At KidsAbility, many of the children and youth we help struggle with basic movements like crawling, walking, and running. This makes it hard for them to get around and play with friends. Our physiotherapists work with them to improve their movement skills and gross motor abilities so they can join in activities that matter to them and their families.
The primary objectives for physiotherapy are to:
- Ensure the child/youth can be as mobile as possible and function to their best potential in their homes and communities. This includes providing recommendations to safely access all aspects of the public school curriculum.
- Educate, support, and empower children and youth, families, caregivers in their homes and support staff in childcares and schools.
- Consult and train relevant careproviders in therapy programming.
- Identify potential movement problems for the child/youth in an effort to maximize movement and function
- Suggest safety and functional changes to home, community, childcare and/or school to support the full participation of the child/youth’s environment.
- Recommend adaptive devices for the child/youth to enhance functional participation in their environments.
- Establish connections with community resources as needed.
- Collaborate with other KidsAbility services when necessary.
What Service Looks like
We take a family-centered approach where the Physiotherapist and family are partners in setting and working towards achievable goals. Working with the child or youth’s determined goal(s) in mind, our Physiotherapist work towards optimizing physical function.
When co-designing treatment plans our physiotherapists will consider multiple areas of function that are impacted, that result in either activity and/or participation limitations/restrictions as related to the 6-F’s Framework in Childhood Disability (functioning, family, fitness, fun, friends, future).
Typical Conditions Seen by KidsAbility Physiotherapists:
- Cerebral Palsy
- Acquired Brain Injury
- Neuromuscular disorders (Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, Becker and Limb Girdle Dystrophies, Spinal Muscular Atrophy)
- Neurosurgical procedures
- Spina Bifida
- Neural Tube Deficits
- Skeletal (bone) disorders (Achondroplasia, Osteogenesis Imperfecta, Arthrogryposis, Congenital or traumatic amputations)
- Metabolic and mitochondrial disorders with neurological impairment
- Medically fragile conditions
Referrals should be made any time if your child:
- Appears “stiff” or “floppy”
- Abnormal posturing and/or movement concerns when performing large body movements
- Difficulty coordinating movements to perform lard body movements
- One side of the body moves differently than then other side
- Delayed gross motor development or regression of gross motor skills
- Physical disability diagnosed
- Is unable to lift and hold up their head when lying on their tummy
- Displays limited random movements of their legs or arms or movement appear “stiff” and/or limited “kicking” of legs noted
- Arches neck and back when lying on their back
- Has not achieved the activities listed for 3-month milestones
- Is unable to roll
- Appears “stiff” or “floppy”
- Does not bring hands to feet
- Requires a lot of support to maintain sitting position)
- Has not achieved the activities listed for 6-month milestones
- Is unable to push and bear weight on straightened arms when they are on their tummy
- Is unable to sit independently hands free
- Is unable to move in and out of positions on the floor (e.g. from lying on floor up to a sitting position)
- Is unable to take weight on legs in supportive standing position
- Does not roll or move on belly to access toys out of reach
*Please note that the inability to crawl is NOT a concern at this age.
- Has not achieved the activities listed for 9-month milestones
- Is unable to move in/out of positions on the floor including rolling.
- Not rolling, crawling or bum scooting.
- Has not achieved the activities listed for 12-month milestones
- Cannot pull up to stand at furniture
- Is unable to take steps while someone holds their hands
- Has primarily walked for a minimum of 2 months and their walking pattern appears:
- Awkward and/or one side of body looks different than other side of body
- Toe walking majority of time
- Pattern is not improving with experience
- Falls and no protective responses of arms
- Has not achieved the activities listed for 15-month milestones
- Is not independently walking
- Has not achieved the activities listed for 18 months
- Has difficulty getting from floor to standing hands-free
- Has poor standing balance
- Is toe walking majority of time with or without shoes and has no sensory concerns identified. If sensory concerns have been identified, they should be referred first to Occupational Therapy (OT).
- Has not achieved the activities listed for 24-month milestones
- Is unable to run or runs “stiffly” and/or uncoordinated
- Avoids stepping up, on or over obstacles (i.e. curb) hands free or independently
- Is tripping or falling consistently that you are worried about their safety (unrelated to impulsivity, vision and/or inattention) and your child is getting injured.
- Please note that falling is a part of typical development. Getting help from a physiotherapist is appropriate if:
- your child is getting injured often
- you need to contain your child or avoid places, so they don’t get injured
- your child was safely walking and suddenly becomes “clumsy”
- Your child has 2 or more of the following risk factors:
- Is not performing stairs upright with support (i.e. railing, wall hand)
- Is unable to jump
- Is unable to catch, throw or kick a ball
- Has not achieved the activities listed for 30-month milestones or
- Has difficulty standing up in the middle of the room hands-free with their heels on the ground
- Has poor standing balance on flat and/or uneven surfaces
- Unable to step up, on or over obstacles hands free/independently without falling.
- Unable to walk up/downstairs, one step at a time handsfree
- Walking pattern is awkward, one side of body looks significantly different than other side
- Has not achieved the activities listed for 3 years of age or
- Leans on furniture, walls or people to maintain balance
- Gross motor skills are significantly impacting being able to play with peers of same age