The Role of Physical Therapy In Child Development

March 24, 2021

There’s nothing more satisfying and rewarding than seeing your child conquer one milestone after the other. Being able to witness their growth and development is priceless. And just seeing them being able to explore new movements and recognize what’s around them effortlessly means the world.

Though not all children grow and develop the same, there may be some instances or moments where you feel that some of the milestones that your child is supposed to have achieved by this point in their young lives are taking a while to happen. They may be experiencing some developmental delays  in gross motor skills, fine motor skills, language skills, cognition, or a combination of several of these.

How do you spot these delays? In what circumstance should you start being concerned, and start asking for professional help? With keen observation, especially with regard to their movements and behavior, whether at home, on playdates, or in preschool/daycare with children around their age. You should be able to see if they are moving less compared to the other children, if they tend to fall or trip often, or if they are having a hard time keeping up with the other children.

After making these observations, and you feel concerned that your child might be experiencing the said developmental delays, what you can do is contact your trusted professional that offers physical therapy for children. You may wonder,  around what age can a child receive physical therapy? If your child demonstrates limitations in or inability to perform normal age-appropriate motor skills, they  should be referred for a physical therapy consultation.

The role of physical therapy for children would be to properly evaluate and provide treatment for delays in motor skills by developing the strength and range of motion that children need to move through their environment easily and effectively. In addition to the evaluation of flexibility, strength, posture, gait, sensory processing, balance, coordination, and skill, physical therapy is also needed to assess motor development using standardized testing for age equivalents.

Where can you find a physical therapist for your child? Pediatric physical therapy is practiced in many places including  hospitals, outpatient clinics, in the child’s home, schools, day care centers, and Early Intervention Programs. A referral to an EI program that will assist families in accessing appropriate pediatric therapies within their communities. 

About Play’s Early Intervention program is designed to improve outcomes for children with developmental delays and disabilities. We provide  early, appropriate, and intensive interventions where children and families learn together. Early Intervention is a range of services designed to support a family at the early stages of an infant or toddler’s developmental delay or disability.

About Play provides early intervention services in South Carolina. These services include Family Training and Service Coordination to children and families in the following counties: York, Chester, Lancaster, Fairfield, Richland, Lexington, Newberry, Greenville, Pickens, Spartanburg, Union, Cherokee, Greenwood, Laurens, Kershaw, Sumter, Chesterfield, Lee, Darlington, Florence, Marion, Dillon, Clarendon, Williamsburg, Horry, Dorchester, Berkeley, and Charleston. Visit our Referrals page for more information: 


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