Therapy Overview

woman with child in swing​The Long Term Care Therapy Program is designed to maintain and support function. When possible, we:

  • Reduce, slow and minimize loss of function in cases of debilitating progressive diseases or
  • Increase or support function when new abilities or developmental progress are demonstrated

An Individualized Care Plan is designed for your child

A team of licensed therapists conducts a full assessment of every child, at time of admission, and then develops an Individualized Care Plan. After this initial assessment, we continually work to achieve the child’s goals by observing each child and identifying major changes in status that may necessitate a revised Individualized Care Plan. We will also reevaluate each child quarterly and annually and make changes as necessary to their Individualized Care Plan.

Licensed therapy professionals oversee each Individualized Care Plan

Licensed therapy professionals (Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Recreational Therapy, and/or Child Life) oversee Restorative Nursing Assistants and Group Therapeutic sessions. Also, if identified in a child’s Care Plan, Individual Therapeutic sessions with a designated licensed clinician(s) consisting of Restorative Nursing Assistant, Rehabilitation Technology, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Recreational Therapy, and/or Child Life) will be scheduled.

Traditional vs. Non-Traditional Therapy

Every child's therapy goes beyond the traditional therapy mentioned above (Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Recreational Therapy, and/or Child Life) in the Pediatric Long Term Care center. We know through years of experience that all children benefit from all the therapies we provide, whether they are Traditional or Non-Traditional Therapy.

Non-traditional therapy involves engaging all the five senses in daily setting:

  • Touch
  • Smell
  • Sight
  • Taste
  • Hearing

A child’s first and most important sense is that of touch. It is the first sense a child develops in the womb. Babies need it to survive and grow, and the need for touch remains with them throughout their lives. In the 1940’s Dr. Fritz Talbot discovered that in a children’s clinic babies that were being held, touched and mothered were thriving when all other medical possibilities had been exhausted.

​Here in the Pediatric Long Term Care Center children experience the sense of touch daily through:

  • Daily grooming- hair brushed, mouth cleaned, clothes changed, nose wiped
  • Talking with your child during the day
  • Diaper changes
  • Bathing
  • Receiving their medications
  • Receiving their food (by mouth or feeding tube)
  • Getting out and into their bed
  • Getting out and into their chair
  • Being put in a swing or playpen
  • Being out in the main areas with their peers/staff
  • Riding the bus (School age children)
  • Being strolled in their wheelchair
  • Kiss or stroke on the head, pat on the back, stroke of the hand

Along with these daily experiences, there are many other activities our children may be a part of that involve touch and the four senses.

Long-Term Care Therapy Activities

As a part of non-traditional therapy, there are many other activities a child may be apart of that involve touch as well as the four other senses.

Sensory Spa

Senses: All five senses
We have a special room in Mountainside that is designed to create a relaxing underwater themed sensory experience for our children. The children get out of their chairs and actively explore their environment. The room has bubble tubes, a waterbed mattress, and a waterfall light spray hanging from the ceiling, a leaf swing chair, and a projector.

In Toms River, the therapy room can be transformed into a spa-like atmosphere with a bubble tube, fiber optic lights, a vibration mat, swing and the ability to turn the lights down low.

Pet Therapy

Senses: touch, smell, hearing, and sight
Therapy Pets/Visiting Pets come to the Pediatric Long Term Care center periodically. Stroking an animal’s fur (assisted or unassisted) is a wonderful stress reliever. The children love their visits with the animals.


Senses: touch, smell, hearing, sight
Volunteers come daily throughout the week to hold and rock, read, play/interact, and stroll children (3 years and under) throughout the center.

Sensory Groups

Senses: All five senses
Multidisciplinary group that is run by Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Speech Therapy, Recreational Therapy and, Child Life. The children participate in different types of activities, crafts, games, developmental play withadaptive toys, and movement activities in a swing, on a mat or air mattress. We also have tasting and smelling activities to awaken these senses.

Open Recreation

Senses: touch, smell, hearing, sight
Throughout the day, when the Therapy Suite is not being used for scheduled therapies, the children come to participate in play activities with their peers, volunteers, and staff. Open recreation time includes playtime with staff and volunteers, computer time, video games, arts & crafts, movies, board games, and sensory-based activities.

Evening Recreation

Senses: touch, smell, hearing, sight
Evening activities are scheduled for the children. Children participate in all kinds of activities, such as arts & crafts, gross motor play, sensory play, social activities, special events. This is when we have many volunteers come to play with the children or come and put on musical, theatrical and dance performances.


Senses: touch, smell, hearing, and sight
Group volunteers (schools, companies, town organizations and religious organizations) as well as Children’s Specialized Hospital individual volunteers come daily to play, interact, and engage your child during afterschool hours, evening recreation programs and during open recreation. They are individual and group based volunteers.

Patient Pals

Senses: touch, smell, hearing, and sight
One on one volunteers come to play, engage, and interact with the children during afterschool hours. They also, help children with their homework.

Out of the Building Trips

Senses: All five senses
Periodically some of the children take trips into the community.

Switch Toys

Senses: touch, hearing, and sight
A switch-adapted toy is a toy that has been modified so that the children can press a switch and activate the toy. Adaptive toys are used to improve a skill or reach a developmental goal. Toys can be adapted to involve any of the three senses.

Interactive computer/Video Games

Senses: touch, hearing, and sight
There are computers and video games available for the children to use.

Computer stations

Senses: touch, hearing, and sight
We have computer stations for the children to use through out the center.

Switch Computer Programs

Senses: touch, hearing, and sight
Computer programs are used that are easy for the children to interact with while playing at the computer.


Senses: sight, hearing
Televisions are available throughout the center. The programming watched is always suitable for children. Children enjoy the sounds and visuals in the kid programming.

Music Therapy

Senses: touch, hearing
Music Therapy is used with the children since it’s benefits are many. It helps reduce stress and anxiety and studies have shown that it is beneficial to respiratory rate and improves mood while enhancing quality of life.

Music & Sound Machines Bedside

Senses: hearing
Music and sound machines are used at bedside for the same reason we utilize Music Therapy.

Age/cognitively appropriate toys and Cause /effect light up toys

Senses: sight, touch, and hearing
Toys that stimulate the senses are placed bedside or can be placed on the children's lap trays to encourage play and interaction when sitting in their chairs.

Auditory and Tactile Area in Hallway

Senses: touch, hearing, and sight
We have tactile walls that children enjoy seeing and touching. The variety of shapes and textures are wonderful stimulation.

LED Light panels

Senses: sight
At bedside (Mountainside only) each child has a LED light panel above their bed that changes colors to visually engage the children when in bed.

Special Events

There are many Special Events scheduled throughout the year such as Holiday Parties, Petting Zoo, musicians, Beach Party and Family Photo day.

Family Day Weekend Special Events

There are Family Day Events scheduled once or twice a quarter for families to gather together to enjoy a movie, snacks and the company of other families in the Pediatric Long Term Care center.

Visits with Family

Our children always enjoy visits from their families and we have different areas where families can visit with their child.

Church Service

Toms River

We have Sunday services on the first Sunday and on the third Sunday of every month.


The chaplain makes weekly visits and is available to meet with patients and families of all faiths.

Children's Specialized Hospital
200 Somerset Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(888) 244-5373
Children's Specialized Hospital Long Term Care Center – Mountainside
150 New Providence Road
Mountainside, NJ 07092
(908) 233-3720

Long Term Care - Pediatric Treatment & Care

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