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Family Involvement is Key in Pediatric Therapy

Total Pediatric Therapy encourages family involvement during our therapy sessions!

Here is WHY:

  • Allows caregivers to learn how to implement treatments at home
  • Increases caregiver’s ability to receive education regarding their child’s therapy diagnosis, treatments, and goals.
  • It provides your child with comfort and safety.
  • We LOVE our families!

In rare circumstances (behavior limitations) it may be better for the parent to wait in our waiting room. However, in those circumstances, the parents are still able to listen into the session. At the conclusion of the session, we will always communicate your child’s participation, progress and what to continue working on at home.

does my baby need a helmet

Torticollis and Plagiocephaly Awareness Day!

Torticollis is a condition in which a baby presents with tightness of their neck muscles.  Typically, we will see that the baby prefers to tilt their neck towards their shoulder (the tight side) and turn or rotate to the opposite side.

Plagiocephaly is a condition in which the skull becomes misshaped.  It is closely related with torticollis due to the asymmetry in the neck.

These conditions can begin from positioning during pregnancy and often worsen after delivery.  The sooner Torticollis and Plagiocephaly are identified, the greater success we have at treating them.  Muscles can lengthen and strengthen with intervention and head shape can be addressed with repositioning and the use of a cranial remolding band, in more severe cases.

Between birth and 6 months, a babies skull goes through rapid growth, making this an ideal time frame to treat head shape concerns.  It is also the most successful time frame to achieve full motion and strength of the neck.

If these conditions go untreated, they can lead to delayed and asymmetrical motor patterns and other long-term consequences associated with an abnormal head shape such as malalignment of the jaw, visual or auditory changes and safety concerns.

What to watch for:

  • Baby only turning their head one direction
  • Always sleeping towards the same side
  • Difficulty holding their head in the middle with tummy time
  • A neck tilt one direction
  • Flattening of the skull
  • Difficulty nursing on one side

*If you notice any of these concerns, seeking a Pediatric Physical Therapy consult and treatment is essential to ensuring the best outcomes!

FAQ: What makes a Pediatric Physical Therapist different from another Physical Therapist?

Because a Pediatric Physical Therapist specializes in children, there are significant differences in the approach to care.  Children require specialized care, care a pediatric therapist is trained to deliver.  Most adults who work with Physical Therapists understand that their recovery is a process that may involve some discomfort and patience to achieve the desired outcome.  Children need different motivators to encourage a positive outcome.  Pediatric therapy involves fun and playful therapeutic interventions and activities to allow children to maximize their functional independence within their environment.  A skilled Pediatric Physical Therapist will also work with parents and guardians to help them assist their child through the recovery and encourage a positive environment for all parties involved.

FAQ: Can I bring my child into physical therapy or do I need to see my doctor first?

Most of the time, you can bring your child directly to therapy for evaluation if you have concerns for your child’s range of motion, strength, developmental milestones, neurological condition, balance/coordination deficits, or sports injury. We are more than happy to offer a consultation and verify your benefits.  Some insurance plans will require a physician’s prescription before authorizing reimbursement.  We can help you expedite this process so that your child’s medical care is not delayed.

Identifying Child Developmental Delays

Child developmental delays are not always easy to spot.

It is important to remember that each child is unique and may develop skills differently than their peers. However, there are some signs to look for if you’re concerned about your child’s gross motor skill development:

  • Your baby is not tolerating tummy time or has difficulty lifting his/her head
  • You notice your baby is developing a preference to use only one side of their body (for example: they only reach with one hand or only roll over one side)
  • Your baby has a preference to rotate his or her neck to one side and you may notice a flattening on one part of the skull
  • Your baby has difficulty progressing through typical gross motor skills such as reaching, rolling, sitting, crawling, walking, or transitioning in and out of positions
  • Your baby lacks interest in transitioning to different positions
  • Concerns for foot or ankle positioning once baby pulls to stand
  • Any excessive tripping or catching of toes while walking

A Pediatric Physical Therapist can evaluate your child’s range of motion, strength, alignment, tone, walking pattern and balance skills to determine if physical therapy sessions may be necessary to assist your child in reaching his or her functional potential.  It is essential to seek early therapeutic intervention for the best outcome. Don’t wait to see if things will improve, let an experienced Pediatric Physical Therapist help!