Physical Therapy

How does physical therapy work?

Pediatric physical therapy (PT) can help children with issues like poor balance, difficulty with functional movements, poor muscle tone, lack of coordination, and challenges moving through their environment successfully and safely.

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Does my child need physical therapy?

A child with autism might experience difficulties with any of these areas, but not every child with ASD needs physical therapy. If it is considered medically necessary, your child's doctor will recommend it alongside other therapies.

What to Expect

Pediatric physical therapists can address:

  • Gross Motor Skills, including using large muscles for sitting, standing, walking, running, etc.
  • Balance/Coordination Skills, which involves coordinating the brain, bones, and muscles to create smooth movement, such as going up stairs, jumping, climbing, etc.
  • Strengthening and building muscle for support and endurance to carry out activities of daily living, such as walking for a distance without becoming tired.
  • Functional Mobility/Motor Planning, including the ability to move through space during daily living to increase efficiency of movements, self-care, and independence.

Within these broader categories, physical therapy can help a child acquire new motor skills, develop motor imitation skills (i.e. ability to mimic movements they see others performing),  improve skills for reciprocal play (such as playing catch), improve coordination and stable posture, and improve participation in daily routines at school and at home.