Advocate News


Posted in:

Advocacy Tip…Physical Therapy for Children

Doctors often recommend physical therapy for kids who have been injured or have movement problems from an illness, disease, or disability.  After an injury, physical therapists are often able to relieve pain and help kids resume daily activities. Physical therapists teach kids exercises designed to help them regain strength and range of motion, and also show them how to prevent a recurring injury.  Physical therapy (PT) may be needed any time a child has difficulty moving in such a way that it limits daily activities.

Examples include:

• sports injuries
• developmental delays
• cerebral palsy
• genetic disorders
• orthopedic disabilities/injuries
• heart and lung conditions
• birth defects (such as spina bifida)
• effects of in-utero drug or alcohol exposure
• acute trauma
• head injury
• limb deficiencies
• muscle diseases

Physical therapists use a variety of treatments to help build strength, improve movement, and strengthen skills needed to complete daily activities.  During a visit, a physical therapist may: measure the child's flexibility and strength, analyze the way the child walks and runs (a child's gait), identify potential and existing problems, consult with other medical, psychiatric, and school personnel about an individual education plan (IEP), provide instructions for home exercise programs, and recommend when returning to sports is safe.

Training Questions:
1) When do doctors recommend physical therapy for a child?
2) Give 3 specific examples of conditions requiring physical therapy.
3) Explain how you can advocate for your CASA child(ren) with this knowledge.


To receive 1 hour worth of training credit, read the above article and submit answers to the accompanying training questions to Elisabeth Reise at