A Focus on Strength or Strengths?

Physical therapists are trained to identify all of the things that are atypical, limited, restricted, weak, ineffective and abnormal.  Once all of these problems are identified we develop a plan to knock down all of the things that are wrong.  Our goal? To help someone accomplish something new or to regain a lost skill. Read more

Autism and School Safety

With the death of Avonte, a young boy with autism gone missing last week for a while in Queens and a local 3 year-old with autism locally who was left on a school bus for 6 hours, it made me reconsider the safety of the students at the schools I have worked. The schools put many safeguards in place, but how do we a related service providers piggyback on those safeguards? Read more

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Movement Magic of Tree Fu Tom

A new interactive tv show on Sprout called Tree Fu Tom has made its way over the pond from the UK. It is aimed at children ages 3-7 and my 4 year old has been asking to watch it again and again.

The show is about a boy named Tom who shrinks and turns into a cartoon to enter the world of his garden. Tom and his friends encounter challenges and have to problem solve solutions. This is where the magic comes in. Read more

Between the Milestones of the 1st Year

As a mom of two girls and a PT for kids I often get asked about milestones and whether a parent should be concerned. There are many clues to whether a parent should be concerned that go beyond looking at a chart that tells you when a child typically will develop a skill. Read more

Happy 20th Birthday Anthony!

Anthony DeVergillo is a young man who writes a blog called “The Optimist’s Guide to Life”, “spreading optimism one smile at a time”. On his blog he talks about optimism and living with disability. Anthony has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and his writings will inspire, teach and guide you to reflect on your own life experience. While his blog is filled with incredible poetry, music and guest posts, the following are a “greatest hits” of posts that I believe will be helpful the readers of this blog. Read more

Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit

Most posts on this blog are related to children with special needs. However, I would like to share a great product invented by a fellow pediatric physical therapist called Magic Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit. Above you can watch a demonstration of an adorable little baby trying it on.

I recently bought one for my 4 month old to help with our transition to the crib and out of the swaddle. It is a big puffy suit with open hands and feet. Its heavy and stiff enough to stop those startles that open wake up baby, but flexible enough for baby to suck on his fingers or wiggle around to self soothe. Read more

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Torticollis

What does torticollis look like? A child will tilt their ear towards the shoulder and will turn to the opposite direction. A child with left torticollis will tilt their head to the left and prefer to look to the right. A child with right torticollis will tilt their head to the right and prefer to […]

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Torticollis: Addressing the Full Body to Treat the Neck

The child in utero is curled up tight to fit in such a tight space.  If a baby’s neck is tilted, it is visually obvious to the parent and pediatrician.  If they have asymmetry elsewhere the observations may be more subtle.  It may be harder to put one arm in the onesie, the child may prefer to play with toys on one side, or the child may crawl with one leg dragging behind.  Read more

Pregnancy, Pain and Self-Healing

A week ago today I sat on the floor crying because I couldn’t find a position to get up that wasn’t excruciating.  As a physical therapist it is inevitable that the professional will at some point become the patient.  I’ve been there several times before.  Once for a whiplash injury, another time for chronic vertigo and a third time for a shoulder problem.  My last pregnancy I had a lot of pain in my back, pelvis and legs.  There were many times that I could barely walk and trying to work through this was rough.  I almost passed out one time from excruciating pain while walking in a store. Advice from my OB and physical therapist friends didn’t help.  After several months I found a chiropractor that gave me some relief, but I was dependent on my visits and it was expensive. Read more

Ambucs: Free Therapeutic Bikes for Children!

I spent the day watching the faces of children light up as they received their new bikes. Their parents were also filled with joy for their children and were so grateful for the donations that led to free therapeutic bikes for their child. These children were all different ages and had various special needs. Read more