Pediatric Physical Therapy

What is Pediatric Physical Therapy?

According to The ABC's of Pediatric Physical Therapy published by the Section on Pediatrics of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), "pediatric physical therapists work to help children reach their maximum potential for functional independence…." Our therapists do this by using proven and effective rehab methods based on current research to evaluate and treat movement disorders.

Treatments Available…

Our therapists have specialized training to work on developing specific goals and abilities while allowing children to play and have fun. Areas of concern commonly addressed include:

  • Developmental activities
  • Strengthening
  • Movement and joint mobility
  • Post surgical rehabilitation
  • Tone management
  • Motor learning
  • Balance
  • Postural alignment and control
  • Gross motor coordination
  • Recreation, play and leisure
  • Adaptation of daily care activities and routines
  • Equipment design, fabrication and fitting
  • Orthotics and prosthetics consultation
  • Home exercise programs
  • Wheelchair prescription
  • Endurance
  • Pulmonary function / breathing pattern
  • Aquatics

Who would benefit from Physical Therapy?

Individuals with:

  • Developmental delay/disabilities
  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Rett syndrome
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Juvenile arthritis
  • Spina bifida
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Torticollis
  • Asthma
  • Down syndrome
  • Angelman syndrome
  • Genetic disorders
  • Seizure disorders
  • Cardiac issues
  • Other neurological or musculoskeletal disorders

Does my child need physical therapy?

Your child may benefit from an evaluation by a physical therapist if he or she:

  • Does not meet motor milestones as expected
  • Has difficulty keep head and trunk in good alignment
  • Seems stiff when moving
  • Seems floppy
  • Doesn't seem interested in movement
  • Demonstrates poor balance or seems clumsy
  • Walks on toes
  • Has difficulty coordinating whole body for galloping, skipping, jumping, etc
  • Seems to tire easily or requires frequent rests during or between activities
  • Has a neuromotor impairment such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida or TBI
  • Has difficulty regaining normal skills following orthopedic surgery
  • Is in need of assessment for equipment such as wheel chair, seating system, walker/cane, standing frame, etc
  • Has ankle or foot pain due to flat feet
  • Complains of joint pain, swelling or stiffness

Motor Development Charts


How can I start my child in a pediatric physical therapy program at Children's Rehab Center?

The process of supporting children and families begins with obtaining a physician referral for a PT evaluation. The physical therapist will take a history to identify the child’s needs and continue with an examination and evaluation of the child. This evaluation may include, but not be limited to muscle and joint function, mobility, strength and endurance, cardiopulmonary status, posture and balance, sensory and neuromotor development, and use of assistive devices. Collaboration then takes place with the families to provide assessment results, recommendations, and education and to develop functional outcomes (goals) and a plan of care.