What is Pediatric Therapy?
Pediatric Physical Therapy
Pediatric physical therapists work with children and their families to assist each child in reaching their maximum potential to function independently. Treatments may include motor control and motor learning, neurodevelopmental treatment, manual therapy, strengthening, taping techniques and gait training, delivered through play and activities designed to stimulate your child. Physical therapy aims to help children with achieving developmental milestones such as sitting, standing, crawling, and walking.
Physical therapists provide evaluation, intervention and consultation in the following areas:
- Gross Motor Development
- Muscle Tone & Strength
- Posture & Postural Control
- Pre-Gait & Gait Training
- Locomotion Patterns
- Neuromuscular Function
- Musculo-Skeletal Conditions
- Body Alignment
- Environmental Adaptations & Seating & Positioning
- Sports/Dance Prep or Enhancement
- Wellness & Healthy Lifestyle
Pediatric Occupational Therapy
Many people are surprised to hear that children participate in occupational therapy, because the term occupation is often associated with work. Occupational therapists help children be successful in the many “jobs” of childhood, including play, self-care, school performance and social interactions. Developing these skills is critical for transition to the independence required in adulthood. Pediatric occupational therapists address many skills needed for success in a child’s daily life. Evaluation, intervention and consultation may be provided in the following areas:
- Fine Motor & Handwriting Skills
- Sensory Integration
- Motor Planning
- Oral Motor Functioning
- Self-Help Skills
- Environmental Adaptations
- Play & Socialization Behavior
Pediatric Speech Therapy
The goal of Speech Therapy is to help children to become successful communicators and independent language learners. This is achieved by tailoring programs specific to each child’s needs in any or all of the following areas:
- Expressive Language Skills
- Receptive Language Skills
- Speech Production & Articulation Skills
- Social Skills
- Feeding & Swallowing
- Oral Motor Skills
- Disorders of Voice
- Disorders of Fluency
- Augmentative & Alternative Communication Skills
- Using & Understanding Gestures & Facial Expressions
Treatment is focused on enhancing core stability, extremity function, and gross motor ability. Our therapists create individualized therapeutic programs based on evaluation and evidence-based practice and work with family members to support them in the child’s development.
- Developmental delays
- Coordination/balance disorders
- Surgeries or traumas
- Neurological impairments
- Hip disorders/developmental dysplasia of the hip/transient synovitis/juvenile idiopathic arthritis
- Idiopathic toe walking
- Orthopedic conditions/sports injuries
Pediatric Therapy and the Role of the Parent
As the child’s parent or primary caretaker, you will actively participate in their therapy program by communicating daily with the pediatric therapist. You’ll learn how therapy techniques facilitate your child’s developmental progress. You’ll also learn how to adapt certain toys to enhance your child’s therapy needs, use therapeutic equipment correctly and provide the therapist with pertinent information about your child’s mental and physical health.
*Not all locations treat all ages of pediatric patients. Services are not available at all locations. Call or click the location page near you for that center’s services.
What to Expect
Every patient has a unique health history, diagnosis and personal goals. When you come for your first appointment, we will create a personalized treatment plan for you.
We work with most major insurance providers and do our best to help keep the paperwork pain-free. If you’d like to confirm your insurance coverage, please let us know and we can verify when you schedule. If your insurance provider requires a co-pay, we will ask for this payment at each visit. We accept payments by cash, check or credit card.
When to Arrive
On average, a patient’s first visit lasts about an hour. We typically ask patients to arrive 15 minutes early to sign-in, complete paperwork and/or change clothes.
What to Bring
On your first visit, you’ll need to bring your physician referral or prescription (if needed), your insurance card, your primary registration forms, your ID or driver’s license and your co-payment (as applicable). If desired, you may bring a change of clothing.
How it Works
During your first visit, your physical therapist will do an initial evaluation and discuss your plan of care. The therapist uses this information to set goals for your continued treatment. Physical therapy goals may include improved movement, strength, endurance and flexibility, as well as decreased pain. Your subsequent visits will focus on treatment that is based on your diagnosis and individualized goals.