February is American Heart Month! Along with AHM, it is also Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week from February 7th to February 14th! Many people don’t know, but children with Congenital Heart Defects (CHDs) often have to have surgery to correct the way their heart is working within their first year of life. Sometimes, depending on the severity, children with CHDs need multiple surgeries spanning from a couple of months after birth to their toddler years. Many of these surgeries cause children to stay immobile as they recover, which is necessary, but often limits their overall motor development. As most surgeries are performed within the child’s first year of life, these children can become delayed in crucial developmental milestones that would be occurring at this time.

This causes these kiddos to have to play a lot of catch up as they grow and develop as older infants, toddlers, in grade school, and beyond. Understandably, if you are a parent of a child with a CHD, you may have felt overwhelmed when your child was going through struggles and surgeries. We have heard from our parents, many are just so relieved when their child begins to recover from surgery, and starts to move around and play again. 

Often, physical therapy for children with CHD’s is crucial to make up for lost time, improve gross motor skills, and catch them up to where they have the potential to be! Sometimes the importance of physical therapy is overlooked as they have other medical based needs to meet, but their success with movement is also very important to their success in life, in play, and in school later on! 

Having children with a history of a CHD screened by a physical therapist, and if appropriate started in physical therapy services is important to do ASAP. If you have a child who recently had surgery and still has mobility restrictions, check with their heart surgeon to see if it is okay to start PT, and they will give you the go ahead when they think your child is ready and cleared to move. 

We understand how scary it can be to encourage your child to move and play after hearing so much “don’t do this” or “no they can’t do that right now” that typically comes right before and after surgery. If you aren’t sure where to start, let us PTs help you! We know how to encourage the development of new motor skills and play while keeping in mind any restrictions that your child still has, to help them be the best that they can be while making sure they stay as safe as they can be. The best part is, we can coach you how to do similar activities at home so that you know how to keep your child safe, but help them grow while they play at home. 

Basically, we are here to be your teammate, parents! We know the road you have traveled with your child has been tough, and you may or may not have some more road left to go. But regardless of the difficulty of the journey, we are here to support you and your child along the way to make life easier for you and to help your child achieve all the motor skills they are capable of (while having fun)!


Sprong, M. C., Broeders, W., van der Net, J., Breur, J. M., de Vries, L. S., Slieker, M. G., & van Brussel, M. (2021). Motor developmental delay after cardiac surgery in children with a critical congenital heart defect: A systematic literature review and meta-analysis.

What is it?

If you are a parent of a special needs child, you have learned to be very patient when it comes to your child’s progress in therapy programs and how to embrace the baby step milestones along the way. In this video, I will share with you how I had to develop patience too as a young professional, and how I was able to move on from it over a decade ago.

What does that have to do with TMR? Well, when I starting using TMR, I started seeing immediate changes in children’s bodies. What I would have seen change in 6 months, I could see change in 6 visits. In fact each visit had a change I could put my finger on.

Total Motion Release, or TMR, is an approach the physical therapy that the therapists at KidPT apply to all of their sessions. If you’re a current client, you may ask yourself, why have’t I heard of this before? Just like all of the approaches we integrate into our sessions, we don’t usually name them, because they’re all under the lens of pediatric physical therapy and regardless of how we get there, our #1 focus is always your goals and not how we get there.

If your home program involves holding your baby in different twist or crunch positions, or for an older child, playing or sitting in a twist position, you’ve been doing TMR! If your wondering why we’re always asking your child to work their easier side really really hard, this will explain why!

So what is it? As TMR has spread around the world, from here to Australia to India, many therapists and the families they work with have experienced the impact TMR can have on changing how the body moves. And how those changes can come FAST!

As one of just a few Certified TMR- Tots & Teens therapists, I wanted to share a video series on TMR, what it is, how it is used, and how it can spark change in children and adults with various movement challenges. This video is a general video on TMR for pediatrics. The following videos will share with you how TMR is applied with different diagnoses and disabilities.

Do you have a question? Post it below!

Happy Valentine’s Day 2022! This year let’s use Valentine’s Day as a day (5 minutes, 1 hour, whatever you got!!!) to give yourself some LOVE!!!

We know parents are busier than every before and life continues to be unpredictable and filled with curve balls. That’s why we’re here to remind to to practice some self-care for show yourself some love.

Here are some ideas for you! See what speaks to you and try to squeak one into your day this Monday.

  1. Go for a walk.
  2. Read a book or find a book club to join (with so many more virtual options these days, there are many virtual book club options! There’s even a Somerville/Bridgewater book club on Facebook that you could join).
  3. Meditate. I got started by setting a timer initially for 5 minutes. Start small and build a practice. Its such a gift to give yourself a quiet mind each day.
  4. Take a screen break. Choose a period of time and put away all the screens for a while. You choose how to use that time.
  5. Yoga; find a 15 minute yoga flow on YouTube and try it out.
  6. Dance it out. Play your favorite song and just move!
  7. Blast your favorite song! Turn off Cocomelon and put on YOUR favorite song. Belt it out!
  8. Use some essential oils to give your nose a happy little moment.
  9. Call a friend. Sometimes we sacrifice our friendships while being busy in our lives. Reach out to a friend and enjoy that connection.
  10. Buy yourself some chocolate and enjoy!

I hope this list got you brainstorming about a small part of your day that can be focused on YOU. You are worth it and some self love will help you be your best self for your family too!

The winter olympic games have begun. It is amazing to see what the human body can achieve with consistent hard work and dedication. If you are like us and enjoy watching the games as a family, here are some ideas to bring the winter games to your very own living room and keep your kiddos active.

Ice Skating

Have your child practice their speed skating or figure skating skills with this fun indoor activity. Have your child skate around the house with each foot on a paper plate or a furniture slider or in tissue boxes. Have them practice their twists,  turns, and spins. 

Ice Skating at home!


Don’t throw away that amazon box. Have your child decorate their very own bobsled. Once they have produced a personalized sled, they can sit in the box and weight shift side to side as though they pretend they are racing down a winding track. Turn this into fun “heavy work” by having your children take turns pushing the other child in the box across the floor. Heavy work can be organizing for both the sensory and emotional regulation systems. Don’t have an empty cardboard box? Use a laundry basket instead.


Take out those furniture gliders again and have your child stand with one foot on each glider. Have them propel themselves forward with sliding their feet and using 2 pool noodles. You can even set up cones that they have to skate around or go in and out.


Place a pillow or wobble board on the floor and have your child assume the snowboarding position and have them rock back and forth and even touch their hand to the ground as if they are gliding down a snowy slope. Enhance the experience by playing a YouTube video in the perspective of someone snowboarding down a mountain

Watch some of the Olympic sports with your children and see what creative ideas they come up with to imitate the sports at home!