The overall goal of pediatric physical therapy is to enhance each individual’s capacity to attain their maximum motor development.
The first year of life sets the foundation for later motor development. Acquisition of appropriate motor skills and muscle development is a major component for continued motor growth. If a child is at risk for delayed motor development, intervention must be started as early as possible to promote optimal outcomes and prevent secondary consequences.
Although development is unique to each individual child, pediatric physical therapists must study normal development extensively to be able to predict an expected range of motor acquisition.
Generally, a baby should develop:
- Head and midline control by 3 months of age
- Sit by 6 months
- Pull to stand and cruise by 10-12 months
- Walk between 12-15 months
- By 2 years they should be able to jump and begin to ride a tricycle
- balance and motor skills develop through 6 years of age to allow them to build on their motor foundation
Pediatric physical therapists promote the maximum attainment of movement and function. They do so by addressing movement patterns and quality of movement. Treatment involves direct handling and input to provide optimal management for children to utilize their movement. It is essential that the trained therapist know the appropriate development of the child’s motor skills.
Regardless of the cause of delayed development, the pediatric therapist is challenged to enhance each child’s maximum potential. The therapist works closely with the family and other team members to promote optimal progress of each individual.
Treatment of Torticollis
Dr. Miles and the skillful associates of physical, occupational, and speech therapists feel strongly that screening for early red flags for torticollis, including but not limited to: neck range of motion, head shape asymmetries, vision, delayed development, toe-walking, feeding, sensory processing, language, and speech delays must be a part of a child’s on-going medical and developmental plan.