A Physiotherapist (PT) is a healthcare professional with knowledge about the development and quality of human mobility and movement. With children, a PT’s focus is to promote optimal physical
and gross motor development to be able to play, to be independent, and to participate in family or
More specifically, PTs may help with the development, maintenance, or rehabilitation of:
- Range of Motion & Flexibility;
- Muscle Function;
- Posture, & Alignment;
- Breathing Mechanics;
- Fundamental Gross Motor Skills (e.g. crawling, walking, running, going up and down stairs, jumping, etc.);
- Balance & Body Coordination;
- Functional Visual Skills & Hand-Eye Coordination (e.g. kicking, catching, throwing a ball, etc.);
- Toileting & Incontinence;
- Physical Literacy (the motivation, interest, and confidence required to participate in physical activities);
- Participation in Physical Activities (e.g. climbing, biking, swimming, ice skating, etc.).
Types of Intervention
Children learn best when they feel safe and valued. Parents and caregivers are therefore a very important part of PT intervention. Sometimes, PTs support families in finding activities to practice on their own time, and act more as a coach for the kids and their loved ones to achieve their goals together.
Some benefit from more intensive support and more frequent visits with PT. Based on the very specific goal a family and PT will establish together, multiple visits/week may be the best way for the child to really integrate their new learned skills, so they can then organically build future skills on a new, more optimal foundation. During an “intensive” block of intervention, the PT has the chance to quickly build a trusting relationship with the child, learn what is motivating, regulating, and fun for them, and figure out what their learning style is. Setting up the right environment and consistency in our sessions, the child will thus have an optimal opportunity for learning.
A lot of people benefit from small group environments to learn. Establishing routines within the group helps create a positive learning experience, and that is a great opportunity for them to discover a new level of confidence. Groups introduce skills progressively to ensure as much success as possible, every step of the way. Participants can observe others and learn from each other. It can be more motivating to learn, to be challenged, and to succeed together.