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Physiotherapy for children with a disability

Physiotherapists for children (paediatric physiotherapists) can help children with disabilities to improve movement and function in the body caused by problems with muscles, bones or the nervous system.

The paediatric physiotherapist has specialised knowledge and experience of how children develop and acquire physical skills. The therapist is concerned with assessing, treating and managing children who have a general delay or disorder of movement which may be improved or controlled.

What a physiotherapist does

The physiotherapist works closely with the family and other team members. They will work with you to develop a suitable treatment programme for your child. They will discuss your concerns regarding your child’s physical development.

Some children will need physiotherapy for a few months, but for others it will be helpful throughout their lives. It may take the form of individual sessions or group sessions.

Children’s needs change and so do the needs of families. The physiotherapist may want to see your child very frequently at some stages and less frequently at other times.

Treatment programme

A physiotherapist will assess your child and find the best treatment programme for them.

The physiotherapist will consult with you about developing a treatment programme and involve you in activities to achieve these goals. A treatment programme will include long-term and short-term, achievable goals.

Treatment programmes may consist of positioning and handling through play as well as specific exercise programmes. Ideally the treatment programme is a part of the daily routine of the child.

It is important that the child, parents, carers and the physiotherapist work together as a team. The physiotherapist will work with your child’s school if necessary.

page last reviewed: 10/05/2019
next review due: 10/05/2022