Does My Child Need Physical Therapy?

Most parents have wondered at some point in their child’s early years if their child is making progress as they should. That’s normal! But how do you know if you should look into physical therapy for your little one?

What is Pediatric Physical Therapy?

Pediatric physical therapy (PPT) is for patients that have developmental delays or disabilities due to congenital conditions, injuries, illnesses, or other causes. So what is a pediatric physical therapist and what do they do exactly? Pediatric physical therapists are trained specifically to work with children under the age of 18 and they understand growth and development at each stage. They help children improve their range of movement, strength, flexibility, balance, coordination, and movement patterns. The overall goal is to improve your child’s ability to perform their everyday tasks.

How to Receive Pediatric Physical Therapy

Being slower to reach a milestone does not necessarily mean that your child has a developmental delay. There is a standard range where a child may reach a milestone, but some may do it sooner and some a bit later. If you have any concerns about delays, bring them up with your pediatrician. This is typically the first step to determining if your child needs physical therapy. If your pediatrician shares your concerns, they will perform a test that compares your child’s results to other children of the same age. This will be used to determine if there is a delay and if there is, you will then be provided with a referral or list of recommendations for pediatric physical therapy. Your therapist will first evaluate your child by conducting an appropriate and detailed test to determine strengths and weaknesses. The therapist will discuss their observations with you and ask about any concerns that you have had.

The therapist will work with you to create short and long-term goals for your child. Each session is always focused on working toward your child’s independence. In order to achieve your child’s short and long-term goals, the therapist will make sure your child is having FUN while working on the exercises and skills so that they are able to make as much improvement as possible. Games are used to improve motor skills, toys can be used to facilitate stretching, they can be given a choice about which activity they do, and offering as much variety as possible (when appropriate) are all ways to make physical therapy enjoyable for your little one!

If you or your doctor have some concerns about your child’s development and believe that they would benefit from pediatric physical therapy, then the Kids’ Therapy Center at Advanced would love to help you come up with a plan to help your child make the improvements that will get them where they should be. Call us today with any questions you might have or to schedule your evaluation at 973-616-4555.