Intensity Program

child participating in the Intensity Program

Our Intensity Program is an outpatient physical and occupational therapy program designed to intensify results.

Through our Intensity Program, patients receive a much higher frequency of therapy than traditional programs offer. Specifically, two hours of physical therapy and occupational therapy five days a week for three weeks.

By offering intensive therapy at periodic intervals, we also intensify the results and facilitate functional gains. This can be especially meaningful for patients with neurological diagnoses such as cerebral palsy, brain injury, or movement disorders.

One program and a multitude of therapies

Through our intensity program, patients can receive treatments such as:

  • Range of motion
  • Therapeutic massage
  • Stretching
  • Manual therapy
  • Strengthening
  • Balance/coordination
  • Neurodevelopmental treatment
  • Sensory integration therapy
  • Universal Exercise Unit (UEU)

A word or two about the Universal Exercise Unit (UEU)

We use this versatile device, sometimes referred to as "the spider," to treat many different diagnoses. It has a pulley system of weights that allows a child to isolate and strengthen individual muscles through the entire range of motion. When used as a spider system with a belt and bungees, the child can perform functional activities while the bungees provide controlled independent movement.

Intensity treatment sessions:

There are three basic parts to each therapy session. As part of our child-focused, family-centered approach, we involve parents and/or caregivers in each session.

Part 1:

Under the therapist’s supervision, the parent prepares the muscles for active movement. This may involve warming of the muscles with hot packs and massage followed by stretching and range of motion exercises.

Part 2:

The therapist focuses on strengthening exercises with or without the use of the Universal Exercise Unit. Balance training, coordination training and postural training are often implemented using traditional methods as well as the spider system.

Part 3:

The therapist focuses on improving patients' functional activities. Functional activities may include rolling, crawling, transitioning, sitting, standing and walking. Gait training may include the use of assistive devices.

This program is offered at The Children’s Institute's locations in Squirrel Hill and Wexford. For more information about the program and criteria, or to receive an application, please contact Janice Belt at 724.940.7660 x8223 or

Download printable information here:
Intensity Program



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