Child & Family Development Child & Family Development

January 22, 2015

What is pediatric physical therapy?


Erin Harkins, DPT and the other physical therapists on our team often help kids and teens develop gross motor skills for the first time, which is called habilitative PT.  

Pediatric physical therapy is not just rehabilitation of injuries or therapy for ‚Äúlittle adults‚Äù.  Pediatric physical therapy runs the gamut of treatment.  While it includes rehabilitation from sports injuries, post-surgery, broken bones and other conditions, it more commonly addresses ‚Äúhabilitation‚Äù rather than ‚Äúre-habilitation‚Äù. That is, we are working with children to develop gross motor skills for the first time, rather than regain skills after a loss. This ‚Äúhabilitation‚Äù often occurs when there is a gross motor delay related to late crawling and late walking.  At times, a delay is present in conjunction with a medical diagnosis, such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida, Down syndrome, mitochondrial disorder, just to name a few. 

Our team consists of 6 licensed physical therapists, rather than assistants or aides.  The ladies have vast experience and special expertise including 3 doctoral practitioners, 2 Neurodevelopmental Treatment (NDT) certified practitioners, 2 Aquatic Therapy & Rehab Institute (ATRI) certified practitioners, 1 Pediatric Clinical Specialist, as well as many other expanded trainings.