Physical & Occupational Therapies: What You Should Know

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DID YOU KNOW…

October is National Learning & Development Month? It’s also National Physical Therapy Month and National Sensory Processing Awareness Month!

That’s not a coincidence. Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy are an integral part of our learning and development services at Lumiere Children’s Therapy.

All of our physical therapists are PhD certified and all of our occupational therapists hold Masters degrees in their field. Below, they have compiled helpful information about Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy evaluations as well as milestone guidelines by age, to help you assess if your child is on track. Of course, the best way to have your child assessed is to bring him or her to Lumiere, where we can perform a thorough screening and evaluation in a comfortable and nurturing setting.

To request a screening evaluation in Physical Therapy or Occupational Therapy, please contact us today by click here.

PHYSICAL THERAPY

What do pediatric physical therapists assess?

Our physical therapists look at a child’s gross motor ability, and their ability to navigate environments. We also screen for strength throughout the body such as coordination/balance, quality of movements, appropriate physical development and ability to play and keep up with peers by utilizing age-appropriate motor skills. 

From infancy, we can assist in developing skills such as rolling, sitting up, and crawling. As a child grows, our PTs will look at a child’s ability to walk, run, jump, and manipulate objects including throwing or kicking a ball.  PTs also look at a child’s motor planning skills, which includes the ability to sequence movement or perform a novel task. Intervention techniques applied by our PTs are play-based, functional, and fun in order to engage your child and motivate them. Our techniques also enable kids to reach their fullest potential, realize their full motor abilities and ultimately, improve their quality of life.

How do I know if my child needs Physical Therapy?

Parents should consider seeking an evaluation with one of our Physical Therapists if their child is unable to demonstrate any of the following by age*:

AGE SKILL
5-6 months Rolling back to front and front to back on both sides
6-8 months Sitting up on their own and playing with toys without falling
8-10 months Crawling on hands and knees; Pulling to stand at a surface; Cruising along a surface
10-13 months Beginning to stand alone and take steps
12-15 months Walking unassisted
24 months Jumping up with two feet together; Performs stairs with two feet per step without support
30 months Balances on one foot for 3 seconds; Kicks a ball forward by swinging leg back; Performs stairs with one foot per step without support
36 months Catches a ball with hands and arms out from 5 feet away; Throws ball underhand about 7 feet
42 months Balances on one foot for 5 seconds; Throws ball overhand up to 10 feet while taking a step
48 months Hops on one foot; Gallops 10 feet; Skips forward; Throws ball underhand 10 feet

*These are a general range of typical ages; your child may be anywhere along the gross motor continuum. All children develop differently! A physical therapist can evaluate your child and let you know if your child will benefit from physical therapy services.

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY

What do pediatric Occupational Therapists assess?

Our Occupational Therapists evaluate sensory processing abilities in: cognitive skills (learning, thinking, problem-solving), fine motor skills (pencil grasp for writing, feeding, day-to-day movement), visual motor skills, visual perception, play skills, strength, coordination & body awareness, self-help skills, and attention & sensory processing.

Occupational Therapy can help children become more independent in their daily activities such as dressing, feeding, grooming, writing and playing. OT can also help children to become more successful at home, in school, and within their communities.

Our evaluations are family-centered, so we will always work with the family on what they would like us to assess based on their goals and concerns.

How do I know if my child needs Occupational Therapy?

Parents should consider seeking an evaluation with one of our Occupational Therapists if their child is unable to demonstrate any of the following by age*:

AGE SKILL
4-6 months Looks around at things nearby; Brings things to mouth and passes from one hand to another; Shows curiosity about things that are out of reach
7-9 months Plays peek-a-boo; Picks up things like cereal between thumb and index finger; watches the path of a falling object
10-14 months Looks at right object when named; drinks from a cup, puts things in and out of containers; points with index finger
15-18 months Points to body parts; Scribbles; follows one-step verbal commands like “sit down”; starts “pretend play”
24 months Begins to sort shapes and colors; plays simple make-believe games; names items in a picture book; completes rhymes in familiar books; follows two-step instructions like “pick up your shoes and put them in the closet”
3 years Can work toys with moving parts; does 3-4 piece puzzles; copies a circle with a crayon; turns book pages; turns door handles
4 years Names some colors and numbers; starts to understand time, uses scissors, starts to copy capital letters
5 years Counts 10 or more things; can print some letters and numbers, copies a triangle; knows about things used every day like money and food

*These are a general range of typical ages; your child may be anywhere along the gross motor continuum. All children develop differently! An occupational therapist can evaluate your child and let you know if your child will benefit from occupational therapy services.

Check out the second video
in our NEW Learning Series:
Shape Formations & Grasping

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