What to Expect During Your Baby’s Pediatric Physical Therapy Evaluation
Your doctor recommends a pediatric physical therapy evaluation for your baby. We understand this can feel overwhelming. We hope this blog will help calm your fears so you can approach your evaluation with less anxiety and stress.
Your licensed physical therapist will begin the evaluation with questions regarding your child’s medical and social history. This may include information about your pregnancy, any surgeries your baby had, who lives in their home, and how your child is developing. Your therapist may ask if it is okay to take off your child’s onesie, which will help evaluate your child’s breathing and movements.
It is important to observe your child in various positions, such as laying on their back, on their side, and on their belly. Depending on your child’s age and skill level, your therapist will also observe your child in sitting and standing. The therapist will look to see how your child moves in and out of these developmental positions. They will evaluate how your child uses the left and right side of their body and if it’s done so symmetrically. They will also be looking for your child to use the muscles on the front and back of their body with good control. This will give your therapist insight into how your child is developing.
While it is important for your child to meet their milestones, it is just as important she moves efficiently to build the strength and coordination for higher level skills. For example, a child may have difficulty learning how to walk if they did not practice weight shifting to the left and to the right, or if they do not have good control between the muscles on the front and back of their body.
Your therapist will discuss their findings in detail with you and discuss ongoing physical therapy services, if necessary. If PT is recommended, you will know how long your child may require physical therapy services as well as receive some personalized homework to practice, which will be updated ongoing, as needed.
If you believe your baby would benefit from a physical therapy evaluation, please talk to your primary care physician for a referral to Kids Place. Remember, an evaluation does not always mean your child will need ongoing services. It is simply an opportunity to evaluate your child’s developmental milestones!