Services from the experts
Physical Therapy at Tufts Children's Hospital's goal is simple: to help all our patients achieve confidence, perform at their best, and become the most independent person they can be. We offer assessment services and individualized treatment for patients from birth through age 21 who are struggling with gross motor skills due to illness, injury or developmental delay, including diagnosis’s such as:
- Cerebral palsy
- General weakness
- Developmental delay
Our first step is to pinpoint your child's unique needs using a variety of tools, including standardized assessments and clinical evaluations. Your input is a key part of our evaluation process because no one knows your child better than you do.
Once we've completed our evaluation, we work closely with you and your child's pediatrician to develop a treatment plan for improving gross motor skills. If appropriate, we'll consult with other pediatric specialists at Tufts Children's, including neurologists, orthopedists and physiatrists.
During the course of therapy treatment, we work with your child one on one and stay in constant communication with all members of the team so that your child's progress always stays on track.
Helping your child feel engaged + comfortable
At the Physical Therapy Program, we understand that kids are not just small adults. That's why we've carefully designed our services to offer children the best possible care.
Children make the best progress when they're having fun, so we engage them in their therapy through play. Activities might include:
- Climb on mountains or stepping stones to work on balance, core strength and coordination.
- Rolling over a Therapy ball to work on shoulder strength
- Crawling through a tunnel to work on reciprocal patterns and hip strength.
- Have scooter board races in the hallway to work on strengthening.
- Walking on balance beam forwards, backwards and sideways for strength, coordination
- Ball activities including throwing, catching and aiming
- Create an obstacle course to help with a combination of strengthening tasks
All of our appointments are held in our dedicated pediatric gym. The room is colorful, relaxed and inviting, and all of our equipment is sized for growing bodies. We know it can be stressful for children to receive physical therapy treatment, so we make them as comfortable as possible during their appointments.
Combined occupational + physical therapy evaluation
For children who have multiple areas of concern — including difficulties with gross motor skills, fine motor skills, physical abilities, visual motor skills and/or sensory processing skills — we can provide a team approach in conjunction with a Tufts Children's pediatric occupational therapist to complete a comprehensive evaluation.
The combined occupational and physical evaluation may provide:
- Recommendations regarding basic equipment needs
- Ideas to facilitate fine and/or gross motor skills with home activities
- Recommendations regarding sensory accommodations
- Suggestion for motor based activities in the community
- Recommendations for handwriting assistance
- Consultation to other professionals, including school therapists
- Suggestion for additional therapies e.g. aquatic therapy, hippotherapy, ongoing PT for strengthening program
After we complete our comprehensive evaluation, we'll provide a detailed report to the parents, your doctor and if school requests an evaluation they will also receive a copy of the evaluation. This report includes treatment recommendations, so that your child can get the individualized care he or she needs to feel confident and independent.