How can Physio help, what can we do and what can we not do?

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:


Hello and Welcome to my blog

Who am I?

I’m Ellie – Mum of two wonderful boys, married to a childminder, and a Children’s Physiotherapist.

I started working in Paediatrics in 2008 and specialise in the assessment, management and treatment of children and young people -from 0-25 – with developmental delay and complex multiple needs that affects their function.  I have experience working with children with a variety of conditions, and their carers, including children with neurological, orthopaedic and developmental problems.

I have a special interest and knowledge in the provision of early intervention for; preemies (having had both my boys early – at 34 then 30 weeks gestation) and children with Cerebral Palsy.

I am Bobath Trained and adopt a holistic approach to management of children with Cerebral Palsy and other developmental disabilities. I am also trained in Sensory Integration Techniques to combine with NDT therapy. I work very closely with Speech and Language and Occupational Therapists where ever possible, as I strongly believe a great part of my role as a Physiotherapist is to reduce the impact a child’s disability has on their ability to function, participate, communicate and achieve.

I have worked in the NHS for 9 years, until recently, working with the Children’s Therapy Team in Newham. In July last year I left my NHS post (for lots of reasons, but mainly because I love treating children, and that is what I am good at, and I get to do loads more of it working independently). So I am now going it alone – working in East London, supporting children and families, and doing it my way – which I am loving.

However, I believe that really children and families shouldn’t have to pay to be reassured about their child’s development or to support their child with a disability. But I do still have a family to support so can’t work for free, so…

I thought I would write a blog – I can offer advice and answers to some of the questions I most commonly get asked. I can signpost families to guidelines that could support you to fight for what your child needs and offer tips to help negotiate your way through NHS services and treatment approaches that are out their.

I hope my posts are helpful and informative and interesting. If you want to chat to me and ask a specific question please add comments as there will probably be others out there with the same queries. If you want to chat privately my email and phone number are on the contact me page.

Enjoy my blog and please – I’m new to this so be gentle with me whilst i get to grips with blogging. Give your feedback freely so I can make my pages as useful as possible.

One more thing – To other Paeds Physio’s out there – please feel free to comment and agree/disagree with anything I post, I love a healthy debate.

Nearly done… To parents and carers – one of the wonderful things about Paediatric Physiotherapy is that there are nearly as many approaches to treat children as their are variations in children themselves. No child is the same so no one approach will work the same for every child. So there will always be differing opinions  about approaches. The way I look at it is; as long as we are working with families and children; talking about what works and what doesn’t; sharing good practice; and always striving to learn more & improve our skills your children are in safe hands.