If you’ve been told that your child would benefit from some physical therapy sessions, you want to make sure that you set them up with a physical therapist that is right for their specific needs. But even if you’ve undergone physical therapy in the past, it can be hard to know how to find the right PT for your child. In today’s blog, we share some tips for how parents can find a great physical therapist for their child.
When Your Child Needs A Physical Therapist
Here are some things you’ll want to keep in mind when trying to find the right physical therapist to help with your child’s situation:
- Diagnosis Specific – When researching online or calling physical therapy clinics, you’ll want to make sure that they have a lot of experience treating the issue that your child is dealing with. If your 14-year-old daughter is recovering from a torn ACL, you’ll probably have more PT options than if your 4-year-old is dealing with the fallout of a rare genetic condition. Research which clinics have experience treating the specific issue your child is dealing with, and ensure that they have successfully managed it in a pediatric population.
- Accepts Your Insurance – This is a good tip to keep in mind whenever you’re in need of a physical therapist. Although PT isn’t terribly expensive, these sessions are typically partly or fully covered by your insurance provider, so long as the clinic accepts your insurance. Double check to see if your carrier is accepted.
- Observe The Interaction At The First Appointment – The reality is that you can’t really tell if a physical therapist or a clinic will be a good fit for your child until you set up an initial appointment. During that assessment, really take note of how the PT interacts with your child. It’s not uncommon for kids to be shy or apprehensive during this first visit, and how the physical therapist works to carefully navigate this situation will tell you a lot about how good of a fit they are. If they are supportive, encouraging, and willing to adapt based on how your child is interacting, odds are they’ll be a good fit going forward. If it just doesn’t feel like a great connection, consider looking elsewhere.
- Ask Your Child – Try to talk with your child about the session and see what they thought. Don’t just ask whether or not they liked their PT, ask about the totality of the session, including if they thought it was helpful, if their physical therapist taught them anything and if they would be willing to go back for another session. Again, this conversation may be very different based on the age of your child, but try to learn more about the session and whether or not it was generally favorable from your child’s perspective.
- Goal Alignment – Finally, it’s helpful to have a conversation with the physical therapist at the end of the first session about their assessment and the goals you have for your child. Everyone needs to be on the same page in order for things to run smoothly, so if your child wants to overcome their injury and get back to playing soccer, we need to know that. Together, we’ll work to formulate some lofty but achievable goals that all parties will work towards during in-clinic and at-home PT sessions. If you don’t see eye to eye with the physical therapist in terms of the goals and expectations you have for your child, look elsewhere for therapy, but also be open to the possibility that you could benefit from reevaluating your expectations.
If you do all of the above and check out some of the Google Reviews of the clinics you are considering, we are confident that you will find a physical therapist that is the perfect fit for your child. We have helped countless children overcome injuries or underlying issues, and we’d be happy to do the same for your family. For more information, or to learn about our pediatric physical therapy options, give the team at OrthoRehab Specialists a call today at (612) 339-2041.
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