Pediatric physical therapy is a healthcare profession that encompasses evaluation and treatment of infants, toddlers, children and adolescents. It’s very important to discover and treat problems in children on time. Research proves that early intervention works well with many pediatric diagnoses including but not limited to ADHD/ADD, ataxia, autism, brachial plexus injuries like Erb’s palsy, cerebral palsy, developmental coordination disorder, developmental delays, down syndrome, gait abnormalities, muscular dystrophy, neurological impairments, orthopedic conditions, plagiocephaly, premature birth, scoliosis, sensory processing disorder, torticollis, toe walking, and traumatic brain injuries.
Physical therapists’ entry level degree has changed throughout the years. It started with the bachelor’s, continued to the master’s, and now its the doctorate in physical therapy. Now little patients are treated by highly professional people with the highest possible degree.
Did you know that not every pediatrician specializes in child development? Only 15% of pediatricians are such specialists. Also, it is easy to miss signs of developmental delays during routine visits. That is when pediatric physical therapists can help.
Physical therapy evaluation usually starts with observation of child’s appearance, movements, activities, behaviors. It may then continue to neurological and orthopedic exam, and it continues to testing with peer-reviewed assessment tools like Peabody Developmental Motor Scales – 2 (PDMS-2). The scores are then carefully calculated and conclusions are drawn as to whether the child requires physical therapy intervention.
To treat children, therapists may utilize stretching, strengthening, thermal treatments, aquatic therapy, and joint mobilization. However, children do not usually even notice that they undergo “therapy”. They are engaged in games and activities thus they have lots of fun while exercising and working on improvement of their health.
Another important part of pediatric physical therapy is family education with home exercise programs. Family plays a crucial role in fast recovery and progress in therapy. To insure carryover, exercises need to be practiced daily.
It is convenient to have pediatric physical therapist come to children’s houses to provide care in the natural environment where the children spend most of their time. Home pediatric physical therapy companies are happy to help their little patients. If you or somebody you know have a child that may benefit from pediatric physical therapy, research and find a home pediatric physical therapy company providing services in your area.
Besides watching and taking care of children’s physical health, pediatric physical therapists always screen kids for potential problems in other areas like speech pathology, occupational problems, as well as learning and behavioral delays. If necessary, they may refer their little patients to other specialists in child development. That is how every aspect of child development is covered, and children can grow happy and healthy.