As a parent, you want the very best for your child. You may have noticed some physical mannerisms that make you wonder if your child is developing normally or if he or she might need to see a physical therapist. This is different than going to a medical doctor. Physical therapy is a way of treating the human body because of an injury, disease, or other developmental issues. Treatment consists of various physical methods using massage, heat, and exercises instead of prescribing drugs or performing surgery. Below is a list of signs that may indicate that your child may need to see a physical therapist.
If you notice that your child doesn’t like to run and play with the other children, that could be something to look into. Also, if you have heard from the teacher that your child is not performing up to expectations in physical education class, you might consider seeing a physical therapist. If a school-aged child cannot do jumping jacks or has trouble skipping, it might be time to talk with your pediatrician or family doctor.
Some children have weak core muscles. This is evident if they have trouble sitting up straight while sitting on the floor, preferring instead to rest their head on their hands. Slumping or slouching at a desk is another clue. This could mean difficulty with muscles in the trunk area. Kids who have this problem often have poor handwriting or write very slowly.
Children who are older than four years should be able to walk up and down stairs. If you see a child putting both feet on a step before proceeding, that could mean weakness in leg muscles or trouble with balance or coordination.
If your child regularly walks on their toes so that it looks like they are bouncing, this could be caused by a weak core or tight muscles. It could cause frequent falls or muscle spasms which might be alleviated by physical therapy.
If you aren’t sure if your child needs to see a physical therapist, talk to a physician about your concerns. You might also discuss the situation with your child’s teacher since the teacher is with your child all day and may be able to give you some insight such as noticing things that would indicate a possible need for physical therapy.
The Connections Therapy Center
The Connections Therapy Center serves families of children and adolescents with disabilities and special needs. We are a team of experts in the fields of pediatric speech, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and behavioral sciences. As a team, we offer intensive hands-on therapy for children and adolescents, as well as informative and useful resources for families. If you are interested in learning more about what we can do to help your family, visit us online or give us a call at (202) 561-1110 (Washington, D.C. office) or (301) 577-4333 (Lanham office). Want to get more information on how to help your child thrive? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest.