Pediatric Physical Therapy

What is Pediatric Physical Therapy?

Pediatric Physical Therapy treatment focuses on developing a child’s gross motor skills like sitting, crawling and walking. Physical Therapy addresses difficulties with balance, coordination, toe walking, equal movements, and building strength. Think of this as foundational work. Many children start with Physical Therapy to get these big motor skills mastered before progressing into goals in other areas like Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy and ABA Therapy.

Signs That Your Child Needs Physical Therapy

What Conditions Do Pediatric Physical Therapists Treat?

  • Genetic conditions such as Down Syndrome 
  • Neurological conditions such as Cerebral Palsy
  • Muscular conditions such as general or specified weakness and lack of coordination
  • Developmental conditions such as falling behind in gross motor milestones

Pediatric Physical Therapy at Our Clinic

Our therapists will work with your child and family in a team-based approach to provide support, strategies, and interventions to help your child make progress towards their gross motor skills every day. Here’s what you can expect:

  • In outpatient pediatric Physical Therapy, children will work with a licensed physical therapist (PT) and participate in structured and/or play based activities to help reach their goals.
  • PT’s may use structured physical activities to target the individualized goals for your child, and play based activities, like an obstacle course, to challenge your child’s balance and coordination in a fun, playful manner while motivating your child.
  • Parent and patient education to allow for a better understanding of why the child needs services and the benefits of services.
  • An individualized home exercise program that allows the child to work on things at home to achieve the max benefits of services. Learn more about fun activities to do at home in our Fun Ways to Use an Exercise Ball blog!
…because the little things add up.

Pediatric Physical Therapy FAQs

How do you explain Physical Therapy to a child?

You can help your child understand Physical Therapy by explaining that working on “big movements” such as walking, running, and jumping will help them grow big and strong. It’s just like gym class or recess! It will also help you get better at the things that are hard for you, and help you stay on your feet while playing and not fall.

My toddler isn’t walking. Can pediatric Physical Therapy help?

Yes! We can work on standing balance to help your toddler feel more confident in this position to allow them to start taking supported and unsupported steps. We will use strategies like reaching for toys when standing at the couch to encourage cruising andpractice transferring between surfaces to build their confidence and comfort with taking steps. We will also help develop your child’s core strength that is needed to walk, move, and play.

How can Physical Therapy help my child with Down Syndrome?

Physical Therapy can help children with Down Syndrome increase strength and endurance, improve balance and coordination, and increase overall independence with activities of daily living. We will help with positioning and posture control that is necessary to protect your child’s joints while sitting in a chair, on the floor, or in standing.

What training do you need to be a pediatric physical therapist?

Pediatric physical therapists need to earn a doctorate degree in physical therapy from an accredited program. This will include field work and clinical rotations in different settings. Physical therapists also need to obtain certification from the Federal State Board of Physical Therapy (FSBPT). A physical therapist can become specialized in pediatrics by taking courses and receiving certification(s). And last but not least, you will need patience, a smile, and to have fun while helping little kiddos get stronger!