What is Gait Training?

Gait training is the process of training a child to walk. Once a child establishes a walking pattern, gait Gait Trainingtraining can also improve the child’s walking abilities, with or without the aid of another individual or assistive device, such as a cane or walker. A child with a gait abnormality does not have a normal walking pattern, which is usually a result of a dysfunctional musculoskeletal and/or nervous system.

How do I know if my child is progressing as he should?

In order to achieve a healthy walking pattern, a child needs good balance, core strength, bilateral coordination, endurance and functional range of motion in both legs. If a child has a deficiency in any of these areas, gait training can be used to encourage a more functional walking pattern. According to infant gross motor milestones, a child should begin to walk independently at 12-14 months. If the child does not walk independently by this age, physical therapy may be both useful and necessary to facilitate appropriate movement. Toe walking, walking with a limp or not establishing a proper heel-toe walking pattern can all be signs that a gait disturbance exists—the child could greatly benefit from physical therapy to help correct the problem.

What may happen if my child’s gait disturbance is left untreated?

If not corrected, a gait disturbance can affect a child’s posture, alignment and functional walking pattern. This can cause him trouble in climbing stairs, keeping balance while standing and participation in both physical education and everyday play.

How might I help treat my child’s gait disturbance?

For children who are walking, but having difficulty with their walking skills, gait training may help considerably. The training often includes the use of treadmills, shoe orthotics to increase alignment and ankle foot orthotics to help correct muscle imbalance.

Our approach at North Shore Pediatric Therapy

After administering and evaluating the results of standardized tests, we will use an individualized treatment approach to form goals and treatment strategies to help meet your child’s needs. A home exercise program is created to insure that your child’s newly developed skills carryover into all environments, including home and school.

Client Reviews (6)

My daughter who is now 1.5 years old and she started physical therapy when she was 6 months old and was discharged at 1 years old. We was reevaluated and needed therapy a few months later, and that’s when we met Marcy. She was very professional and compassionate towards my daughter. In the beginning hannah was very fearful of leaving my hands and had many meltdowns, a few weeks later hannah was eagerly jumping into Marcy hands. It only took a few months for hannah to come walking out to me in the office and it was a dream! Hannah is now meeting with devorah for speech and she’s absolutely great with it. I’ve recommend this place to friends and neighbors because hoe fantastic the staff and services are. Very highly impressed!


Our daughter saw Sarah Friedman in Glenview (now in Lincolnwood) for gross motor delay. Through our time with Sarah, she made tremendous progress. Sarah worked hard to keep our baby happy during sessions and cheered with us when she did her first roll and her first independent sitting session. We are so grateful for Sarah’s expertise and encouraging support. We still email her with questions and she happily responds. We highly recommend Sarah and the PT at NSPT!

Matt Galin

Flexible, professional and always encouraging our daughter to reach to levels at all times. Updated information on performance reviews and adjustments to therapy goals.


My son (now 4) has only been receiving physical therapy at North Shore Pediatric Therapy for about a month, but already we are seeing so much progress. My son took to his therapist immediately and so he views his sessions as a highlight of his week; his time to play with Miss Sarah is always a joy. He had trouble hopping, balancing, etc… and now he is gaining so much more strength and confidence in his own abilities. My son also has Type 1 Diabetes and I always know he is in good hands as Sarah is well versed in diabetes care and always asks about his blood sugar before his sessions. Thank you!

Jennifer N

Andrea is a wonderful Physical Therapist! Her work with our son is always engaging and fun for him. She is always very helpful with things we can do at home to help him improve and the exercises she does with him, he thinks are games, so he is more willing to do them more often. I’m so glad she is working with him, it is easy to see the improvements over a short period of time!