What is Pediatric Physical Therapy?

What is Pediatric Physical Therapy?

People are often told how physical therapists can help them after a surgery or injury, how to get stronger, or how to help decrease pain. But how can physical therapists help children?


Pediatric physical therapists can help children and their families with concerns about motor development. We help kids with a variety of problems including developmental delay, clumsiness, limited strength or endurance, and poor coordination.  We can help parents understand what motor developmental milestones are and come up with activities for families to help promote their children’s development.  The goal of a pediatric physical therapist is to help all kids play and explore to the best of their abilities.


Pediatric physical therapists work with children of all ages and all levels of abilities. We work with kids who have a specific diagnosis such as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, or torticolis, and those who may be having a little trouble keeping up with their peers.  For example, pediatric PT’s can help:

  • Infants and toddlers achieve motor milestones
  • Preschoolers who have poor posture or can’t keep up with their classmates
  • School age kids who have difficulty with activities such as skipping, throwing and catching
  • Kids who need help recovering from surgery or injury
  • Parents or caregivers of children with special needs come up with ways to better help their children
  • Ordering special or adaptive equipment if needed.


This is only the tip of the iceberg of how physical therapists can help children and their families!  The Pediatric Section of the American Physical Therapy Association has a great flier that goes into more details on what physical therapy is and the approaches that a pediatric PT might take.  See the flier here.  Parents who have questions or concerns regarding their child’s motor skills or development should contact their pediatrician or physical therapist.  Our pediatric therapists at Beyond the Clinic would be pleased to answer your questions and provide a physical therapy evaluation (and treatment) in your home.  

We provide house-calls across the Portland metro region and look forward to helping your child achieve their motor goals!

(Courtesy of Crystal Bridges, DPT)