’s mission, they claim, is to reveal the strengths of all children and families through play, family-focused work, and team collaboration.

“Families come in,” explains Kids In Motion’s Clinical Director Arianna Kinnischtzke, “and we talk about the goals they want for their child. And we then even ask the child, what goals they want to be able to accomplish, and we work together to form an optimal plan of care. As therapists we work multidisciplinary, so we work with other members of the team to make sure that the child that we’re seeing is getting the best possible care with the best possible people around.”

Therapies can be beneficial for those with cerebral palsy, and each one plays a unique role in development. Speech Therapy, for example, can help individuals learn how to find and use their voice — which is essential in situations where they need to be heard.

“Speech therapies can be a really big benefit for kids with Cerebral Palsy,” says Speech Language Pathologist Kayzanne Hewitt. “We can work on different areas that are most impactful to the family and that child — including language development, which is the production and understanding of language so that they be able to communicate their wants and needs. We can work on voice, and how those muscles work together to allow someone to speak and talk. We can work on feeding and swallowing, so how all of our muscles work together to appropriately eat safely and functionally at family meal times. We can also work on social skills.”

Physical Therapy can help with the strengthening and use of muscles.

“Physical therapy typically focuses on things like strengthening muscles to work better and work harder,” Kinnischtzke says, “and they also focus on improved balance and coordination. These children can walk and sit upright and participate in their daily activities when it comes to movement, having to move about their environment, and getting from one place to the next. “

Occupational therapy, meanwhile, helps with motor skills and activities of daily living.

In occupational therapy,” Kinnischtzke explains, “we really focus on the activities of daily living — whether it’s helping them become more independent getting ready in the morning, getting dressed, finding different types of adaptive dressing techniques, or even getting special pieces of equipment. Sometimes we may give a child a long-handled hairbrush or a long-handled sponge to help them be more independent with their bathing, grooming, and hygiene.”

Overall, the organization’s goal is to help children lead independent and successful lives.
There will always be obstacles, but overcoming them one by one will make a difference.
Often, however, it can take a full team to help these children — and we thank groups like Kids in Motion for being able to serve that purpose in Mandan.

For more information on Cerebral Palsy in North Dakota or to donate to the CPABLE Kids Telethon, visit our hub page here.