Lori Kilpatrick Pediatric Therapy

Helping Children to Reach Developmental Milestones and Their Full Potential

Whether she’s working with a baby who is having difficulty breastfeeding due to a tongue restriction or helping a toddler who is having trouble learning to speak correctly, Lori Kilpatrick has a passion for her patients’ care and their parents’ peace of mind.
When a patient has a need, she and her amazing team at Lori Kilpatrick Pediatric Therapy dedicate time and care to collaborate, unravel, and decipher the problem. The facility has dedicated multidiscipline therapists including speech-language pathologists, feeding specialists, and physical and occupational therapists. “Our multidisciplinary in-house approach ensures your child can receive all the services they need in one place by therapists who are collaborating together to help your child reach their goals,” said Kilpatrick, owner and speech pathologist.

A common misconception is that pediatric therapy is only for children who need help with speech and language. However, the services are much broader and include support for children from birth to young adulthood in all areas of development. These areas include gross and fine motor skills, social skills, sensory processing deficits, tongue tie and feeding problems, and more.

“We address a wide variety of developmental skills,” Kilpatrick said. “One area many children struggle with is sensory processing. Sensory Processing Disorder is a neurological disorder that results from the brain’s inability to properly regulate the sensory system. Sometimes children who experience sensory processing difficulties are unable to tolerate the way clothes feel, or they may only eat certain flavors or textures of foods, limiting their diet and nutritional intake. Our occupational therapists and feeding therapists work together to help these children improve their sensory processing and feeding skills, which is life changing for so many families.

Occupational therapy also addresses delays in fine motor skills such as buttoning clothes, handwriting and tying shoes. Physical therapy includes gross motor skills like walking, crawling, and sitting up as well as tightness and body restrictions in newborns. “It’s so important to intervene early rather than take a wait and see approach,” says Kilpatrick. “We see much better progress when deficits or delays are identified at an early age.”

Kilpatrick began her career in pediatric therapy more than 20 years ago and after working 10 of those in a hospital setting, she made the jump to private practice and opened a clinic in Ocean Springs. In October, patients and employees alike gained a little more legroom when the center moved around the corner into a much larger facility.
“I am so grateful for the growth of this practice, an amazing team of employees, and our patients and their families,” Kilpatrick said, adding her passion is working with those families to help their little ones learn to communicate better and to take the stress out of mealtimes. “Feeding therapy is one of the main reasons I went into private practice and an area we continue to expand on.”

More recently, as Kilpatrick and her team were treating newborn babies for feeding therapy, they began to notice many of these infants also suffered postural abnormalities, such as torticollis, which is one-sided tightness in the neck and body. “We found that this difficulty with positioning can have significant effects on the baby’s ability to latch properly when feeding,” said Kilpatrick. “The more we saw the correlation of these two things, the more determined we were to learn how we could help.”

These correlations led their physical therapist to become further specialized in oral motor practices and manual therapy interventions specifically designed for infants diagnosed with tethered oral tissues. Not only do these babies have restrictions in their mouths in the form of tongue or lip ties, but they also have restrictions in their body.
“We often see a baby with a preference to only turn their head to one direction, or a baby who has digestive issues, or difficulty sleeping,” Kilpatrick explains. “By offering gentle manual therapy techniques for the baby and stretching protocols to parents, we are ultimately able to assist the parent and baby achieve more efficient feeding patterns. The collaboration that we are able to provide in the form of physical therapy and feeding therapy for this population ensures that these babies have every opportunity to thrive.”

Lori Kilpatrick Pediatric Therapy
13219 Hugh Seymour Ln., Ocean Springs

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