Most parents have never heard of pediatric physical therapy, but it’s a vital part of helping children who have disabilities or developmental delays to reach their fullest potential. Physical therapists work with children to improve their strength, mobility, balance, and coordination. They also help kids learn how to properly use their muscles and joints to perform everyday activities.
If your child has a disability or developmental delay, your child’s pediatrician may recommend that you see a pediatric physical therapist. Here are some key things parents should know about pediatric physical therapy:
1. Pediatric Physical Therapists Are Highly Trained Professionals
A physical therapist who focuses on pediatric therapy has specialized knowledge and skills to work with children of all ages, from infants to teenagers. In order to become a pediatric physical therapist, a person must complete a physical therapy program and pass a national exam. In addition, most states require physical therapists to have a practitioner’s license in order to practice.
2. Pediatric Physical Therapy Can Help Your Child Reach Their Fullest Potential
Physical therapy can improve your child’s strength, mobility, coordination, and range of motion. It can also help your child learn how to properly use their muscles and joints, and how to stay in control of their body’s movements.
3. A Pediatric Physical Therapist an Important Part of a Multidisciplinary Team
If your child’s pediatrician recommended that you see a pediatric physical therapist, then this is likely to be part of a multidisciplinary team. This team may also include an occupational therapist, speech therapist, and other healthcare professionals who will work together to ensure your child is able to move, speak, and perform all of the necessary activities of daily living in a comfortable and functional way.
4. Pediatric Physical Therapy Is Covered By Most Insurance Plans
If your child has a medically documented disability or developmental delay, there’s a good chance that pediatric physical therapy will be covered by your health insurance plan. Be sure to check with your insurance provider before making an appointment, because there may be certain factors involved.
5. You Can Ask Your Doctor for a Referral to a Pediatric Physical Therapist
If you think your child would benefit from physical therapy, the first step is to talk to your child’s pediatrician. They can then refer you to or recommend a pediatric physical therapist in your area.
6. You Can Find a Pediatric Physical Therapist on Your Own
If you prefer, you can also search for and select your own pediatric physical therapist. However, keep in mind the various options or limitations that are in your health insurance policy, because your insurance plan may require a doctor’s referral in order for the therapy to be covered. Otherwise, you will have to pay out-of-pocket.
7. Pediatric Physical Therapy Sessions Usually Last for 30-60 Minutes
Most physical therapy sessions take an hour or less. The number of sessions your child will need will depend on the child’s individual needs and improvement rate. It is typical for children to attend physical therapy multiple times a week.
8. Pediatric Physical Therapy May Be Provided in a Group Setting or Individually
Most pediatric physical therapy is provided individually so that your child can get the specific attention they need. Your child may also receive physical therapy in a group setting. This can be beneficial because it allows your child to interact with other children and practice social skills.
9. You Can Expect to See Improvements in Your Child’s Condition with Time
As your child receives physical therapy, you will notice gradual improvements over time. Every child is different and will progress at their own pace.
Children with disabilities will not be “cured” of their condition, but pediatric physical therapy will help them build their muscles and practice movements necessary for gaining some independence in their lives. This is empowering, and it benefits their mental health in addition to their physical health.
Pediatric Physical Therapy Near Me
If you’re looking for pediatric physical therapy for your child, look no further than H2 Health. Our pediatric physical therapists have dedicated their careers to improving the lives of children who have any type of developmental delay or disability.
All of our therapists hold advanced degrees, are state-licensed, and have years of experience caring for children. To make an appointment, call us today at (800) 699-9395, or request an appointment here via our online form. We look forward to helping your child live their fullest life, one step at a time!