Pediatric Physical Therapy VS Occupational Therapy

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Today we're going to talk about pediatric physical therapy vs occupational therapy.

Pediatric Physical Therapy.

Pediatric physical therapists work on a wide range of diseases as well as ages.

It could range from working with preterm infants in the NICU and all the way up to 16-year old’s and working on how they're going to transition into college or into the workforce.

Pediatric physical therapist focuses a lot on developmental skills, a pediatric physical therapist helps kids who are developmentally delayed for whatever reason, based on pre diagnosis and analysis. With pediatric physical therapy you help your baby meet their fine and gross motor milestones.

If your baby goes to physical therapy there's multiple environments in which that may happen. One could be in the school the other could be in the home and the other can be in a hospital or an outpatient clinic.

The most effective therapy has always involved families and caretakers. The more involved families are the better the outcome actually becomes. So, the beauty of pediatric physical therapy is that it is a very creative way of helping babies move and meet their development milestones.

If a therapist is working with a toddler and they look like they're having a really great time it's actually really good therapy, because what's happening in the therapist mind is how do I want this child to move? How do I want their quads to work? How do I get this baby to roll over? With kids you have to be an animal sometimes, sometimes you have to make them laugh and sometimes it is you that have to do the jumps, you have to integrate all of that into what kids consider fun.

In baby physical therapy there's a lot of understanding of motor movements and how a baby will grow up and part of growing up is not only learning motor skills but as they get older and their body changes, we should think about how they move may change or what how their need may change and so as they transition from elementary school to middle school to high school there are things that might need to be adjusted.

Parents who have a baby in physical therapy should really expect to always be involved in the actual process so you should always be in the therapy session with them at all time.

Most of the physical therapy that should happen happens in your own home. This has to be integrated into your daily lives because the movement have to be learned and it's not learned within an hour session once a week in therapy, it takes a group effort to make sure it happens and helps your baby.

Occupational therapy.

Occupational therapy therapists work with babies and children from 0-12 years of age who experience difficulties in carrying out everyday activities. Occupational therapists call these activities occupations and they include self-care, play, socializing and things children need to do at the day care, at school and at home such as sitting, writing, eating and dressing.

Occupational therapy helps children become more independent in these activities. The occupational therapist will look at how the child uses their hands to carry out tasks - how they move, sit and stand and their ability to do a variety of activities.

The occupational therapist will also look at the underlying skills required to do these activities, such as the child’s visual perception, how they move their body, and how they interpret sensory information from the environment.

Your baby’s occupational therapists should use a wide range of assessments and observations as well as discussion with the parents, and where appropriate, also with the school.

Around the age range of 0-4 years occupational therapist should focuses on the basic skills that a baby needs to be able to play, such as positioning, seating, and hand use. This includes the skills they will require for going into nursery and develop in the future.

Occupational therapists also work with parents to address any difficulties they may have with managing their child’s daily activities, such as bathing, dressing, sleeping and more.

Wondering which activities will strengthen your baby's skills? 

Professional fun activities personalized to your baby's age and needs.


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