Role Of Physiotherapy In Child’s Developmental Delay
Developmental Delay is concerned with the way children grow and mature from birth to adulthood. Physiotherapy has a completely different approach when dealing with a disorder like this, which requires patience, know-how about the physical and mental development in kids.
Different treatment plans work for different children, as they have distinct developmental delay problems.
It is difficult to comprehend that your child is unable to develop normal coordination skills. Also, it becomes all the more daunting when you realise that your child is unable to develop essential learning skills as well.
There can be many different causes of developmental delay such as genetic problems, problems during pregnancy of birth, and problems during early infancy or childhood such as infection or head injury.
- Development delay can affect behaviour, physical abilities, speech, vision, and hearing. Some common signs include:
- Small or deformed ears, do not startle to loud noise or respond to when called
- Difficulty following moving objects, crossed or turned eyes, focussing problems
- Problems with concentration get easily frustrated, reduced eye contact
- Softly spoken or very loud voice, unable to pronounce words appropriate to their age
- Slow to achieve milestones, floppy or stiff limbs, clumsiness
Physiotherapists are mainly concerned with the development of body postures and large movements (which require gross motor skills). Physiotherapy treatment aims to promote a child’s independence and ability to reach physical milestones. Physiotherapists often use fun games and activities to help promote learning and normal development.
Treatment is outlined specifically to a child’s needs, age and abilities. They collaborate with parents, teachers and caretakers to help them understand the child’s needs and how they can help promote future independence.
There are various benefits that your child can take away such as:
- Improved independence in activities of daily living
- Achievement of physical milestones such as sitting, standing and crawling
- Improved confidence
- Improved posture, muscle strength, balance and coordination
- Exercises to increase muscle strength and control so that your child is able to shift their body weight and balance better
- Muscle stretching to lengthen muscles, increasing range of movement and preventing muscles and joints from becoming stiff
- Activities to improve head and trunk control. For example, supporting your child in sitting to develop weight shifting, rotation, coordination and balance. Mirror imaging is often used to increase their awareness of where their limbs are in space (proprioception)
- Exercises to increase mobility and their success of learning to walk based around everyday activities Physiotherapy may involve exercise for the hand to improve writing and grasping objects
- Advice about supportive devices such as using a wheelchair, orthotic devices or other adaptive equipment if necessary
- Hydrotherapy treatment helps relax stiff muscles and joints and maximises mobility in water
- When a child is diagnosed with developmental delay disorder the future can look daunting for parents.
- Physiotherapists can provide assessment and treatment for your child to give them the best chance possible to achieve their physical milestones.