Pediatric Physiotherapy for children with delays in development

Sancheti Hospital_Paediatric-Physiotherapy

Who is a Pediatric Physiotherapist? 
If you’re wondering about the difference between a pediatric physiotherapist and a general physiotherapist, read on to find out more. A pediatric therapist is a licensed healthcare professional who specializes in children’s treatment. A pediatric physiotherapist assesses various conditions in children, such as musculoskeletal injuries, birth abnormalities, and gross developmental delays, and treats other such conditions.

What are developmental delays? 
Developmental delay is a condition in which a child has not achieved all the developmental skills expected at his/her age. Developmental delays can be seen because of different causes such as asphyxia, premature delivery of baby, trauma during delivery, infections, genetic causes, and neonatal meningitis.

There are 4 major types of developmental delays- cognitive, sensorimotor, speech and language, and socio-emotional delays. Developmental delays are first observed by the mother as she is the primary caregiver of the child. Early detection of developmental delays helps immensely for early intervention.

Role of physiotherapy in children with developmental delays?
Physiotherapy is one of the main treatment options for developmental delays. A pediatric physiotherapist plays an important role in such cases. The main aim is to promote the ability of the child to reach the missing milestones and to promote independence so that the child won’t face any difficulties in future. A pediatric physiotherapist usually works on the neural centres, sensory system, vestibular system, proprioceptive centres, muscles and muscle spindles.

Goals of treatment –

  • Improve the independence of the child
  • Improve confidence of the child and parents
  • Help achieve delayed milestones
  • Improve muscle strength and control
  • Improve head control
  • Improve mobility, posture, gait, and balance.

The specialized treatment protocol is determined by the pediatric physiotherapist based on the assessment.  Different techniques are used while treating a child with a developmental delay such as Neurodevelopmental technique, Sensory integration, Myofascial release, Hydrotherapy, Assistive devices, Oromotor stimulation, and Play therapy.

  • The neurodevelopmental technique focuses on reinforcing the normal movement pattern without the use of compensation and strictly prohibits the use of abnormal patterns for motor recovery. Encourages proper alignment and symmetry of the trunk. Facilitates normal reactions.
  • Sensory Integration is designed to restore normal effective neurological processing by enhancing vestibular and proprioceptive systems. Enhances focus on education, society improves cognition.
  • Oro-motor stimulation helps to improve Oro-motor skills, which helps the baby in feeding and sucking.
  • Myofascial release along with stretching helps to loosen up the tight muscles.
  • Hydrotherapy is also one of the most used techniques in children with developmental delays. This technique uses water-based rehabilitation.
  • Play therapy is a type of psychotherapy that helps the child to tackle all emotional issues.
  • Assistive devices are external devices that are designed, or adapted to assist a person to perform a particular task.
  • An assistive device helps the child to maintain an upright posture, walk, and run.

Physiotherapy treatment will improve your child’s physical function by using a variety of activities that are fun and stimulating, as well as effective.

For more information on physiotherapy for developmental delay, or to book an appointment, contact Sancheti Hospital, Pune, one of the leading hospitals in the country for treating all illnesses.

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