Pediatric Physical Therapy
Our Physical Therapists work with infants, toddlers, adolescents, and their families to assist each child in reaching their maximum potential to function independently.Request an Appointment
What is Pediatric Physical Therapy?
Pediatric Physical Therapy is a specialized and individualized therapy that assists children with achieving independence and movement in their homes, schools, and community environments.
Pediatric physical therapists are experts in helping children with improving their gross motor skills, coordination, strength, range of motion, balance, endurance, etc.
What makes a Physical Therapist?
Physical Therapists (PTs) are highly educated professionals, many of whom are Doctors of Physical Therapy. PTs have a thorough understanding of the musculoskeletal and neuromuscular system.
PTs are recognized by consumers and other health care professionals as the practitioners of choice for individuals who have functional limitations and disabilities related to movement, function, and health. Physical therapists work with a variety of individuals throughout the lifespan in various settings such as clinics, hospitals, schools, homes, and long-term care facilities.
What are the Benefits of Pediatric PT?
Pediatric Physical Therapy has many benefits for children and their families. Pediatric PTs help children make improvements and gain independence with important functional skills like sitting, walking, running, jumping, and balance through fun, innovative activities and games. Pediatric PTs are experts at creating enjoyable yet challenging activities focused on important gross motor skill development, mobility skills, return to sport and wellness. By supporting the family and including them as an integral part of therapy and in the carryover of skills in their homes, this helps build an important reciprocal relationship between parents and PTs. Pediatric PTs focus on education, guidance, advocacy, and coordinating communication between other professionals such as orthotists, durable medical equipment vendors, physicians, occupational and speech therapists, and teachers to help children succeed to their highest potential. Pediatric Physical Therapy is beneficial for children of all ages and with a variety of physical needs and challenges.
TES’ approach to pediatric physical therapy
How do we make therapy fun?
Our Pediatric Physical Therapists are super creative and playful when interacting with each child and family. They create fun obstacle courses, use bubbles, puzzles, trampolines, tricycles, balls, balloons, balance beams, and so much more!
How do we work as a team?
Our amazing team of Pediatric Physical Therapists communicate frequently and effectively in the clinic, school, or home setting my collaborating with other professionals such as occupational therapists, speech therapists, teachers, and psychologists. Our PTs increase their skills and knowledge in monthly journal clubs, team trainings, through continuing education courses, and with our specialized mentor program.
How do we include the family?
Families are essential partners in physical therapy sessions and when carrying over exercises, activities, and new skills at home. Our PTs take the time to discuss each child’s strengths, areas of need/concern, and the unique home environments that may affect skill development. Families are encouraged to participate in PT sessions by actively practicing the skills that the PTs are teaching the child which increases carryover and participation in the home and community.
FAQs About Physical Therapy
How do you explain physical therapy to a child?
Physical Therapy will be fun way to play with an adult who wants to help you get stronger and move better and faster. Your physical therapist will create many fun games and activities that are designed to teach you new ways to move your body to access your house, playground, classroom, and other community areas.
How do I know if my child needs PT?
In general, children who may benefit from physical therapy are children with medical diagnoses and musculoskeletal issues that limit their ability to achieve gross motor milestones at the same time as children who are typically developing. Sometimes, babies who are born prematurely, who have genetic syndromes, seizures, neuromuscular concerns such as hypertonicity and hypotonicity, who use medical devices such as gait trainers, walkers, wheelchairs or orthotics may benefit from physical therapy. Physical therapists also assist children with health and wellness activities and may support individuals who have orthopedic conditions such as scoliosis.
What conditions do PT’s treat?
Pediatric PTs help babies, children, and young adults with conditions such as: Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, spina bifida, scoliosis, clubfoot, torticollis, gross motor delay, Autism, ankle or knee sprains, and more. PTs can also be essential after orthopedic surgeries or injuries such as an ACL repair, spinal fusion, labral tears in the shoulder, meniscus tears, hip dislocation, Blount’s Disease, Perthes Disease, and more.
How many times a week do kids need therapy?
Physical therapists will determine the most effective frequency for each child based on the information collected during a physical therapy examination and will create a plan of care that is individualized for each child while also taking into consideration the child’s insurance coverage for physical therapy services. A Physical Therapist will think about the child’s goals, prognosis, and develop an appropriate episode of care such as weekly, twice weekly, monthly, or daily PT in an intensive format to help children most effectively achieve goals and enjoy working towards gaining new skills and functional abilities.
Should I be concerned if my child is not walking after 12 months?
The typical age span for a baby to learn to walk independently is between 10 and 16 months of age. If your baby is not pulling up to stand at furniture independently, standing unassisted, cannot walk with a push toy, or does not put his/her feet on the ground when you are holding him/her by 15 months of age, it is recommended that the parent follow-up with the pediatrician or contact a pediatric physical therapist for an evaluation.
How long does it take to become a PT?
All Physical Therapy programs in the United States are now Doctor of Physical Therapy programs. A physical therapist first earns a bachelor’s degree in a related field of study such as athletic training which is typically a 4-5 year undergraduate program. Then, the physical therapist completes a doctorate level graduate school program that is typically 3-3.5 years long. Some physical therapists go on to gain additional training in residency specialty programs, earn doctorate degrees in other fields of study, or specialize in an area and earn recognition as a Board-Certified Specialist through the American Physical Therapy Association.