A paediatric physiotherapist can provide specialised physiotherapy treatment for children aged between 0 and 18 years who have difficulty with their physical development as a result of neurological and/or developmental problems. Paediatric physiotherapists have a clear understanding of and specialist knowledge in the development process of childhood, primitive reflex patterns, and paediatric illness and disability. They have generic skills as physiotherapists but also have additional specialist knowledge and highly developed hands-on skills to enable safe and effective assessment and treatment of babies, children and young people with neurodevelopmental and various other movement difficulties. They use highly specialised treatment approaches like the Bobath approach, Motor Learning/re-learning approaches, which are neurodevelopmental treatment approaches used to improve developmental Sequences, inhibition of abnormal patterns, facilitation of normal postural control, and use of sensory stimuli for inhibition or activation of muscle movement. Where possible, a play-based approach to therapy can also be incorporated to motivate the child and improve functionality.
Paediatric physiotherapists understand very well that Children are not small adults. Their skills are unique to children and help each one to achieve optimal physical development and maximise their potential through fun, creativity, play and age-appropriate and individualised therapy programs. The therapy programs are tailor-made, family-friendly and are aimed to optimise the health, well-being, and abilities of each child to enable them to move and participate in day-to-day activities, like playing, learning, going to school, and being part of a family and community.
Paediatric physiotherapists have extensive experience in a variety of neurological paediatric conditions including:
- Developmental delay.
- Hypotonia/Low tone/Floppy child.
- Cerebral Palsy.
- Developmental Coordination Disorder/Dyspraxia.
- Down Syndrome.
- Spina Bifida.
- Acquired Brain Injury.
- Muscular Dystrophy or other neuromuscular challenges.
- Toe walking.
- Autism Spectrum Disorder.
- Posture/gait re education.
- Other genetic disorders.
These are all just a snapshot of what paediatric physiotherapists can treat.
Initial assessment of your child will include their development, movement patterns, motor planning, strength, posture and balance in order to produce a structured and individualised treatment program which may include:
- Milestone development.
- Working on fine and gross motor skills
- Re-educating normal movement patterns.
- Balance training.
- Improving posture and quality of walking.
- Advice and support for parents.
- Orthotics/footwear advice.
Paediatric physiotherapists can pick up on movement impairments early on. Identifying gross motor delays early on allows for early diagnosis of many conditions that may impact function as the child grows. Early intervention by a qualified paediatric physiotherapist can help your child learn the movement skills needed early on to help their development and to monitor gross motor skill development to ensure that your child is meeting all their developmental milestones.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding any areas of your child’s development and would like a consultation please contact us. We would love to assist you and your child.
It is never too early for intervention!