What is Paediatric Physiotherapy?
The Association of Paediatric Chartered Physiotherapists (APCP) give the following description:
"Paediatric physiotherapy is the treatment and care of babies, children and young people from birth to 19 years. Paediatric physiotherapists bring their specialist skills as physiotherapists and have additional expert knowledge and experience of child development and of childhood disabilities." (APCP, 2014)
Paediatric Physiotherapy treatments are based on individual assessments, where any issues around movement, strength or development can be identified by the therapist. Children are not just small adults, and their assessment must be tailored to their age, ability and personal goals. It should be fun and interactive, to encourage children to participate and maximise their outcomes from Physiotherapy.
Paediatric Physiotherapy works best when done in close partnership with the parents/caregivers, and other appropriate healthcare professionals involved in the child’s care
What to expect:
The initial consultation will last around 55 minutes. All children must be accompanied by an adult (parent/guardian/caregiver). After completing an initial questionnaire, Victoria will gain any further case history and information she requires. It is useful to bring along any documentation, scans or test results linked to the presenting condition that you may already have.
A thorough assessment of the child will be conducted. For babies, it is generally required that they are undressed to a vest during the assessment. For older children, particularly if presenting with leg or back pain, a loose top and shorts are advised.
From the information gained, Victoria will consolidate her findings, and provide an explanation of the expected cause of the issue. She will then, as appropriate, provide a plan for treatment, which may include exercises or activities to be completed at home between sessions. She will also advise on recommended frequency of therapy input, and expected number of sessions required. She will, with your consent, contact your child's General Practitioner, or refer on to other professionals (Consultants, Allied Health Professionals etc). Victoria will also work with you and your child to set goals for treatment.
Follow up treatment sessions vary from 30-55 minutes, dependent on therapeutic need. The follow up sessions will include reassessment, a review of any changes since the previous session, progression of treatment as required, and review of the goals set previously.