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What does a Paediatric Physiotherapist do?

What does a paediatric physiotherapist do? So, your general practitioner has referred you to a paediatric physiotherapist, but why? Paediatric Physiotherapists are extensively trained to work with children of all ages from newborns through to adolescents. There can be many reasons that your child has been referred to a paediatric physiotherapist. They may have some difficulties with their movement, they may be delayed in their gross motor milestones or they may have had an injury. Paediatric Physiotherapists are experts in child development, particularly understanding typical and atypical development and attainment of milestones. Paediatric Physiotherapists are able to make an assessment and treatment program fun and effective. A paediatric physiotherapist will gain a detailed background information of your child and your concerns. From there, they will complete an assessment which can consist of observation, assessing muscle range and strength and completing functional tasks that may be difficult for your child. This will assist the paediatric physiotherapist in determining the best treatment plan for your child that is centred around you and your child’s goals and concerns. They may also use standardised assessments which can include use of the Alberta Infant Motor Assessment (AIMS) or the Hammersmith Infant Neurological Assessment (HINE) to name a few. Here at Unbreakable Physiotherapy we have a separate Paediatric gym space which has which has therapy resources to assist in completing an assessment. Your child may be asked to show how they throw or catch a ball, go up and down stairs or your baby may be encouraged to do different movements using toys as motivation. For the older adolescent they have the opportunity to utilise the gym space in the adult gym and as a part of their rehabilitation program may be asked to use the squat racks or Pilates reformer. A home exercise program will be devised for your child to complete at home and your physiotherapist will determine the ongoing therapy requirements dependent on your child’s goals. If your child requires further specialised assessment and management your physiotherapist will be able to refer you to the appropriate service. This may include referral to Monash Children’s Hospital or the Royal Children’s Hospital. If you have any concerns regarding your child’s development or you just think something is not right, it is always worth getting an assessment from your local paediatric physiotherapist.