It’s true that the vast majority of patients that Physical Therapists see are adults, and often when we see children it tends to be for things like sports related injuries, but there are so many things that Physical Therapists can do for pediatric patients that go well beyond sports. In fact, Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists work with children from birth on to help restore or improve their mobility and enhance their quality of life.

What pediatric conditions can be treated with Physical and Occupational Therapy? Below is a list of some of the conditions that we see more frequently, however there is a very wide array of conditions that can see improvement with Pediatric Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy.

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Blount Disease
  • Balance and Vestibular Disorders
  • Birth Defects and Complications
  • Bowel and Bladder Incontinence
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Complications of Prematurity
  • Concussion
  • Container Baby Syndrome
  • Contracture of tendons
  • Down Syndrome
  • Developmental Delays or Disabilities
  • Gait Abnormalities
  • Genetic Disorders
  • Impaired Gross Motor Coordination
  • Infant Prematurity
  • Juvenile Dystrophy
  • Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Neuromuscular problems
  • Orthopedic related conditions
  • Scoliosis
  • Spina bifida
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Spinal Muscular Atrophy
  • Torticollis
  • Visual Difficulties

In addition to the diagnoses listed above, Occupational Therapist can also provide services for the following diagnoses:

  • Learning disabilities
  • Behavioral/attention disorders
  • Sleep pattern disruption
  • Sensory integration/processing disorders
  • Feeding disorders, specifically feeding aversions (extreme over-sensitivity)

How is pediatric Physical and Occupational Therapy different from regular Therapy?
Pediatric Physical and Occupational Therapy take on a different style by incorporating play into therapy. In order for children to gain strength, improve balance, improve function, and be challenged to begin crawling and walking, and completing meaningful activities they need stimulation through play, social interaction, and sensory stimulation with different surfaces.

What are the benefits of sending my child to Physical or Occupational Therapy?
Pediatric Physical and Occupational Therapists determine what is causing your child to experience limitations or delays during completion of meaningful tasks. They incorporate play to therapy session to assist children in reaching their goals. Physical Therapist assist children in gaining strength, balance, and function for reaching developmental milestones in an age-appropriate manner. Pediatric Occupational Therapist assist children in the areas of fine motor skills, cognitive skills, social development, sensory processing, and establishing self-care routines. Together, these skills lead to children being able to grow into healthy, well-functioning adults.

What is the overall goal of Pediatric Physical and Occupational Therapy?
The overall goal is to have each child reach their maximum potential in cognitive, physical, sensory, and motor skills as well as enhance their self-esteem and sense of accomplishment during completion of meaningful activities.

What clinics offer Pediatric Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapy?
We offer Pediatric Physical Therapy at each clinic, with a majority of patients being seen in the Perryville, Bloomsdale,and Ste. Genevieve locations. We currently offer Pediatric Occupational & Speech Therapy at our clinics in Perryville, Ste. Genevieve and Bloomsdale. Our services include clinic-based therapy, home health, and First Steps (covering children from birth to age three in their home environment). In theschool district, we work with children in the early childhood setting up to high school age.

What is my role in my child’s Therapy?
Parents and guardians have a very active role in pediatric Physical and Occupational Therapy through engaging in their child’s treatment and exercises. They are the essential component to the carryover of exercises and activities given to their child in their home exercise program, and are essential to the progress each child will make with their Therapy. If the home programs are not carried out at home, the child will make some progress, but not nearly the amount of progress that can be seen when a parent is engaged with the child's Physical and Occupational Therapy program. Pediatric Physical and Occupational Therapy is a teamwork world where the therapists and the parents work together in order to further progress the child towards the main goal of developing consistent with their age-related peers.

If you would like to know if your child can benefit from pediatric Physical and Occupational Therapy talk with your doctor or contact Mid America Rehab for a free screening.

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