When you think of physical therapy, images of older or injured adults recovering from surgery probably come to mind. However, physical therapy is not just for those who are aging or injured. In fact, special needs children such as those with autism can greatly benefit from regular physical therapy in Cheyenne WY. Here’s how:
Children who have autism often do not develop imitation skills on their own. What are imitation skills? When children are young, they often imitate what they see people around them doing. These skills will eventually help children socialize and learn to speak, so they are crucial to a child’s development. If your child has not mastered his imitation skills, a physical therapist can help. For example, trained physical therapists can use fun songs such as “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” to help children learn how to mimic movements. Learn more about imitation skills
Children with autism typically have limited motor skills, which makes it difficult for them to navigate through their daily lives. A physical therapist can work one-on-one with affected children to help them improve their balance and develop the muscle strength they need to perform daily activities. After attending regular physical therapy sessions, children with autism may see improvements in their ability to sit upright, walk, run, and jump without assistance.
Physical therapists can also help children learn how to use these motor skills to play on their own or with others. For example, therapists can work with kids to help them understand how to climb on a playground or kick a ball in a game of soccer. They can also help them improve their motor planning skills. For instance, kids with autism may be able to climb into a swing, but they still might not be able to figure out how to pump their legs to get the swing to move. In this case, a physical therapist can focus on motor planning to fine tune these skills, which will help the child become more socialized as he learns how to play with others.
If you’ve ever seen a physical therapist after an injury, you know the importance of good posture. Practicing good posture can prevent painful injuries caused by slouching your shoulders or hunching your back. Unfortunately, children with autism often suffer from generalized joint hypermobility
(GJH), which can cause weak muscles, and therefore bad posture. A physical therapist can help by correcting any misalignments that are often found in the postures of children with autism and teaching them the importance of sitting up straight to elongate their spines.
At North Platte Physical Therapy, we’re dedicated to helping clients of all ages and abilities. If you’re curious about physical therapy, contact North Platte Physical Therapy
to learn more about how we can help you and your children live healthier lives. Our staff is praised throughout the Wyoming and Nebraska areas for our commitment to our clients. We can fulfill comprehensive physical therapy services, and would be happy to customize a treatment plan for your personal needs.