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What is Physical Therapy?

Pediatric physical therapy assists in early detection and treatment of health conditions that limit their abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives. 

These therapists are specialized in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of infants, children, and adolescents with a variety of congenital, developmental, neuromuscular, skeletal, or acquired disorders/diseases. Treatments focus on improving gross motor skills, balance and coordination, strength and endurance to promote optimal physical function. Children with developmental delays, Autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, and torticollis are a few of the patients treated by paediatric physical therapists.

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational Therapy can benefit children with learning and behavioral disorders, developmental delays, fine motor skills, handwriting, oral motor, hand/eye coordination, visual and hearing impairments, emotional disturbances or physical disabilities as well as cognitive and sensory processing/integration. 

They may learn to function more freely in a developmental or sensory integration program. Some conditions, such as emotional disturbances, can be controlled or improved by the use of therapy. The purpose of therapy is to help strengthen the coordination between brain and body to gain and/or enhance function in daily living.

What is Speech and Language Therapy?

Speech and Language Therapists assist children who have the following types of problems:

  • difficulty producing and using speech
  • difficulty understanding language
  • difficulty using language
  • difficulty with feeding, chewing or swallowing
  • a stammer/stutter
  • a voice regulation problem

Speech and language therapy involves treatment for children with speech and/or language disorders. A speech disorder refers to a problem with the actual production of sounds, whereas a language disorder refers to a difficulty understanding or putting words together to communicate ideas.

Speech Disorders and Language Disorders

Speech disorders include the following problems, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA):

  • Articulation disorders include difficulties producing sounds in syllables or saying words incorrectly to the point that other people can't understand what's being said.
  • Fluency disorders include problems such as stuttering, the condition in which the flow of speech is interrupted by abnormal stoppages, repetitions (st-st-stuttering), or prolonging sounds and syllables (ssssstuttering).
  • Resonance or voice disorders include problems with the pitch, volume, or quality of the voice that distract listeners from what's being said. These types of disorders may also cause pain or discomfort for the child when speaking.
  • Dysphagia/oral feeding disorders, including difficulties with eating and swallowing

Language disorders can be either receptive or expressive:

  • Receptive disorders refer to difficulties understanding or processing language.
  • Expressive disorders include difficulty putting words together, limited vocabulary, or inability to use language in a socially appropriate way.

Speech and language experts agree that parental involvement is crucial to the success of a child's progress in speech or language therapy.

Parents are an extremely important part of their child's therapy program, and help determine whether it is a success. Kids who complete the program quickest and with the most lasting results are those whose parents have been involved.

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