The needs of children with neurological conditions differ from those of adults because the muscles, joints & nervous system of a child’s body are in the midst of the development process, and the physical needs & expectations of their bodies will alter as they continue to grow.
Children’s Physiotherapists have an understanding of:
- normal childhood milestones & developmental delay;
- childhood conditions & problems that may impact on physical development, wellbeing & participation;
- the impact that having a sick or disabled child has on family life;
- the specific requirements of children such as attending school, relating to friends etc.
- the need to place the child at the centre of treatment choices & planning;
- how to tailor the physiotherapy approach according to the age & developmental stage of the child, for example incorporating physiotherapy into play.
Specialist Neurological Physiotherapy for children encompasses physiotherapy for babies, children and teenagers who present a wide range of difficulties such as due to the various types of cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophies, brain injury, childhood stroke, spinal cord injury (including congenital injuries, e.g. spina bifida), as well as peripheral nerve injuries (e.g. Erb’s Palsy), less common neurological diagnoses and developmental delay.
The aims of Specialist Neurological Physiotherapy for children are to:
- provide a child-friendly approach to assessment & therapeutic interventions;
- involve the child fully in all aspects of the physiotherapy sessions;
- encourage optimal physical development, to enable maximal activity participation & to maximise long-term independence.