Physical Therapy works with families to develop gross motor skills, fitness, and participation in community activities

Physical therapy promotes gross motor development including strength, balance, and co-ordination, as well as movement skills (catching and throwing a ball, kicking a ball, riding a bike) and functional independence.

Physical therapy assists families with questions, and concerns about large muscle development.

Motor development is encouraged through everyday activities, play, positioning, handling, and the use of equipment when necessary.

The physical therapist can provide individual screening, assessment services, and therapeutic treatment for children from birth to Kindergarten entry.

The physical therapist works with the family to:

  • develop strategies to promote gross motor skills so children can continue to progress at home, at preschool or daycare, and in the community
  • provide the family and care givers with resource information
  • consult on environmental adaptation to enhance independence and safety
  • refer to other health professional for treatment or further assessments
  • interpret medical information
  • promote recreational activities

WHEN DO YOU NEED A PT?

  • your child has a birth injury such as torticollis or erb’s palsy
  • a medical condition/diagnosis that will influence your child’s development
  • not developing or poor development of gross motor skills such as head control, sitting independently, crawling, or walking
  • poor balance with walking or running
  • post surgery

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER A REFERRAL?

  •  Your child will be placed on a waitlist
  • You will have an opportunity to attend a consultation meeting with a physical therapist where you will receive feedback on your child’s communications skills and suggestions if needed
  • A PT will contact you when a spot becomes available, and schedule an assessment for your child
  • During your initial therapy visit the PT will work with you to identify area(s) of concern that are interfering with your child’s development by asking you questions and conducting formal and informal assessments with your child

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER AN ASSESSMENT?

The PT will work with the family and team members to:

  • Develop goals and a program suited to your child’s individual needs
  • Provide therapy or consultation as needed
  • Provide service in the environment best suited to your child’s specific needs (home, Children’s Therapy Centre, and/or childcare centre)

HOW CAN I HELP MY CHILD AT HOME?

  • make sure their vision is checked, especially depth perception
  • minimize the amount of time your child spends in a Jolly Jumper, Exersaucer, car seat, swing or bumbo chair.  The floor is the best place for children to develop their muscle strength needed for developing their gross motor skills.  Tummy time to walking Handout
  • playing with your child at the playground
  • helping your child learn to how to ride a trike.  Pedalling a trike is a good way of building leg strength.  Using a balance bike helps with developing balance skills for riding a two-wheeled bike.  tricycle adaptation brochure

WHO CAN REFER?

If you have concerns or questions about your child’s physical development, you can refer your child directly.  Public Health Nurses, Family Physicians, Pediatricians, Daycare Providers and other service providers at the Child Development Association can also refer your child for you.

There is approximately a 4-month wait time for a screening or assessment appointment. After the screening or assessment, suggestions for home will be provided. There may be an approximate 6-month wait for direct therapy, if required.

RESOURCES/LINKS

Dianne Aikman

Dianne Aikman

Physical Therapist

Phone: ext 224
Email: pt@cvcda.ca

Laura McCaffrey

Laura McCaffrey

Supported Child Development Consultant

Phone: ext 287
Email:
laura@cvcda.ca