Let’s start with what we know: As well as what we learn in University; about human anatomy and physiology (our body and how all the parts interact), we learn about different developmental conditions that affect children and we study typical child development.
This picture was copied, with thanks, from dinopt's blog - which is great! Take a look at their motor milestones post, couldn't have written it better myself (although I will try at some point).
We want to know why babies and toddlers do what they do, and how each stage of early development lays the foundations for the next, whilst helping them master those that have come before.
We can use this knowledge to be able to reassure parents and carers, when their children are doing something that is within the very broad spectrum of what we know to be typical.
We can help identify babies and children who would benefit from early intervention to minimise functional impairments where there is a significant birth history (an event at birth that puts baby at risk of neurological impairment, or genetic risk factors). We frequently work closely with other therapies, medical professionals and agencies.
We support children and families whose children are affected by a neurodevelopmental disorders (Cerebral Palsy, Syndromes), to minimise the effect their sensorimotor difficulties – disturbances in the signals from the brain to the muscles, and in the signals from the sensory receptors in our bodies to the brain – has on their overall development and ability to learn and explore, communicate and become a happy healthy adult.
We also support children with disorders that limit their life expectancy (dystrophies, cancers) to enable them to have a full and happy- if too short life.
This is not an exhaustive list of what Paediatric Physiotherapists do; it is actually more of a list of what I do!
To elaborate more on what I can do and what I can’t do, I will share with you the answers to some of the Questions I get asked a lot.
Please add more questions in the comments (with answers if you have) and this way we can learn more about what children’s Physiotherapists can do, as well as what we can’t.
A few questions to get us started:
- Can you help make my child walk farther and stop them complaining of being tired when we are walking?
- Does my child need to crawl?
- Can you help my child to learn to walk?
- Can you fix Cerebral Palsy?
I will answer each of these, and others posted, in separate blog entries, so that any comments are organised – check me out organising the blog space!
So watch out for the answers to these, and post your questions and answers.
I am thinking for this month we will maybe focus on this as a topic, then in May we can move onto something different.
Other places you can go for information:
Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) leaflet about Children’s Physio: