Clinical Reference Guide:
What We Diagnose, How We Diagnose and Treatment Options
Disorder (ADHD) in Adults
Disorder (ADHD) in Children
Autism and Pervasive Developmental
EEG and Evoked Potentials Assessment (DEEP)
Cognitive Guidance for High Achievers
and Language Disorders
What is Physical Therapy?
Range of motion, proprioception (awareness of the
bodys position in space), strength, balance, coordination, dissociation,
integration of primitive reflexes, motivation
These are a few of
the many interrelated factors that contribute to a childs ability
to appropriately develop their gross motor skills. The most important
component is the proper functioning and integration of the childs
neurological system. When the brain is not operating in a typical fashion,
any of the above factors may be affected. Childrens gross motor
development is frequently impeded resulting in problems that range from
mild to severe.
When is physical therapy prescribed?
Often physical therapy is prescribed to address motor function impairments.
Pediatric physical therapists are specialists who currently must be
educated at the Masters or Doctoral level. These experts employ various
techniques to teach and/or retrain the neuromuscular system to function
is a more typical fashion. Children usually receive therapy for 45-60
minutes several times per week. Parents are encouraged to observe the
sessions and are taught how to facilitate the childs progress
at home. Below are examples of PT equipment used to help each child reach his/her maximum physical potential.
What is the Universal Exercise Unit?
The Universal Exercise Unit is found in most therapy
clinics in Europe and is recently gaining popularity in the United States.
The Universal Exercise Unit has many different uses. A series of ropes
and pulleys is configured to enable children as young as two years old
to perform resisted therapeutic exercise, in essence, weight training.
The Universal Exercise Unit can also be organized with bungee cords
to support children in various developmental positions enabling the
therapist to adjust alignment and further challenge the children.
What is the Therasuit?
The Therasuit, an improved version of the Adeli suit, originally developed
in Russia. The Therasuit is a dynamic orthotic (support system) for
the body. With the child dressed in the shorts, vest, kneepads, shoes
and cap of the Therasuit, small bungee cords are secured so as to mimic
the actions of major muscle groups. The bungee cords mimic the lines
of force generated by healthy muscles. The children and their neurologic
systems are exposed to normal movement. With repetition,
the brain learns and the children are often able to independently
mimic the normalized movement patterns.
How often is physical therapy scheduled?
While weekly physical therapy may be adequate for maintenance of acquired
skills, many children need a periodic boost to learn new
skills, increase strength and build up endurance. With physical therapy, marked improvement is most
noticeable in the areas of strength and endurance.