Pediatric physical therapy is concerned with the examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, and intervention of children, aged birth through adolescence, who are experiencing functional limitations or disability due to trauma, a disorder, or disease process.
The goal of treatment is to diminish impairments and functional limitations to prevent or decrease disability. Treatment may be focused on improving developmental tasks, motor planning, manipulation skills, posture, endurance, strength, balance, and/or coordination. The affected child may present with difficulties with ambulation, positioning, and/or motor function. All of these problems need to be addressed, as they can result in the inability to keep up with peers or perform work at school.
What Is Physical Therapy?
Pediatric physical therapists provide services to children or youth who have genetic, congenital or acquired conditions that affect motor development and motor function, including positioning, sitting and walking. Pediatric physical therapy addresses the mobility and gross motor needs of infants, toddlers and adolescents. Physical therapists work with children to assist them and their families in achieving the child’s highest level of independence. Pediatric physical therapists are trained to assess the gross motor and sensory functions of children and to develop individual treatment that emphasizes improved functional skills, or prevention of further disability. In addition to assessing range of motion, strength, posture, and gait, a physical therapist will also assess motor planning, how a child accomplishes a given task; and the sensory system, how a child interprets and responds to data. This focus enhances the gross motor function of a child, and promotes independence and safety at home and in the community.
What is involved?
Intervention encompasses the coordination and documentation of care, specific treatment procedures, and patient/family education. Physical therapists also must be skilled in recognizing the need to refer a patient back to a physician or recommend the services of other professionals as necessary. The physical therapist usually plays a key role in making recommendations or sometimes participating in the fabrication and fitting of orthoses, walking aids, and wheelchairs. In addition, the physical therapist is instrumental in choosing appropriate adaptive equipment, such as seating devices or standing frames, for the classroom or home.
Intervention involves the interaction between therapist and patient. It also includes communication with the family and other professionals as needed, including physicians, nurses, psychologists, occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists.
Who could benefit from PT?
Below is a list of the most prevalent conditions that require physical therapy. For further information on these and other conditions, please contact the professional therapists at Kiddos’ Clubhouse.