WHAT DOES A CHILDREN’S PHYSIOTHERAPIST DO?
Make life better!
This is what physiotherapists aim to do! When someone is affected by injury, illness, developmental delay or other long term disability, physios want to help them to be able to live as great life as they want to by improving their strength, function and movement.
By using a number of different approaches and techniques, children’s physiotherapy can help you and your child to overcome injury or short-term health problems, or to manage long-term disability.
Children’s physiotherapy is very different to working with adults. It is not true that children are just small adults! Their bodies are constantly growing, changing and adapting to each stage of development and the ability of the therapist to provide the right level of input requires specialist knowledge and experience.
Keeping children motivated and engaged is essential to their progress. At Kids Physio Wales we do our best to ensure sessions are fun, interesting and uniquely tailored to your child so that he or she enjoys them and looks forward to therapy sessions.
In a child with complex needs, therapy is often a large part of life. If this is you, I understand that it is especially important for your child and your family that we find ways to incorporate therapy strategies, techniques and advice into your everyday life.
As a parent, you know your baby or child better than anyone. If you have any concerns about his or her development or ‘the way they are’ and want to know if physiotherapy can help, please ask for help!
Your local Children’s Centre may be able to help or you could contact me for a free, no obligation phone call.
While I am unable to offer specific therapy advice over the phone without actually assessing your baby or child in person (I would be failing in my duty of care if I did!), I will be able to tell you whether physiotherapy is likely to be beneficial or if a different professional would be more helpful. We can also chat through your options so feel free to contact me.
WAYS THAT PHYSIOTHERAPY COULD HELP YOUR CHILD
- Help them to reach and achieve different stages of development e.g. tummy time, rolling, sitting, crawling, standing, walking and getting in and out of positions
- Eliminate or reduce the risk of your baby developing a flat spot on their head or teach you how to help improve it if aready there
- Influence muscle tone, posture and movement to make everyday activities easier
- Stretch tight muscles and increase range of movement when needed e.g. torticollis, talipes, after fractures etc
- Reduce and manage pain and fatigue
- Increase balance, muscle power, strength, fitness and stamina
- Improve confidence in his or her own abilities by helping them to identify their own goals and objectives, not only in therapy , but in general life as well
- Educate relevant people in your life to know the best ways to help your child
- Provide advice regarding the use and adjustment of specialist equipment such as standing frames, splints and seating
- Include therapy exercises and activities into your normal, daily routine
- Advise on suitable toys, equipment, school and play activities to enhance development
Plus lots of other things too!
Bronwen is so knowledgable in her field of profession and I am so pleased that I asked Kids Physio Wales to carry out the assessment.JOANNE
It’s such a relief to know what I CAN do to help him. And I noticed a difference in his head shape so quickly.MAGGIE
KIDS PHYSIO SOLUTIONS
Cerebral palsy (all types)
Pre and post SDR
Developmental and motor delays (delay in reaching stages of development/milestones such as rolling or crawling)
Hypertonia (high muscle tone, child seems stiff)
Hypotonia (low muscle tone, child seems floppy)
Sports injuries or musculoskeletal problems including unexplained pain
Orthopaedic conditions e.g. Perthes, rehab following fractures
Developmental Co-ordination Difficulties (the ‘clumsy’ child who has difficulties with more complex milestones like kicking & climbing)
Hypermobility (& Hypermobility syndrome)
Acquired head injuries and spinal injuries
Upper limb difficulties including contractures and deformities
Torticollis (stiff neck) or plagiocephaly (flattened head) in babies
Congenital (birth) abnormalities
Genetic abnormalities and syndromes (including well understood syndromes e.g. Downs Syndrome or undiagnosed and little known syndromes)
(Your child does not have to have a diagnosis before being seen for an assessment)
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
After I have spoken to you and we agree that your child may benefit from physio, a thorough assessment will need to be carried out. This can be done at your home or your child’s nursery or school.
Prior to the assessment, I will send you a questionnaire relating to your child’s birth, family and health history, surgical interventions, therapy involvement to date, your main concerns and reasons for seeking out private physio, to be returned before the appointment. This speeds up time so that we can get on with physically examining your child when you come to the assessment.
WHERE CAN MY CHILD BE SEEN?
Kids Physio Wales is currently able to provide physiotherapy treatment at your home, your child’s school/nursery or another venue that suits you.
Intensive blocks are held in Ewenny, Bridgend.
WHAT HAPPENS AT THE ASSESSMENT?
I’ll have a look and see what your child is able to do and what they find difficult. This may include assessment of muscle strength, joint range of movement and seeing what your child’s physical abilities are like. We don’t just look at what your child can or can’t do but the way that they are able to perform the activities too.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO BRING?
So that I can properly assess your child’s movements, I really need to be able to see his or her legs, arms and tummy so please bring shorts and a vest. A baby will usually be assessed in a nappy and vest.
If you know your little one is particularly anxious when meeting new people or having therapy assessments, it can be helpful to have a favourite toy or comforter to help distract them so please bring one if appropriate.
Also, please bring any letters, reports or other relevant information relating to your child and the reason you are seeking an assessment.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE ASSESSMENT?
After the initial assessment, I will discuss with you any recommendations for physio intervention. It may be that reassurance, advice or a simple exercise program is all that is needed. If I identify areas that would benefit from physiotherapy then I will discuss this with you and a treatment plan can be agreed.
A summary email will be provided after the assessment. If a more in-depth report is needed as sometimes required with case managed children, this can be arranged for a slightly higher fee.
HOW LONG ARE APPOINTMENTS?
Appointments are usually between 30 to 90 minutes depending on the needs of your child:
An initial assessment usually takes between one hour to one and a half hours but could be longer in more complex cases.
Follow up treatment sessions for babies and children with developmental delay or orthopaedic conditions may take between 30 to 60 minutes
Children with cerebral palsy (including SDR), neurological conditions or more complex presentations generally take at least 60 minutes.
If you are attending an intensive therapy block, each therapy session is scheduled for 2 hours.
I believe it is important to be fairly flexible to the length of sessions as we all, especially babies and young children, respond differently on different days and times of the day and in response to how their day has gone i.e. if they have missed a nap, had an unsettled night or long day at school, they may not tolerate a full length session. Likewise, if things are going well, a session may be slightly longer if time allows!
HOW MANY SESSIONS WILL MY CHILD NEED?
At the initial assessment, we will agree on goals (acceptable to your child, you as parents and myself as therapist) and an initial course of treatment with a review/re-assessment date.
Goals need to be regularly re-assessed and reviewed in order to ensure your child is getting the best outcome from the physio treatment therefore the amount of sessions needed will vary.
WILL A HOME PROGRAMME BE PROVIDED?
Kids Therapy Wales provides individual and personalised physiotherapy programmes which focus specifically on the needs of your child and attempt to involve all family members where possible.
They are designed to be integrated into your family’s day to day life with minimal disruption, ensuring that activities can be incorporated effortlessly into play, social, leisure and physical activities as well as into the school curriculum.
WILL MY CHILD'S NHS TREATMENT BE AFFECTED?
Your child’s NHS entitlement should not be affected if you choose for your child to have private physiotherapy treatment.
I have extensive experience of working in the NHS and private sector and recognise that communication regarding your child is essential. If you are already seeing an NHS Physiotherapist then, with your consent, we will contact them to ensure that what we do during your child’s time at Kids Physio Wales is consistent and that you are not being given conflicting information.
If you are on a waiting list for physiotherapy then, with your consent, we will provide a written or verbal report so that the NHS physiotherapists are fully informed of our progress when they first see your child. At this stage you may wish to withdraw from private physiotherapy treatment.
If this is the case, please do not feel reluctant or embarrassed. Part of our role is to initiate physiotherapy at the earliest possible stage which is one of the main benefits of choosing private treatment.
WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT INTENSIVE BLOCKS?
Some children may benefit from intensive blocks or bursts of therapy intervention.
We offer blocks using a combination of rebound therapy and traditional ‘mat’ therapy at our venue in Ewenny, Bridgend. These are currently run for 4 days once a month Friday – Monday or Thursday -Sunday. Sessions are for 2 hours on each of the 4 days.
Children who have cerebral palsy including those who require post SDR rehabilitation often benefit from these blocks as we focus on strength and endurance training as well as ‘traditional’ physiotherapy goals such as learning how to move in the best way possible.
Initial assessment neurological condition (CP) £110
Initial assessment baby £80
Follow up sessions £65/hour
Travel 0.45p/mile plus £20/hour or £10/half hour
Intensive blocks £500
Payments can be made by cash, cheque or bank transfer. Apologies but cards cannot be accepted at this time.
Please let me know if you cannot make an appointment as soon as you can. Missed appointments and late cancellations (less than 24hrs before your appointment) will have to be paid for in full.
Intensive blocks require a £200 deposit on booking. This is refundable if the block is cancelled 4 weeks or more before the start date. After this, the deposit will be refundable only if the space can be filled. The balance is due 2 weeks before start date.
WHY TRUST ME?
The most important thing to know about me is that I’m a mummy to 2 gorgeous children myself. I’ve struggled through (still am) my own sleepless nights & guilt fuelled parenting challenges – sleep issues, what baby gear to get, what to do when she just will not stop crying, screen time arguments, how on earth are you supposed to discipline a defiant and aggressive toddler, never mind pre-schooler, arty-crafty nightmares (I am so uncreative!) and the relentless search for ‘the right things to do’….. just like most parents I know!
I’ve also been a children’s physiotherapist for 16 years with specialised experience and training in baby and child development as well as extensive experience of working with children who have additional needs including cerebral palsy. I have been so fortunate to work with hundreds of families over the years and through my work, I’ve honed my skills of listening to parent concerns and questions, gathering important details about each unique child and then identifying and providing solutions to quickly and effectively make life easier!
Most importantly, I passionately believe that when we as parents really know and understand what our children need and why, we truly do change the way they learn and grow for the better.