Middle Childhood Intervention: Module Three – The Professionals


PTs work with individuals who have difficulties with gross motor skills, movement and posture. They also work with individuals whose muscles hurt. Through a variety of exercises, PTs help individuals (Fig. 1):


Figure 1. Physiotherapist helping with exercises
  • Improve muscle tone;
  • Improve mobility;
  • Improve sense of balance;
  • Improve range of motion;
  • Improve coordination between different muscle groups;
  • Improve one’s ability to walk, run, go up and down the stairs and sit;
  • Improve one’s ability to move from one position to another (that is, move from sitting to standing);
  • Develop motor skills that the child has not yet achieved;
  • Learn how to use adaptive equipment such as wheelchairs and walkers.

PTs use a variety of techniques to help children develop the motor skills that they lack. Such techniques include passive techniques (the PT moves the child’s limbs to improve muscle movement) and active techniques (the PT gets the child to move his or her own muscles). PTs may help children improve their muscles through the use of water, in a pool or a bathtub (Fig. 2).

exercising in the pool

Figure 2. Active technique to develop motor skills

PTs work with a variety of children, including children with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, spina bifida and traumatic brain injury. They offer these children therapy on an individual basis, or in small groups.

PTs often serve on children’s school-based Individual Education Plan (IEP) (see full Glossary) team. They work very closely with parents, teachers, special educators and other professionals (such as OTs), in order to make the school environment and the classroom as inclusive as possible.

For more information about PTs, please visit the following website.

see References


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