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Physical Therapy for Children

Our Chicago pediatric physical therapy team helps children maximize their physical abilities and minimize the physical limitations that accompany some developmental issues. The team uses experience and extensive training in pediatric health, including anatomy, physiology, psychology and child development to assist children in reaching their highest level of potential.

With physical therapy, kids build strength and improve motor function, balance and coordination in fun, creative ways. Majority of the work the physical therapy team does is based in play… it’s the most positive way to get children motivated and involved! That’s why you’ll see swings, ball pits, climbing walls and all kinds of toys in our clinics. They’re important for your child’s therapy and will also help us create the child-centered environments that help our clients thrive.

Pediatric Physical Therapy Treatment

Our physical therapy team is trained to treat a wide variety of pediatric diagnoses including, although not limited to:

  • Gait abnormalities
  • Torticollis and plagiocephaly
  • Neurologic conditions:
    • Cerebral palsy
    • Muscular dystrophy
    • Spinal muscular atrophy
    • Infantile spasms
    • Spina bifida
    • Hydrocephalus
    • Traumatic brain injury
    • Spinal cord injury
  • Developmental or gross motor delay
  • Orthopedic conditions:
    • Post-fracture
    • Post-surgery
    • Sports injuries
    • Scoliosis
  • Autism
  • Hypotonia or hypertonia
  • Incoordination
  • Genetic disorders:
    • Down Syndrome
  • Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Cardiopulmonary disorders

Physical Therapy Services Include:

  • Gait training
  • Therapeutic exercise
  • Kinesiotape and therapeutic taping
  • Balance and coordination training
  • Manual therapy
  • Development and monitoring of personalized home exercise program
  • Orthotic and adaptive equipment screening and management
  • Alignment and postural training

Check out this infographic about Gross Motor Skills Milestones

Click on the image below to view the entire infographic. Once opened, you can use the zoom tool in the upper right hand of the viewing window to increase the size!

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Client Reviews (11)

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!


My daughter Clara started seeing Leida in the Evanston office at 4 months old for Torticollis. From the first phone call I made to NSPT I was impressed with level of service and care I received. The care and clear communication has carried through each of our treatments. Leida has been a pleasure to work with and she has educated me on Clara’s condition and progress regularly. Clara began to improve almost immediately and we are so thankful for Leida’s professional expertise and kindness.


Thanks to all the staff at NSPT for helping our daughter Emma to correct her torticollis. Throughout the 9+ months we went, Leida, Marci, and Emily were great with Emma and really made us feel comfortable throughout the process. Emma’s smile when we went to therapy is a testament to the care and warmth everyone showed us. Thank you for your professional care and heart felt concern for our daughter.

John, Denise & Emma

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

First of all I want to thank NSPT for allowing me to come to Glenview to have a clinical rotation with the pediatric population. My first two clinical rotations were with the geriatric population at a SNF and an outpatient orthopedic clinic. This has been a fantastic experience and I’m sad that I have to say good bye. I had the privilege to be overseen by Colleen McCloskey. She was very skilled and educated in her field. I was able to learn so much about the pediatric population, therapy techniques and interventions, as well as learn about other health professionals. She was consistently making sure I was constantly developing as a physical therapist. I also had the opportunity to work with other physical therapists when a kid cancelled or had extra free time. Each therapist ensured I was active in the therapy session. This allowed me to expand my knowledge by observing and learning other skills from a variety of people. Colleen was always active in my learning experience by providing me with great research articles and setting up an appointment to observe a company called Cranial technologies in which I was able to see the process of how helmets are created and adjusted for infants with plagiocephaly. Not only were the physical therapists great, so were the other professionals. Within the first two weeks I was able to interact in sessions with occupational therapists, social workers, speech therapists, and behavioral therapists. Everyone at NSPT made my experience fantastic with their personalities and overall attitude at work. This experience ensured that I look for a work environment filled with positivity and comradery like NSPT. Besides the great people at NSPT, I fell in love with pediatrics. I was able to treat infants to teenagers at the clinic. I was exposed to a variety of diagnoses including torticollis, spina bifida, idiopathic toe walking, cerebral palsy, and general gross motor delay for all ages. Each treatment was new and exciting. I never had to follow a specific routine which allowed flexibility and freedom, which I enjoyed. Each day was filled with laughter, fun, and a sense of accomplishment when I was working with the kids. I never had a day in which I didn’t smile. I am so happy and appreciative of this experience at NSPT. I have learned so much and I owe it all to Colleen and the other therapists at NSPT. Thank you again for these wonderful 10 weeks!

Shayla Seim

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


I want to start off by thanking you for affording me the opportunity to work/learn here at NSPT for the past 12 weeks, especially on such quick notice. I have wanted to do a pediatric clinical since I started PT school so naturally NSPT was an easy choice for me to make. The thing that really drew me to NSPT was the clientele. My other area of focus is outpatient adult orthopedics, and after looking over your site I realized that many patients at NSPT come in with orthopedic issues. Having no prior pediatric experience before attending this clinical, I felt that this would make for an easier transition. I was right. I have learned a lot here, from both Judy and all the other clinicians. The aspect of pediatric care that I initially had the most trouble with, and thus am most proud of, is client management. I have 3 younger siblings and many young cousins so I figured that I would definitely be able to handle pediatric PT. I was rudely awakened during my first couple weeks as I had trouble controlling the kids. I learned how to engage children better, focusing on building a positive report with them but at the same time not letting them act out. I learned how to persuade the kiddos to not only complete the exercises but REALLY WANT to complete them in a correct way. I learned how to better handle infants thanks to Judy. This clinical rotation also helped improve my organizational and planning skills as the clinicians have more responsibilities than other clinics I have been in. It was initially challenging trying to stay on top of all the paper work: progress notes, re-evaluations, initial evaluations, thank you notes, treatment session updates, intake info, managing the schedule independently, and responding to many parent e-mails. I am so grateful for everything I have learned here and I want to thank you everything who had a hand in placement here. I want to give a special thanks to Judy Wang for taking on her first student and being as patient as she was with me. She is a great C.I. and I’m sure that will only get better with more experience.

Nick Lefere

I was terrified when I was informed that my son had autism. They did not have a lot of research on Autism and best practices when I received the label. I had no idea what I was doing. I jumped around from therapist to therapist and spent a lot of money out of pocket. I am talking about over $30,000. We had horrible insurance and I was very scared for my son. I stopped therapy for a couple of years due to exhaustion. I felt that my son was not making any progress and rather hopeless. I decided to start therapy again once I changed my career and became a special education teacher. I contacted several therapist and remember on a Sunday, I spoke to Maria while I was at the Lincoln Park Zoo. We started therapy the next week, That was 4 years ago. Why do I stay at North Shore?? The therapist are the best of the best. I would like to share my NSPT journey with you. I started at Buck Town which was perfect. I had a crazy schedule and Charlene was the scheduling queen, She was always helping my with making appointments or insurance issues. I had several terrific therapist who received promotions such as Lindsey. The most enlightening aspect of Lindsey is that she always gave me hope. If the session was a difficult one, she would always use the most positive words about my son that gave me hope that next week would be better. Some weeks were amazing and some weeks were tough. Autism is never consistent. I appreciate everything she did! Judy Wang was a PT goddess. I had another kiddo which required PT. She would smile even when the baby would cry for an hour because he did not like therapy. Now my baby is older and attending Lincolnwood. Why did I switch to Lincolnwood? Weekend hours……..I would prefer seeing therapist during the weekend when I am less exhausted from work. So both kiddos go to Lincolnwood. I was nervous to make the switch, but so so so so happy that I did. I love all of the therapist. I told Laura/OT that I wanted my son to improve his writing skills. Guess what happened?? He did! I can read his writing when he is focused! Sarah Friedman is sheer perfection. She helped teach my little one how to jump like a monkey! Sarah- thanks so much! He thinks my bed is a trampoline! Ashley-social worker- gets my son…..she understands autism.. She gets it. I dislike wasting my time and money going to therapist that claim that they know how to work with ASD kids and are clueless!!! I would highly recommend both locations ! If these therapist had wings they would be angels. Actually, they are angels. I hope my review makes sense. It has been a long day!


Sarah Friedman was excellent and made a huge difference in our daughter’s life. I was so nervous about finding the right therapist for my daughter. I knew that I made the right decision just by talking to the friendly staff. We were so incredibly lucky to have Sarah assigned to us. She was so flexible and professional. Sarah came to our daycare twice a week for 9 months. She was always on time and proactive in scheduling around the holidays. Since we were not at the appointments, she made sure to keep us informed through email and even sent us pictures and emails to document her progress. I can not thank her enough for the time and attention that she spent with us and our little girl. She made sure that we got her the right shoes and gave us tips along the way. She even came to our home when daycare was closed. My daughter is strong willed so Sarah was consistently thinking of ways to make PT fun. We were so fortunate to have Sarah in our lives. While it was extra money for us to go through this practice, it was the best decision that we made as new parents. I couldn’t imagine a better group or experience. Thank you again Sarah! We will never forget the difference that you made in our daughter’s life.

Lisa T