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What Does Pediatric Physical Therapy at Home Look Like?

What Does Pediatric Physical Therapy at Home Look Like?

There are many benefits to your child receiving pediatric physical therapy at home. But what’s it like? How does it work and what can you expect during the therapist’s visits? 

Let’s take a look at the role of pediatric physical therapists and the process your child will experience as they receive therapy services.


What does a Pediatric Home Physical Therapist do?

A pediatric home physical therapist specializes in providing therapeutic services to children within the comfort of their own homes. This includes evaluating a child’s physical abilities, developing personalized treatment plans, and implementing exercises and activities designed to improve motor skills, strength, coordination, and overall physical function.


Pediatric physical therapy is different from pediatric occupational therapy in that physical therapy focuses on improving a child’s movement, while occupational therapy helps develop the skills needed for daily living.

Goals and Scope of Pediatric Physical Therapy at Home

Pediatric physical therapy addresses conditions like developmental delays, neurological disorders, genetic conditions, and orthopedic issues experienced by children. The primary goals are to enhance the child’s physical capabilities, promote independence in daily activities, and support their overall physical development.


What to Expect During Home Visits With a Pediatric Physical Therapist

Setting Appointments

Pediatric home physical therapists typically work with families to schedule appointments at convenient times for them. Each session is typically 30-60 minutes long, depending on the needs of the child, and is prepared and managed efficiently to focus on specific needs.

Conducting an Evaluation

An initial assessment is conducted by the therapist of the child’s physical abilities, strengths, and areas needing improvement. This includes observing the child’s movements, discussing medical history, and understanding the family’s goals for therapy.

Setting Goals, Monitoring Progress

The activities initiated by the pediatric physical therapist may look like play, but they are goal-oriented and tailored to the child. Based on their evaluation, the therapist will set achievable goals and continuously monitor progress, adjusting the goals as necessary to ensure ongoing improvement.

Interactive Exercises & Activities

The therapy sessions are designed to be engaging and interactive, incorporating play-based activities that are fun and therapeutic. These activities aim to improve specific physical skills while keeping the child motivated and involved.

How Does Pediatric Home Physical Therapy Help Children?

Physical Therapist Working with Child in Their Home
Children tend to respond better in environments that make them feel more at ease. Receiving physical therapy within the home provides a comfortable and familiar space where children can practice and develop new skills. 

How to Prepare Your Home For Physical Therapy

Open Space

Create an open space free of obstacles where your child can move around safely during sessions.

Supportive Furniture

Use supportive furniture like sturdy chairs, sofas, and tables that can aid your child’s exercise.

Favorite Toys

Have your child’s favorite toys on hand for the therapist to incorporate into the therapy sessions to make them more enjoyable and motivating.

Implement Safety Measures

Ensure the therapy area is safe by removing tripping hazards, securing rugs, and providing adequate lighting.

Types of Exercises Used in Sessions

The exercises in pediatric physical therapy sessions are split into three categories: core strengthening, motor skills, and sensory processing exercises. While they are targeting specific areas of need, the pediatric physical therapist creates dynamic sessions using activities that are fun and enjoyable.

Physical Therapy Activities for Kids to Do at Home Between Sessions

Core Strengthening

  • Picking up and placing down items using feet
  • Floor ice skating using plates or towels
  • Tightrope walk along a piece of tape

Motor Skills

  • Simon Says
  • Balloon volleyball
  • Obstacle course

Sensory Processing

  • Sensory bins
  • Bubbles
  • Finger painting

Engaging the Family in Home Physical Therapy

Family involvement is an important aspect of home physical therapy. Having family members actively participate helps reinforce the therapeutic activities the child is practicing and provides emotional support to the child.

Family members or caregivers can provide support for ongoing physical therapy in the following ways:

Consistent practice

Encourage regularly practicing the activities and exercises between therapy sessions. This will help the sessions themselves to be most productive and cause quicker results.

Positive Reinforcement

Use praise and rewards to motivate the child and encourage further progress.

Active Participation

Engage in therapy activities alongside the child to provide support and encouragement.

Utilize Family Dynamics

Siblings and other family members can be incorporated into therapy sessions as ways to motivate the child, making activities more enjoyable and fostering a supportive environment.

Benefits of Pediatric Physical Therapy at Home

Home-based care is effective because it allows therapy to occur in a familiar and comfortable environment, reducing stress and increasing the child’s willingness to participate. It also helps provide personalized care with the ability to integrate therapy into the child’s daily routine.

Americare Can Help

Pediatric home physical therapy offers a practical and effective solution for supporting children’s physical development. 

Every day Americare provides pediatric home health services to children living in New York. By providing physical therapy in a familiar environment, involving family members, and utilizing personalized care plans, we help families access home-based therapy that can significantly improve their child’s quality of life. 

Reach out to us at Americare today to get guidance and support, and learn more about pediatric home physical therapy.


Last Updated: June 7, 2024