Adults are not the only people that benefit from physical therapy. Children of all ages come in to get the personalized attention that comes from meeting with a therapist and learning new skills or practicing skills that need a little help. For some, these appointments are just to change minor issue before they become a real problem. Others come because they need help to have independent movement and skills as they grow.
How do you know whether your child needs physical therapy? Parents do not always know what is considered to be normal for children of a certain age. It makes it more difficult that some children develop sooner in some areas and later in others. However, there are some set standards that a pediatrician is aware of that help a doctor determine if there is a problem that needs to be addressed. If you, as the parent have any concerns, be sure to bring them up at the next doctor's appointment. Even if it is nothing it can not hurt to ask and get some peace of mind that everything is normal.
The Earlier, The Better
In most cases, the early a child begins physical therapy, the better. While this is not the only treatment option available for kids needing some extra assistance, it can begin to help. Some things can be corrected and improved upon right away while others may take months or even years to see real improvement. The goal is early detection of any type of issue so that the child can receive the necessary help as soon as possible.
Options for Patients
There are a variety of different ways that physical therapy treatment can be handled. Some parents go to the first few appointments with the child and talk to the therapist about what can be done at home. There are often exercises that can be practiced to make improvements. At certain increments, the parent and child will come back in for the therapist to talk to and check on how the progress is going.
Others will need to come in at set intervals. Some will come in a few times a week; some will come in a few times a month. The number of appointments often correlates to the issues being addressed. After an initial consultation, the therapist will meet with the family and explain how the evaluation went and which course of action makes the most sense for the child. Most of the time the medical professionals and parents work together to ensure that the child is making progress.
It is important to check with the health insurance company to see what if any pediatric physical therapy is covered. There are times when the coverage is denied and a medical practitioner needs to add more information to the claim to explain the situation and how these appointments will make a difference in the child's life.