What Will My Child Experience in a Physical Therapy Session?

The field of pediatric physical therapy is very different from many other physical therapy settings, which is to be expected since the patients are children who are constantly growing, developing and learning new skills. Parents are therefore often unsure of what their child’s physical therapy session will look like. blog-physical therapy-session-main-landscape

While the activities performed will be unique and individualized to your child’s specific needs, there are some common things that all children will experience during a physical therapy session.

  • Choices-We want physical therapy to be a fun and productive experience for your child, so throughout the session your child will be provided with choices. These choices may include selecting an activity from a few options, or getting to choose what game, puzzle, or toy is played with while working.
  • Fun-Although your son or daughter will be asked to perform activities to address his or her specific difficulties, we will do our best to make every activity as fun and engaging as possible. The activities we work on are so much more meaningful when your child is having fun and wants to participate.
  • Work-As mentioned above, your child’s therapy sessions will be as fun and engaging as possible. However, your child will be participating in activities that are physically challenging. Your child will be moving for the majority of the session in order to work towards his or her individual goals.
  • Encouragement-Your child’s therapist is there to support and encourage your child. We know that your child is working hard to meet his or her goals, and we are there to provide positivity and encouragement with fun and challenging tasks.
  • Homework-Your child will be working hard during the therapy session, although what is done at home to carryover the new skills learned is just as important. Your child’s therapy session will therefore include homework to help facilitate progress toward his or her specific goals.
  • Success-While the activities selected for your child’s therapy session will be challenging, your therapist will never ask your child to do something that she won’t be successful at. Working hard and being successful is what the physical therapy session is all about!

NSPT offers services in Bucktown, Evanston, Highland Park, Lincolnwood, Glenview, Lake Bluff, Des Plaines, Hinsdale and Milwaukee! If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates!


Colleen McCloskey

Colleen McCloskey

Colleen McCloskey is a graduate of Marquette University with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy. While in Milwaukee she spent a few years serving as both as a volunteer and as a student PT serving children from all over the Milwaukee area with a wide variety of physical therapy needs. Before beginning the physical therapy phase of her education, she completed her undergraduate degree at Marquette University in Athletic Training. Through the athletic training program, she participated in numerous internships with Marquette’s varsity sports teams, as well as with a local high school. During her physical therapy education at Marquette, Colleen took part in the Advanced Pediatrics elective, which provided her with opportunities to observe and work with pediatric patients at a number of local inpatient and outpatient pediatric physical therapy clinics. She also completed a research project on the effects of music in pediatric physical therapy, and was given the opportunity to present her findings to a group of physical therapists that work in the Milwaukee public schools. Colleen is passionate about working with children and their families to help them overcome any physical challenges that prevent them from doing the things they love. Outside of work, Colleen loves spending time hiking, running, skiing, snowshoeing or biking with her husband and dog.

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