Physical Therapy

Physical therapy (PT) helps children learn to successfully and independently perform gross motor tasks and improve functional mobility. Functional mobility includes sitting, walking, climbing stairs, running, jumping, and exploring their physical environment safely and effectively. The goal of physical therapy is for children to improve their physical independence and achieve a higher sense of self-esteem! 

Physical therapy may target:

  • Gross Motor Development

  • Strength

  • Range of Motion

  • Motor Planning

  • Play Skills

  • Balance

  • Coordination

  • Fine Motor Skills

  • Adaptive Equipment

JSTherapies-SunnyBus-32.jpg
Handsome confident Afro American eight y

PT treatment starts with an evaluation based on your child’s needs. To determine how to best treat your child, we often utilize a combination of parent/caregiver interview, standardized assessment and visual assessment to determine strengths and weaknesses.

 

PT’s improve strength, balance, coordination, and gross motor development by working on core skills that become more dynamic as a child grows. These core skills are developed best when a PT is able to determine games and strategies to grow a skill through play. To maximize skills, PTs also discuss how to carry over therapeutic strategies while at home and in the community.

Gross Motor Skills

Gross motor skills involve movements of the large muscles of the arms, legs, and torso. Children use gross motor skills every day at school, home and in the community. Children who struggle with gross motor skills have trouble doing whole-body movements such as climbing.  Some signs of gross motor skill delays noted early on can include floppy arms/legs, inability to sit independently by 9 months, and inability to walk by 18 months. Signs that your child is experiencing gross motor delays as they grow can include difficulty keeping up with peers and poor posture.

Balance & Coordination

Balance is the ability to maintain a controlled body position during tasks such as sitting at a table, climbing stairs, and walking a balance beam. Coordination is the ability to execute smooth, accurate, controlled motor responses. Balance and coordination are both important for improving reflexes that decrease injuries, for example, placing hands out to protect themselves when falling off a bike.  Developing appropriate body control and movements also help limit energy required for tasks, in turn minimizing fatigue. Signs that your child is experiencing difficulties with balance and coordination may include tripping often, moving stiffly, avoiding physical activities (playground use), difficulty dressing standing up, and inability to keep up with peers in physical play.