Pediatric physical therapy is a healthcare profession that encompasses evaluation and treatment of infants, toddlers, children and adolescents. It's very important to discover and treat problems in children on time. Research proves that early intervention works well with many pediatric diagnoses including but not limited to ADHD/ADD, ataxia, autism, brachial plexus injuries like Erb's palsy, cerebral palsy, developmental coordination disorder, developmental delays, down syndrome, gait abnormalities, muscular dystrophy, neurological impairments, orthopedic conditions, plagiocephaly, premature birth, scoliosis, sensory processing disorder, torticollis, toe walking, and traumatic brain injuries.
Physical therapists' entry level degree has changed throughout the years. It started with the bachelor's, continued to the master's, and now its the doctorate in physical therapy. Now little patients are treated by highly professional people with the highest possible degree.
Did you know that not every pediatrician specializes in child development? Only 15% of pediatricians are such specialists. Also, it is easy to miss signs of developmental delays during routine visits. That is when pediatric physical therapists can help.
Physical therapy evaluation usually starts with observation of child's appearance, movements, activities, behaviors. It may then continue to neurological and orthopedic exam, and it continues to testing with peer-reviewed assessment tools like Peabody Developmental Motor Scales - 2 (PDMS-2). The scores are then carefully calculated and conclusions are drawn as to whether the child requires physical therapy intervention.