Physiotherapy for children
Physiotherapy helps to promote optimal mobility, physical activity, and overall health and wellness. Physiotherapists address health needs using a holistic approach, focusing in particular on the musculoskeletal, neurological, cardiorespiratory, and multi-systems. (Canadian Physiotherapy Association, 2012).
A physiotherapy assessment can help to identify why a child is experiencing particular challenges with movement and/or function. Following assessment, the physiotherapist will engage the child and family in interventions designed to address each individual’s unique situation and needs.
Children with all levels of abilities can benefit from physiotherapy assessment and treatment, in particular, those who have the following difficulties or diagnoses:
- Children with developmental delay and/or delayed motor milestones
- Difficulties with coordination and/or fine and gross motor control, including children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD)
- Cerebral Palsy (CP)
- Pediatric stroke (CVA)
- Brain injury (ABI)/concussion
- Down Syndrome
- Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD)
- Children on the autism spectrum (ASD)
- Other neurological conditions
- Gross-motor function
- Developmental stages/milestones
- Postural alignment
- Range of motion, flexibility and orthopedic restrictions
- Muscle tone and spasticity
Standardized assessments commonly used: Movement Assessment Battery for Children-2 (MABC-2) and Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency (BOT-2).
Functional play-based interventions include:
- Motor learning strategies
- Optimizing posture, alignment, and movement patterns
- Core strengthening
- Balance training
- Gait training
- Sport-specific skills (i.e. bike riding, throwing and catching a ball)
What to Expect
Our physiotherapists work using a hands-on approach, with a focus on optimizing alignment and quality of movement, in order to attain client-chosen goals. The physiotherapist will evaluate the identified problems and challenges and will work with the child and family to establish goals and a treatment plan. Interventions include treatment in-clinic, home exercise programs, regular re-evaluations to ensure progress, and education for families/caregivers/schools. In certain cases, the plan may involve a referral to another therapist (e.g. audiology, speech-language pathologist, or occupational therapist). When clients are being seen by more than one profession, we use a collaborative interprofessional approach.
Our sessions are typically 1 hr in length, and all sessions are one-on-one with the physiotherapist. Our physiotherapists are experienced, evidence-based, committed to ongoing education, and absolutely love what they do!