Physiotherapy can help a child with:
- Developmental delay/Developmental difficulties
- Infants born prematurely or had a complicated birth
- Neurological conditions (Cerebral palsy, spina bifida, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, HIV, meningitis, traumatic brain or spinal cord injury, etc.)
- Coordination difficulties (Clumsy; “low tone,” etc)
- Genetic conditions/syndromes (e.g. Down Syndrome, muscular dystrophy)
- Rheumatological conditions (Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis or Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome)
- Orthopaedic/Musculoskeletal conditions (club foot, scoliosis, fractures, leg length discrepancies, hip dysplasia etc.)
Developmental Delay/Developmental difficulties
Any significant lag in a child’s physical, cognitive, behavioural, emotional, or social development, in comparison with the child peers of the same age is often recognised as termed developmental delay. Physiotherapy can assist with identifying any reasons for the delay intervention can help your child improve his or her developmental skills. In addition, sometimes your child may develop differently what what you expected, e.g. toe walking, W-sitting or bum-shuffling. Physio can help with identifying any underlying causes for this and assist with guiding your child toward a typical developmental trajectory.
Infants born Premature
Children born prior to 40 weeks gestation can be at high risk of developmental difficulties. Intervention is more beneficial and effective if a child born preterm receives it as early as possible. Physiotherapy can assist with early assessment and identification of any difficulties a child born preterm may be experiencing. If a child is experiencing difficulties or developmental delay, physiotherapy can assist with improving the child’s functional outcome.
Complicated Birth/High Risk Infants
Infants who experienced a complicated gestation and/or birth, should be followed up by a physiotherapist to assist with identifying any developmental complications as early as possible. These infants could have experienced in-utero infections, in-utero trauma (e.g. a fall), prolonged labour, birth asphyxia (lack of oxygen), severe jaundice, premature birth, low APGAR scores etc. Early identification can ensure early intervention. Early intervention has been shown in research to have better outcomes than later intervention.
Disorders or conditions associated with an undeveloped, differently developed or injured nervous system (e.g. brain or spinal cord injury) resulting in physical and/or cognitive challenges can benefit from physiotherapy. Some examples of these conditions include; brain tumours, cerebral palsy, degenerative conditions, Guillain-Barre syndrome, HIV, meningitis, spina bifida, traumatic brain or spinal cord injury, etc.
Coordination & Balance Difficulties/ “Low Muscle Tone”
Some children are told they have poor posture, are “clumsy,” have “low muscle tone” or “bad hand-eye-coordination.” These difficulties could be for a number of reasons. A physiotherapist can help identify any causes of these difficulties and assist with improving your child’s function and ability. Some children with Asperger’s or Autism also struggles with coordination and postural endurance.
These conditions encompass a wide variety of disorders and syndromes, generally caused by an absent or defective gene or by a chromosomal aberration. For example Muscular Dystrophy, Down Syndrome, Foetal Alcohol Syndrome.
Physio can assist with conditions presenting with chronic inflammation and/or rheumatologic markers. For example Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis or Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.
Conditions affecting the skeleton, muscles and connective tissue system. For example; hip dysplasia, club foot, fractures, dislocation, scoliosis, hyper-mobility, leg length discrepancies etc.