How To Support a Child In Physical Therapy: 3 Tips


Physical therapy is much more intense than a regular doctor’s appointment may be for your child. It can be scary to think about the exercises that have to be done and the healing that has to take place. You can be there for your child through it all though by following the three tips found below.

1. Let Him or Her Make Goals

You are probably the person who set up the physical therapy appointment for your child. You may have goals in your mind that you want your child to achieve such as healing from an injury or starting to walk if he or she has a disability. You have to remember though that your child may also have his or her own goals that need to be met. They just may not know how to make these goals and may need your assistance to come up with what needs to happen for them.

If your child is older, ask him or her exactly what they want the end result of the physical therapy to be. Your child will feel as if you are listening to them and will feel like you really care and want to help them through the process. This may make your child more likely to continue their treatments as well and more likely to not give up on what is coming ahead. If your child only wants to do the bare minimum though, try to come to some common ground that you can achieve with one another in a discussion.

2. Invest Together

After goals have been made, it will be much easier to invest in the actual physical therapy as mentioned above. Help your child understand exactly what the physical therapist wants to achieve without stepping on the toes of the professional who knows what he or she is doing. Encourage your child to perform the exercises that he or she was given to practice at home so they can achieve healing. Offer some form of an incentive if necessary so that they can remain motivated to continue the therapy even if they are just starting to feel better.

Work with your child to come up with a system that can be put in place to ensure that they do their homework. Ensure that he or she is dedicated to the system that is put in place and that he or she is able to be accountable for their own actions. This will allow for the best level of results as your children will not feel as if you are just getting after them. Consider even doing the exercises with your child so they do not feel so alone if you are able to do so.

3. Understand the Appointment Together

If your child is very young, you may need to go to an appointment with them. If they are old enough though, ask the physical therapist and the child if they would like you to be present for the appointment. Make this a joint decision though so that your child does not feel as if he or she is being coddled by you in the healing process. IF you feel comfortable, even allow your child to take their accountability to the next level by going to the appointment by themselves.

At the end of the appointment, open up with your child about a discussion about the progress that he or she feels they are making. This can help you to remain in communication with the physical therapist’s office as well so that you can help in explaining the progress that you are seeing. Do not be afraid to ask questions so that you can determine if the observations that you have made are correct for what your child sees as well. Your child may even feel comfortable eventually sharing this progress information with the physical therapist by themselves at the next appointment.

Final Thoughts

If your child needs physical therapy, consider in-home pediatric therapy in Florida. This allows you to be present for the appointment so that you can help your children in reaching the progress that is necessary. If possible though, ensure you are allowing your child to share his or her opinion during the process as well.

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