What Signs Indicate that a child might need a PT evaluation?

If you are concerned about any of the following things, you may want to discuss a PT referral with you physician.


  • Your child does not seem to be attaining expected gross motor milestones, they seem to have stopped developing new skills, or lose skills they once had
  • Your child’s head is always tilted to one side, or they cannot turn their head equally to both sides.
  • You notice that your child does not use one side of their body as much as the other side (arm or leg).
  • Your child’s muscles seem very stiff, or too floppy
  • Your child always walks on their toes, toes in, or toes out excessively
  • Your child seems excessively clumsy or falls more often than expected for their age
  • Your child can’t keep up, seems fatigued or complains of being tired all the time
  • Your child was born prematurely, has a medical diagnosis of torticollis, or any type of developmental delay


What is Pediatric Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy (PT) is a profession that helps people move freely.  The pediatric physical therapist evaluates children to determine the source of their movement difficulties.  The therapist can then use a variety of means to improve the child’s ability to perform skills such as head control, rolling, sitting, crawling, walking, running, jumping and climbing. The goal of PT is to improve independence and to develop strategies to allow every child to move, learn, and play.

What do Physical Therapists (PT) Address?

PT's work on gross motor skills, balance, coordination, strength, endurance, and, range of motion.  Movement control, motor planning, or adaptations needed to play can also be addressed. The therapist will be involved in determining what equipment might be needed to help a child achieve their highest potential including designing, fitting and using orthotics, prosthetics, mobility devices and assistive technology.

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Who Can Benefit From PT?

Children who display difficulty with movement, balance, endurance or coordination may benefit from physical therapy treatment. PT’s work with children who have mild to severe delays. Children with diagnoses such as prematurity, developmental delay, torticollis, autism spectrum disorder, down syndrome, motor dyspraxia, hypotonia, cerebral palsy, genetic disorders, orthopedic disorders, and toe walking can all be helped with physical therapy. Pediatric PT’s work with children from birth through age 21, so it’s never too soon or too late to begin.