Physical therapy focuses on gross motor skills, which include sitting, crawling, walking, running, jumping, balance, coordination. These skills can provide a foundation for success in school, at play, and throughout life. Some children need help developing the foundation they require to grow into healthy, happy adults. We collaborate with children and their families to assist kids in reaching their maximum potential.
Common Problems We Address
- Developmental delays
- Cerebral Palsy
- Spina Bifida
- Down syndrome
- Orthopedic conditions
- Difficulty with: Learning to sit, Crawling, Jumping, Catching a ball, Kicking a ball, Fatiguing easily, Playing physical games with their peers.
Aquatic therapy is provided by a licensed physical therapist or physical therapy assistant at the YMCA. The pool is very beneficial for many children with disabilities, providing a fun and relaxing environment while working on improving functional skills. An aquatic environment is an excellent way to improve coordination, strength, social skills, and walking abilities. The buoyancy of water provides a force that aides children in walking and balance skills, while the density of water provides a constant resistance to movement to increase the strength of the arms, legs, and core muscles.
Vestibular rehabilitation therapy is available for children who have difficulties with dizziness, balance, coordination, and depth perception. Through detailed assessment, a physical therapist will determine a treatment program to improve vestibular conditions and overall function. Therapy may involve maneuvers for decreasing overall dizziness, improving a child’s tolerance to movement through desensitization, or learning to adapt environments or behaviors so a child can have optimal success in their surroundings.
As defined by the American Hippotherapy Association, hippotherapy is a term that refers to the use of the movement of the horse as a treatment tool to address impairments, functional limitations, and disabilities in patients with neuromusculoskeletal dysfunction. Hippotherapy is used as part of an integrated treatment program to achieve functional outcomes. The patient engages in activities on the horse that are enjoyable and challenging. In the controlled hippotherapy environment, the therapist modifies the horse’s movement and carefully grades sensory input. Specific riding skills are not taught (as in therapeutic horseback riding). Rather, a foundation is established to improve neurological function and sensory processing. This foundation can be generalized to a wide range of daily activities.