Does my child need therapy?

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

If you are asking this question, you probably need a professional to tell you the answer. Most of the time, go with your gut. Have your child evaluated by a pediatric PT.

Therapy is much easier when it is done sooner. A child left with any type of muscle imbalance or movement problem for a long time will end up with a list of problems later. Scooting to crawl is not cute, a “good baby” who never cries or tries to move is not normal, I could go on and on and on…So many times I hear the woes from parents who thought that their baby would just “grow out of it”. Your child will likely increase his or her skills but the way in which your child performs a skill can greatly affect his or her entire life, including cognitive development and later test scores. I don’t have the research pulled here to reference; but this has been well documented.

Don’t wait until that crack in the dam is a raging flood…seek help now to give your child the best chance that you can.

Click HERE for available books for more ideas.

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Side-lying play for your baby

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Late last night I received a frantic email from a lady in California. She was very concerned about her baby not staying in side-lying position and he has developed a flat head. She was at a loss about how to work with him.  I immediately sent her to my tummy time page and told her to check in tonight as I will post a large section on  side lying and soon will post on torticollis (wry neck) and head flattening (many fancy names but the sort common type that you may hear is plagiocephaly). As always, don’t despair as you are not alone!! These are common problems that I hope to clarify in a simple and easy to follow post. See my Side-Lying page here.

For ideas on how to play with your child, see available books HERE

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

What kind of shoes do you recommend?

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Shoes or No Shoes?

I often get asked about what shoes I would recommend for a child and when to start wearing shoes. This is a tricky question. With absolutely no foot abnormalities or tone problems, there are two schools of thought.

The Barefoot Crowd:

Most physical therapists would probably agree to allow a child to stay barefoot until he or she is walking well and it is time to venture outside.

The Shoe Crowd:

Others will argue the need for adequate support to the foot and ankle to help a child attain walking skills. Both would be right. There is a need for both.

I feel that a child staying barefoot inside is the better way to approach this; but it is not always possible to do so. Besides the sensory feedback and advantage of having the small muscles in the feet to get stronger from having to adjust to maintain an upright posture, there is the added benefit of the balance receptors in the feet having direct contact with the ground in order to develop well. All of this is kind of complex and I know you just want an answer. Here are some indoor shoes and first shoes that I do like. If your child attends daycare, for example, he or she may be required to wear shoes. This is another matter altogether. Make sure you purchase a flexible shoe, preferably with some slip resistant sole. There are many types as you see below. There are many conditions that require braces and therefore shoes at an early age. The shoes for this will be addressed later.

Click on the links for each type to see what is available:

1.) Robeez Shoes

2.) Skidders Slipper Shoes

3.) Pediped Shoes

4.) Umi

5.) Stride Rite Prewalkers

6.) Preschoolians

7.) IsaBooties

8.) Jack and Lily

9.) Nike Flyease 

Once your baby is up and walking, you will want to get something more supportive and make sure it is protective as well. It is tempting to get the matching shoes to an outfit or place the cute sandals on your child. It is fine to do this for pictures, etc; but the real goal is to get your child walking. If this is your true desire, then you need to help him or her the best that you can by providing adequate support and protection.

There is no need to spend a fortune to do this.

Most of the above brands and many others provide such options.

 

 

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Leg braces: does my child need these?

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

First, let me say that I probably get 50 % of my emails about this and about foot/leg positions of children in general. I am so glad that you are watching and observing your child. Please be patient as your baby learns to stand and walk, as this usually develops over time with a LOT of changes going on in his or her feet and legs. See my page on toeing in and out for some more information.

The good news is that your child will most likely grow out of whatever you are concerned about but you should always as your pediatrician about any suspected problems to get their expertise. Many problems need to be caught early in order to correct for the best results and if your mommy senses are “tingling” that something isn’t right, I would recommend a professional to evaluate your child. Most pediatricians know when to send you to a therapist. If you are not satisfied, please ask again until you get the information you need.

You are always going to be your child’s best advocate!

For information on books that are available, click HERE

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Discharge from Physical Therapy

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Discharge Day

The smell of flowers blooming filled the air, as I walked to my car. I knew the day that I walked into their home for the first time that this day would come; but that doesn’t make it any easier. For the next several minutes, tears roll down my cheeks, as I try to pull myself together before I reach my next home. That family  needs me too.

The child I just discharged was dear to my heart. I have been going to that house for over two years…laughed with them…cried with them…rejoiced with them. I am a pediatric PT and I work in the early intervention system, where I see the patients in their own homes. They all work their way into my heart and then the rules say that at age three…it all ends.

I feel great about what we have accomplished together. Every milestone was celebrated and enjoyed to the fullest; but the child still needs so much more and I am no longer the one who will be there to help her learn. Thank goodness for the wonderful clinics that I have referred them to; but I don’t want to stop.

There are so many joys in this job; but the sorrows are there too.

As I arrived at the next house, I saw a small child peering out the front door, watching for me–it’s my next patient. The smile on her face makes the sorrow in my heart dim just a little…

Thank goodness I am still needed!

For activities and ways to play with your child, click HERE

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

My baby won’t hold on to me

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Hey everyone,

I have been receiving multiple requests to address this problem. If you sense your baby is not “holding” you with his or her legs and arms, I strongly suggest that you have your baby evaluated by a pediatric physical therapist. This is generally a sign that your child is over using extension in his or her movement patterns. Other signs for this:

–arms stay pulled back and high, even in sitting

–unable to roll or “flips” to roll

–not grabbing feet after about 5 months old

–when on tummy, looks like he or she is “swimming” on tummy with arms and legs held up

This is a partial list. Please send me an email and we can talk further. Generally, this needs to be addressed by someone who can teach you how to hold and carry your baby. For now, try these things:

–carry your baby in a “ball” by curling feet toward hands

–place baby on his or her back and bring feet toward their hands to play peek a boo between his or her feet

–place your child in side lying to play (even if older). This will help bring arms together more.

These are just a few tips. More can be found under the gross motor activity pages for rolling, tummy time, and sitting games.

For more ideas on ways to play with your child, click HERE for available books.

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Easter Egg Hunting

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Don’t forget to get those eggs out now and practice! I remember when my first child was little getting swamped by the kids who knew how to get the eggs. My child was more like a spectator than a participant!

For years I have used dump and fill activities and particularly egg hunting, but forgot to get the eggs out way before for my own child.

Now I use Easter Egg hunting WAY before to help kids get the idea while at the same time accomplishing strengthening to their legs and core.

For Toe Walkers: this gets them going up and down more to help them (hopefully) get into a deep squat to stretch their heel cords

Make this a regular activity–use just about anything to “hide” and seek!

For more ideas, click HERE for available books.

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

New pages added: Activity Table, Ball play, and sitting

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

 

Hey everyone,

My mailbox is overflowing from your questions. A couple of things have stood out over the last week. I decided to post a few simple ideas and developmental progressions with ball play and activity tables as well as a basic sitting page. As always, this is not meant to take the place of therapy but will maybe give you some ideas to work on for fun and gross motor development.

 

Keep sending questions, I will privately answer you in a timely manner!

 

 

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail