Travel Tips for Traveling with Kids & Assistive Devices

✈️ As you travel, here’s some helpful tips for traveling with your child’s assistive devices.

✅ Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) makes it illegal for airlines to discriminate against passengers because of their disability. What does that mean?
▶️ Walkers/Gait Trainers can be checked for free at ticketing OR the gate. They don’t count as luggage!
▶️ Wheelchairs can be checked for free at ticketing OR the gate.
▶️ Strollers can be checked for free. They don’t count as luggage!
▶️ Children that wear braces like SMOs and AFOs can keep them and their shoes on to walk through TSA.
👩‍💻 For more information you can visit the government website at…/traveling-disability
orthotics footwear

How do you find a proper shoe to fit with orthotics?

Pediatric orthotics are great devices in helping support a child's foot/ankle position, encourage mobility and overall improve stability and gait success. At Total Pediatric Therapy we will often work with orthotic fitters and the child's parents to get the child properly fit for their orthotics. The orthotics then become an integral part of the child's rehabilitation process.  The challenge that arises is, "How do you find a proper shoe to fit with orthotics?"

We know it can be difficult to find shoes that work with your child's orthotics. To help we have created this recommendation list. These recommendations come directly from clients that have found they work. If you have any to suggest please let us know!

Nike Revolution 5 (Flyease or Not)
Adidas EQ21 EL
Billy Footwear
New Balance Wide or Extra Wide
Plae - Ty with Large Mesh

Welcome Dr. Brittany Zimmerman to our team!



Total Pediatric Therapy is happy to welcome Dr. Brittany Zimmerman, PT, DPT to our pediatric physical therapy team!  In 2020, Total Pediatric Therapy built out the Suite next to our old office that was shared with Total Sports Therapy.  This increased our ability to serve more pediatric patients.  The growth we experienced was phenomenal and we are fortunate to have Brittany join us, sharing the same philosophy and approach to care.

Total Pediatric Therapy is located in the North Valley serving the communities of Cave Cree, Carefree, North Scottsdale, and North Phoenix. Call to schedule your appointment with Dr. Zimmerman at 480-272-6332. To learn more about Brittany, visit her bio page here.


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.

Helping a Dream Come True!

Total Pediatric Therapy is passionate about helping our patients achieve their greatest potential mobility in any way possible.  Mobility can come along in many forms of opportunity.  This weekend, Total Pediatric Therapy headed to Utah and was able to participate in the adventure of a lifetime to help a patient of ours reach a lifelong goal.

Anthony Castle (A.C.) is an amazing individual.  A.C. has Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy, which is a progressive neuromuscular disease.  While his mobility has progressively become more limited, his drive and passion for adventure certainly has not.  Anthony lost his ability to walk as a teenager and now relies on a power wheelchair for mobility.  His medical care has become complex over the last few years.  One of his dreams was to hike through Bryce Canyon and the Zion Narrows.

Katie Prenovost, PT, DPT (Owner/PT), Brittany Zimmerman (PT) and Tyler Prenovost (Co-Owner) joined A.C. and a team of 20 others to help make Anthony’s dream possible.  The success of this adventure took the support and love of Anthony’s remarkable family, a crew of 5 Firefighters from the Little Tujunga Hotshots out of California, two Physical Therapists and a network of friends and family that continue to advocate for and support Anthony on his journey.

Weeks prior to the trip, Katie and Brittany helped make necessary adjustments to Anthony’ hiking chair to ensure comfort and proper mechanics to promote safety for this journey.  During both hikes, they were able to transfer Anthony out of his chair for necessary stretching and tissue work to ensure he could tolerate the longevity and variability of the hiking to greater enhance his experience.

We are immensely proud of Anthony and grateful to be a part of his journey.  It reinforces that abilities come in many forms.  A.C.’s smile and drive to explore motivates us and we hope that other individuals with limited abilities will look at his journey and know what IS POSSIBLE.

For more information on Anthony’s journey:

Watch Carry On: Finding Hope in the Canyon | Prime Video (

For more information on Duchene’s Muscular Dystrophy:

Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD) | Fighting to End Duchenne (

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!

Clinical Educator of the Year

Total Pediatric Therapy Awarded Top Clinical Educator of Year

Katie Prenovost, PT, DPT, is top Clinical Educator of the Year!

At Total Pediatric Therapy, we are passionate about helping our pediatric patients and their family's get results.  We also work with many physical therapy schools in providing an opportunity for their students to get hands on experience in pediatric therapy.

We often have the opportunity to work with many future physical therapists from Northern Arizona University's Physical Therapy Program. Our Director of Pediatric Therapy and owner, Katie Prenovost, PT, DPT, was recently awarded NAU's Clinical Educator of the Year! This was based on the students' nominating our clinic and by review of the professors at NAU. This is a very touching award to know that we are providing the best possible experience for these future physical therapists!

Here are a few of the comments that NAU instructors passed on to us from their students:

Katie is truly an advocate for her patients.

Katie shows so much compassion to her patients and goes above and beyond expected patient care.

Katie’s passion for her work is apparent in everything she does.

I genuinely believe she takes prides in her work as a clinical instructor and holds it in equal regards to her duties as a clinician and business owner.

Katie has displayed clinical excellence by teaching me the importance of building strong rapport with physicians, patients and families through consistent communication, education, and empathetic attitude.

Her vision is patient-centered, fulfills a need for the community, and advocates for the importance of physical therapy as a profession.

Katie consistently demonstrated qualities such as compassion, selflessness, service and desire to go the extra mile, which sets her apart.

Helping Your Baby Sit Upright

Improve your baby's seated position

I am often asked, "How do I help my baby sit upright?" Once your baby has mastered tummy time and rolling, they can start sitting with support around 5-6 months of age and usually become independent with sitting by 7-8 months.  Here are a few different ways to help your baby learn how to sit:

  • Place their hands in front of them.  While sitting behind them, provide support with your hands at their waist or legs to assist with their balance.
  • Place a boppy pillow (like the photo to the right) behind your baby while they are in the sitting position for support and safety.
  • Place toys that are slightly taller than the floor in front of your baby.  This will enable your baby to sit more upright while playing.

Remember, while sitting is such an exciting independent skill, we don’t want to lose focus on the importance of tummy time.  Tummy time is what will lead to crawling, which is essential for future milestones.  Stay tuned for more information on how to help your baby crawl on our next post!  Contact us with any questions!

baby sit upright

Baby Rolling, The Next Step

Tummy Times Next Step

Now that you have set the groundwork with tummy time, we can introduce your baby to rolling! Babies start independently rolling anywhere between 3 and 6 months of age. Helping your baby to roll can assist them in developing their neck, shoulders, core and hip muscles for future skills. Guiding your baby by rolling back and forth to their belly can also provide them with needed rest breaks from tummy time.

Watch our video below for a quick tutorial on how to guide your baby through a rolling exercise. As you facilitate your baby through this exercise, remember that you want your baby doing as much as they can on their own for optimal strengthening and carry over. Also, make sure you help your baby roll over the left and right sides of their body to increase symmetry of movements. Reach out with any questions or comments. Remember to follow us on Facebook or Instagram for more tips. Now let’s get rolling!

Baby Development: Rolling

does my baby need a helmet

Does my baby need a helmet?

I often get asked, “Does my baby need a helmet?”.  Here’s some information on the why, how, and when we need to address an abnormal head shape!

A cranial remolding band or helmet (also known as a DOC Band from Cranial Technologies) can assist in re-shaping your baby’s head when flattening has occurred.

Flattening or an abnormal head shape can occur from either positioning while inutero or excessive time spent on the baby’s head after birth. Plagiocephaly, brachycephaly or scaphocephaly (all abnormal head shapes) can lead to developmental asymmetries, changes with vision, hearing impairments, feeding limitations and other alignment concerns. It’s important to understand that an abnormal head shape is NOT simply a cosmetic issue.

If you notice misshaping or flattening of your baby’s head, seek a skilled Pediatric Physical Therapy evaluation as soon as possible! Here at Total Pediatric Therapy, we can assist with repositioning in an attempt to avoid the use of a band or guide you through the process if one is necessary. Pediatric PT’s can also assist with improving strength and mobility of the baby’s neck, which is often related to head shape concerns.

Assessing the severity of your baby’s head shape and considering their age, helps to guide our treatment approaches.

Ideal treatment times to reshape a baby’s head are between 0-6 months of age, specifically 3-6 months for a helmet. During this time frame, the head grows rapidly and allows reshaping to occur most successfully! After 6 months of age, that growth slows significantly and treatment times are longer.

Earlier treatment leads to improved outcomes! Please reach out with questions or share your experience.  Contact us for an evaluation if you have concerns.