Therapy Wellness Programs

At Nemours, we work to give children the best opportunities for leading a healthy, active lifestyle. To help with that, we’ve created therapeutic wellness programs designed for kids of all ages and all abilities. Many of our programs will benefit children who have conditions such as autism, cerebral palsy, spina bifida and many others, but children without health challenges are welcome too.

Our offerings are considered health and wellness programs, not formal therapy.

 
Boccia League
What

Boccia is a precision ball sport similar to bocce. The goal is to earn as many points as possible by throwing the ball closer to the target ball than the other team(s).

Boccia is our first official competitive offering as a U.S. Paralympic Sport Club (a network of clubs that provide sports programming to athletes with disabilities and visual impairments).

We form teams each 10-week season. Tournament play will take place one night per week over the course of a season.

Who

Our league is open to anyone 8 to 18 years old with all levels of ability. Boccia is intended for players with neurological impairments like cerebral palsy, but it’s certainly not limited to these conditions. Participants can use assistive technology devices to play with their hands, feet or head.

Why

Boccia is a great way for kids to build strength and improve their trunk control, coordination and attention. It also gives children an opportunity to play in a competitive league and, of course, have fun.

 
Music Classes for Children With Hearing Loss
What

A Nemours speech language pathologist with knowledge of hearing loss, hearing equipment and language development/delays conducts our music class — the only one of its kind in the community. The class uses music as a way to entertain kids, engage them in directed play with their parents and promote speech development.

Who

This music class is for children 2 to 6 years old with hearing loss.

Why

Music can have a strong impact on speech and language development in young children. Music therapy can help improve the rhythm of speech for children with hearing loss, allowing them to sound more natural and more like their hearing peers.

 
Puzzle Pieces Play Group for Children With Autism
What

Puzzle Pieces provides children with a predictable program with the same activities every week. Each session features musical activities as well as sensory play, including an arts and crafts activity.

Who

This is a parent-and-child play group for kids ages 3 to 5 years old who are on the autism spectrum.

Why

The play group’s activities are sensory- and musically-based, working to help establish children’s early social skills. We hope families will be able to grow lifelong friendships through relationships formed in this playgroup.

 
Pretzel Up: Yoga for Kids Classes
What

The class includes yoga poses, breathing techniques, visual imagery and relaxation methods — all in a fun, kid-friendly style.

Who

This class is for children 4 to 21 years old, with and without disabilities. Class sessions will be organized by age/developmental groups.

Pretzel Up may be especially beneficial for children with conditions such as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism, ADHD, learning and/or developmental disabilities and traumatic brain injuries.

Why

Yoga can help improve children’s:

  • strength, flexibility and endurance
  • balance and coordination
  • body awareness and self-esteem
  • sleep
  • digestion
  • attention
  • coping skills
 
Shark Tails: Adaptive Aquatics Classes
What

This is a recreational program for kids who enjoy the water, this class includes an introduction to the water, basic water safety skills, basic swimming skills, breathing techniques, exercise and, of course, fun.

Who

This class is for children 4 to 18 years old, with and without disabilities. Classes are usually grouped by age and abilities.

Shark Tails: Adaptive Aquatics may be especially beneficial for children with conditions such as (but not limited to) cerebral palsy, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, hypertonia (a condition in which there’s increased muscle tone and the muscles can’t stretch) and hypotonia (decreased muscle tone).

Why

Exercising in water:

  • makes it easier for children to move by reducing the forces of gravity
  • improves heart and respiratory endurance and function
  • helps improve body awareness

And we keep our 23-meter-long pool at a warm temperature to help relax tight and spastic muscles.

 
Shark Tails: Caregiver and Tot Classes
What

A great way to exercise and have fun, this class includes an introduction to water, water safety and basic swimming instruction. It also teaches babies and toddlers how to use the water for mobility and flexibility.

Who

This class is for babies and toddlers 9 months to 3 years old, with and without disabilities.

Shark Tails: Caregiver and Tot may be especially beneficial for children with:

  • torticollis (a condition in which the neck muscles cause the head to turn to one side)
  • hypotonia (decreased muscle tone)
  • developmental coordination disorder (DCD, a condition that can cause delays in motor and speech development)
  • Down syndrome
  • spina bifida
  • developmental delays

The class requires a caregiver in the water with the child as an integral part of the learning process.

Why

Aquatics classes can help improve children’s:

  • neck and trunk muscle strength
  • ease of mobility transitions
  • body awareness
  • ease of movement (rolling, sitting up, crawling, pulling to stand and walking)

Our aquatics class also gives babies and toddlers opportunities to socialize with peers, which has a positive effect on children’s self-esteem and body image as they grow.

 
Taekwondo Classes
What

This class teaches the basic stances, blocks, kicks and strikes of Taekwondo. Participating children have the chance to advance through the belt ranks at their own pace, starting at a white belt level.

Who

This class is for children 5 to 17 years old with motor impairments. In order to participate, kids must be able to stand and walk (with or without assistive devices) as well as move on and off the floor without assistance.

This class may be especially beneficial for children with conditions such as cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy (a birth injury that occurs when the nerves in a baby’s upper arm are injured), spina bifida and traumatic brain injury.

Why

Taekwondo can improve children’s:

  • coordination
  • balance
  • strength
  • flexibility

Registration Information

Costs:
Six week programs: $65
Eight week programs: $90
Ten week programs: $110

Payment (cash, check or credit card) is due at the first class or session.

All of our health and wellness programs are not formal physical, occupational or speech therapy. Insurance companies cannot be billed for these programs. All classes are, therefore, an out-of-pocket expense. Financial assistance for participants may be available.

Where: Classes, except aquatics, are held at the Center for Sports Medicine gym or in our Therapy Services department (located on the ground floor at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children). Aquatics classes are held in our therapy pool (also located on the ground floor).

When:  Classes/sessions are offered at different times throughout the year. Please contact us for more information regarding schedules.

For registration or more information:  Call (302) 298-7200 or email therapywellness@nemours.org to register for any of these programs, obtain a schedule of classes or get more information.