As promised here are some of my go-to strategies during therapy sessions.  This carries over to home activities as well as any time a child is learning something new or facing a challenge.  None of these strategies have anything to do with physical therapy, movement, or motor development, but without them I wouldn’t be able to guide my kiddos to reach their goals.  The bottom line is that it takes two to tango and if the kiddo isn’t dancing, you’re not getting anywhere! Read more

Today was a great reminder as to how far a little laughter can take you when working with a child to overcome a challenge. I was at the park with a little girl I treat in the early intervention program. She is almost 2 and had never been on a playground swing. She has unique medical needs that have limited her exposure to a lot of things outside her home, but today we were at the park and ready to give the swing a shot. She didn’t complain at all getting in. She has seen her older brother and sister on swings, so she definitely had the message that this was going to be FUN. Her mom put her in and started pushing her. Read more

Children toe-walk for various different reasons. Medical causes such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy must be ruled out.  Many children on the autism spectrum will also toe-walk.  Additionally, children without any other diagnoses have been called idiopathic toe walkers.  It is important to understand that toe-walking is a MOVEMENT problem, not just an ANKLE problem.  This is why toe-walking can be challenging to parents and therapists alike.  A whole body approach is needed to achieve great results!  Read more

I just came from the house of an adorable 10 month old girl who I see through early intervention. She has been an amazing example of how quickly a child with an intact neurological system can learn new skills. This little girl had a rough start medically, but is now very healthy. With the medical concerns stabilized, her family was very concerned about her from a developmental perspective. When I started with her a couple of months ago she was barely sitting. Today she was crawling, cruising, and pulling to stand beautifully! She is now doing what other children her age are doing and is taking off. Read more

As a therapist working with kids with CP I often try to understand what it is like to be in the child’s shoes. Adults with CP have so much insight to offer therapists and parents alike. No 2 kids with CP, or 2 kids period, are the same, but we can gain a lot of knowledge by the vast experience of adults with disabilities who have been there, done that. Read more

I saw 2 kids today who are similar in their motor skills. They both have cerebral palsy and walk independently with their walkers. They are both verbal, sweet as can be, beautiful, fun, smart kiddos. They are very different though in their independence in their daily lives. The boy has been pushed to be as independent as possible from early on. He was allowed to fall and learned how to be responsible for his own body in space. The girl was never allowed to fall and has learned very well how to get her family and nanny to do things for her. Read more

Dear Blog,

Sorry for my neglectful behavior. I have not forgotten about you, but I had a lot to figure out in my professional life recently. The experience has led to a lot of clarification as to my goals and although the details continue to be a bit hazy, they are gradually revealing themselves. Read more

The following is an essay that a mom of one of my soon-to-be-discharged early intervention kiddos wrote for a contest through the NJ Early Intervention program. Not only did she win the contest (yay!), but it conveys to parents the hope that early intervention can bring to a family and the difference that therapy early on can make in a child’s life.

If I had to sum up in one word what The NJ Early Intervention System has meant to our family, its hope. When our youngest son Jonathan was born prematurely and soon after found to have hypotonia and both fine and gross motor delays we were so worried. What did this mean for his future? Would he ever catch up? What could we do to help him? So many concerns ran through our minds initially and then as we began our relationship with the early intervention program we began to find some answers and more importantly we began to find some hope. Read more

As a pediatric physical therapist specializing in developmental disabilities, I have worked with a lot of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) over the past 10 years. After several months of physical therapy, I frequently saw how related areas of development, such as communication and social skills, would improve after addressing their motor deficits. Read more

As summer approaches I have been working on my summer schedule with all my families. This is always a scheduling challenge, but more importantly it brings up a lot of big questions. Read more