What is Pediatric Physiotherapy?
Pediatric physiotherapists specialize in childhood motor development. Pediatric physiotherapists aim to ensure that children seamlessly acquire gross motor skills, such as crawling, walking and running, without compensations, delays, or asymmetries. Gross motor skills can broadly be defined as large movements involving the arms, legs, or trunk muscles or the entire body. A thorough physiotherapy exam can verify the integrity of the child’s muscles and bones and identify any signs and symptoms indicating a compromise in motor development.
Pediatric physiotherapy is helpful in treating children with:
Torticollis and plagiocephaly
Hypotonicity and hypertonicity
Neurological impairments such as cerebral palsy
Coordination and balance difficulties
Other unspecified developmental motor delays
Pediatric physiotherapists are frequently challenged by situations involving children who have difficulties that represent variations from the usual flow of gross motor developmental events.
There are various approaches to treatment of a child presenting with motor delays. One of the approaches that we use here at Yaldei is called Cuevas Medek Exercise, created by Ramon Cuevas. The basic assumption of CME is that the child’s antigravity motor functions are triggered from the moment of birth and reach their peak around 14 months with independent gait. Therefore, CME works off the premise that the brain’s recovery potential can produce better responses if the child is gradually exposed to experience motor-postural challenges. The main idea of CME then is to “provoke the central nervous system to produce new functional reactions related to antigravity postural control, gradually providing the least amount of external support possible”.
In addition to having various levels of Cuevas Medek certification, our physiotherapists have also been trained in NDT and yoga for children with special needs.
Through reinforcing physical activities and play, a pediatric physiotherapist encourages the child to achieve not only important milestones, but greater independence so that the child can thrive at home, school and in their community.