Physical therapy is a skilled intervention that is primarily, but not limited to, relieving pain, restoring function and movement, and promoting healing. Pediatric therapy helps children become successfully independent by being able to perform gross motor skills, such as running, jumping and skipping, and functional mobility skills, such as stair climbing, wheelchair mobility, and transfers. Physical therapy can also help prevent injuries from occurring by addressing any muscle weakness or imbalance as well as help them return to physical activities after an injury. Many treatment are used including: developmental activities, therapeutic exercise, balance and coordination activities, adaptive play activities, mobility training, safety and prevention programs, and activities to promote overall wellness.
What is a physical therapist?
A physical therapist is a licensed healthcare professional who has an assortment of treatment interventions to improve an individual’s movement and overall function. In pediatrics, a physical therapist helps a child reach their full potential in the performance of gross motor and functional mobility skills. A physical therapist may work with a child who has a specific health impairment/disease, muscle tone, delayed achievement of motor milestones, poor coordination, decreased muscle strength, or flexibility, or following an injury.
How do I know if my child needs physical therapy?
- A child may benefit from physical therapy if the following conditions apply:
- The child complains when performing gross motor tasks.
- The child has difficulty keeping up with peers in social exercises
- The child is walking on the balls of their feet or is walking in an awkward way.
- The child is not able to perform the same gross motor tasks, such as hopping jumping, or skipping, in relation to their peers.
- The child falls and trips normally.
- The child has a dominating preference for turning their head to one side or using one side of the body more.
- Expected developmental milestones are not met during the child’s first year of life. This can include, rolling, sitting, standing, and walking.
- The child was injured and is not able to perform at the same level prior to the injury.
If you are still unsure whether your child needs physical therapy, Addie’s AutismFITT Club can evaluate your child and see if your child is performing at the level he/she should be for his/her age. Please give us a call at (619) 578-2232.