October is nationally recognized as Physical Therapy Month. We want to thank the Physical Therapists who help our PWS community and provide care for our loved ones. PTs help address physical, mental, and behavioral challenges while working with those living with PWS. They help each PWS individual reach their greatest potential. Early on, physical therapists help children improve their balance, strength, and coordination skills.
While we recognize the amazing work PTs do for our community, we also want to take the opportunity to share helpful information when it comes to Physical Therapy and PWS.
PWSA | USA's publication Therapeutic Interventions for the Child with Prader-Willi Syndrome, written by Janice Agarwal, PT, CNDT, shares an in-depth look at PT and PWS, including physical therapy needs for individuals living with PWS from infancy through adulthood. Scroll below to find some of the information that can be found in Therapeutic Interventions for the Child with Prader-Willi Syndrome publication or click here to access the full booklet.
What is a Pediatric Physical Therapist?
A pediatric physical therapist specializes in the examination, evaluation, treatment, and management of infants, children, and adolescents with developmental, neuromuscular, and skeletal disorders. Physical therapists collaborate with patients’ families and other medical, educational, developmental, and rehabilitation specialists to promote the participation of children in daily activities and routines in the home, school and community. Physical therapy treatments improve gross and fine motor skills, balance and coordination, and strength and endurance. In addition, physical therapy treatments enhance learning opportunities and sensory processing/integration.
What is Early Intervention?
Early Intervention (EI) is a systematic program of therapy, exercises, and activities designed to address developmental delays that may be experienced by children with Prader-Willi syndrome or other disabilities. These services are mandated by a federal law called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). !e law requires that states provide EI services for all children who qualify, with the goal of enhancing the development of infants and toddlers and helping families understand and meet the needs of their children. !e most common EI services for infants with Prader-Willi syndrome are physical therapy, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, and social services.
How to Start Pediatric Physical Therapy
The process begins with an interview to identify the child’s needs, usually while a newborn is still in the hospital, and continues with a physical and developmental evaluation of the child. !is evaluation may
include assessment of muscle and joint function, mobility, strength and endurance, cardiopulmonary status, posture and balance, and sensory motor and neuromotor development.