Physical therapy (PT) focuses on strength and mobility to help children be as independent as possible in all environments – home, school and community. In addition to therapeutic exercise and activities, physical therapists assist children and their families with obtaining wheelchairs, walkers and other assistive devices to improve independent mobility. PTs evaluate each patient and set up a treatment plan and goals specific to each child’s needs. The evaluation assesses strength, joint mobility, muscle tone, skeletal and structural health, gross motor skills (rolling, sitting, crawling, walking, etc.) and balance/coordination.
Kids Center currently has 12 PTs on staff, each with extensive experience in pediatrics. Four therapists have a doctorate in PT, four are board certified Pediatric Clinical Specialists, and two therapists are certified in Neurodevelopmental Treatment (NDT). PTs at Kids Center also participate at members of the specialty teams that staff our Orthopedic and Spasticity Clinics.
The PTs work with patients in a shared treatment space including the main gym and the fitness room, which has equipment that allows therapists to assist older patients transitioning to non-therapy- specific gym equipment outside of Kids Center. Kids Center offers aquatic PT on a limited basis at the pool at Home of the Innocents. Most patients are scheduled for one-hour sessions once per week but some patients require therapy sessions two to five times per week, especially following a surgical procedure.
Kids Center is fortunate enough to have the equipment/technology necessary to offer specialized treatment activities, including the FreeStep overhead support system which offers freedom of movement to children of all levels of involvement. Kids Center also has an equipment loan program to allow patients to try adaptive equipment before purchasing it on their own. Much of the equipment that our patients require is very expensive; it is beneficial to “try before you buy” to insure the best equipment for the patient and the best use of their medical funds.