signs a child may need PT at school

Signs at School a Child May Need Physical Therapy

Teachers can be wonderful allies to the healthcare field. They spend up to 8 hours a day observing and helping children. Often times, they are the first to notice concerning signs, and when given the right tools, can direct parents where to go to get their children the help they need. Here a few signs teachers can look out for that would warrant a physical therapy screen.

5 Signs at School a Child May Need Physical Therapy:

  1. Unable to keep up with peers during recess or P.E – This may present as a child whosigns a child may need PT at school doesn’t follow friends onto the jungle gym or pulls themselves out of games of tag. A child would benefit from a physical therapy screen if they are unable to perform a jumping jack or skip forward.
  2. “W”-sits or props onto arm when sitting criss-cross – A child who sits in a “w” position or props onto their arm when sitting on the floor may present with weak core muscles. Weak core muscles result in a poor foundation for other fine motor skills, and may present in sloppy or slow handwriting, poor cutting skills, or decreased independence in self care tasks.
  3. Places both feet onto step when going up and down stairs – A child should be able to go up and down a set of stairs, without holding onto a handrail, by the age of 4. A child who presents difficulty, or immature form, during a stair task, may have lower extremity weakness, impaired balance, or developmental coordination disorder.
  4. Toe-Walking Toe-walking or early heel rise during gait (which may looking like bouncing while walking) can arise from a multitude of impairments including muscle tightness, core weakness, impaired balance, etc. Prolonged toe-walking may also result in any of the above, excessive falls, or muscle contractures.
  5. Poor sitting posture at desk – Poor posture may be a sign of decreased endurance of trunk muscles. Trunk weakness may also result in a poor foundation for fine motor skills, resulting in poor handwriting, decreased grasping ability, or decreased independence in self care tasks.

Click here to view our gross motor milestones infographic!

NSPT offers services in BucktownEvanstonHighland ParkLincolnwoodGlenview and Des Plaines. 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 today!

1 reply
  1. Elene El komy
    Elene El komy says:

    Hi.
    My daughter seems to have one leg a little bowed from the knee down. She is
    3 .5 years old and seems to have improved in the last 1 or so. She used to fall a lot in the past but i noticed an improvement in her steps and less falling in the last 6 months ot so . I took her to a pediatrition and she thought there was nothing to worry about however; she referred her fir an X ray which showed nothing to worry about at all according to doctors. Though the doctor started her on Vitamin D drops. Which she s still on. I really don’t know what yo do I can’t help worrying as her big brother was able yo walk perfectly well at this age and the shape of his legs seemed different ( no bow at all by the age of 3). Is there any advice you can give me? Or can I send you a video her walking and you give me your opinion please.
    Thank you very much for your time.
    Hope to hear from you soon.
    Regards
    Elene El komy

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *