Physical Therapy

We provide physical therapy evaluation, assessment and intervention to infants, children and adolescents with the goal of maximizing potential for functional independence in the home, school and community.

Comprehensive evaluation and treatment planning always addresses the family’s primary concerns. We treat the whole child based on a dynamic systems model, addressing primary system impairments in order to maximize potential for functional independence and participation at home, in school and in the community.

We provide physical therapy evaluation, assessment and intervention to infants, children and adolescents with the goal of maximizing potential for functional independence in the home, school and community.

Comprehensive evaluation and treatment planning always addresses the family’s primary concerns. We treat the whole child based on a dynamic systems model, addressing primary system impairments in order to maximize potential for functional independence and participation at home, in school and in the community.

During therapy sessions, specialized, evidence-based treatment strategies, modalities and techniques are used to help improve the child’s ability to move, play, explore, learn, interact and practice new skills. Sessions are also used to educate the parents and to provide meaningful and functional ideas for the best carryover in the home environment.

At Move Play Grow we strive for best-practice out of our true passion for children and the profound belief that all children who require therapy services deserve caring and well-educated therapists who provide the most professional, comprehensive, and evidenced-based evaluation and treatment services possible in a family-centered environment.

FAQs

What is physical therapy (PT)?
We provide physical therapy evaluation, assessment and intervention to infants, children and adolescents with the goal of maximizing potential for functional independence in the home, school and community. Pediatric physical therapists are dynamic professionals who specialize in evaluating movement and postural control in the context of a child’s age-appropriate function. An evaluation and assessment can identify underlying impairments that may contribute to atypical movement or postural control.  Intervention focuses on those impairments in the context of function, with direct treatment and education of parents and caregivers for appropriate carryover in the child’s other typical roles and environments. Assessment and treatment planning always addresses the family’s primary concerns and goals in order to improve the child’s overall quality of life.
How often will my child need therapy services?
Depending on your concerns and the initial evaluation, the PT will recommend a certain frequency of care. Usually, care is provided 1-2 times per week, but is based on many different factors that are discussed during the initial evaluation.
How long will my child need therapy services?
Typically, children with developmental disabilities require ongoing physical therapy in order to help them to continue to develop age-appropriate motor skills, however depending on the family’s concerns, the child’s age, medical diagnosis, and pace of progress, therapy services can last anywhere from a few months to several years.
What ages are seen at your clinic?
Strides Physical Therapy currently sees infants, toddlers, children and adolescents birth to 18+ years of age.
Hours of operation?
Physical therapist, Wendi McKenna, currently treats children at the clinic on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Rachel Griffin is available on Wednesdays.
When will my child walk?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions and one of the most important goals for many parents and their children. Many systems in children’s bodies and in their environments contribute to their ability to walk. Though there is no crystal ball, children need to have some basic foundations and components of movement in order to take their first steps, such as, ability to balance in standing, ability to shift weight from one side to the other, ability to maintain core postural stability, ability to dissociate the extremities from one another and between joints, the confidence to try something new, and the motivation to be upright (to name a few….). Some children learn new motor skills quickly once the foundations are provided, while others take longer to assimilate what is taught. Though there is no timetable, your therapist can discuss the “steps” necessary in order to achieve this important goal.
What can I do at home to help?
Therapists are trained professionals that provide skilled observation, handling and treatment planning for your child. Because practice is the most important element of motor learning, incorporating a home program is an essential component of a comprehensive treatment plan. The therapist will provide you with ways to modify what you are already doing in your daily life (e.g. playing, dressing, bathing, feeding, etc) in order to reinforce what is taught in therapy sessions. The therapist will also give you ideas regarding how to play in order for the home program to be fun and motivating (for the child and parent).
Can I stay in the therapy room with my child?
Absolutely. Education is an essential component of a treatment plan. Observing and participating in your child’s therapy session will give you an opportunity to learn more about your child and the therapy so that you can understand the progression of treatment and can help to implement all components of a comprehensive treatment plan. On occasion, if your child demonstrates significant separation anxiety, it might help for the parent to be in another room, but this is an issue that you can discuss with your treating therapist. However, if you want to relax or network with other parents in the waiting room, you are welcome to sit out of your child’s therapy session.
Does my child need outpatient therapy services even if they are receiving services from the school system?
The school system of therapy is based upon need for services in order to access the educational environment. Goals are educationally driven and do not always address some of the concerns you might have for your child. Often children do receive services in both the school and clinical settings.
If I feel my child has delays or is struggling in a specific area (gross motor, fine motor, selfcare, speech, language, feeding etc) what should I do?

The first step is to trust your instincts as a parent. You know your child best. Speak to your pediatrician about your concerns and ask for an evaluation by a pediatric physical therapist, occupational therapist and/or speech language pathologist, depending on your concerns. It is best to obtain a prescription for these services, but it is not necessary in order to perform an evaluation. You have direct access to a physical therapist for an evaluation, even without a physician’s referral.

You can call the therapist directly and set up an evaluation or contact San Diego Regional Center (www.sdrc.org) if you feel that your child is exhibiting significant delays. They will provide you with a service coordinator who will help you navigate through the health system.

Do I need a prescription?
In California, physical therapists do not need a physician prescription to perform an initial physical therapy evaluation, however, a medical diagnosis provided by a physician is required for ongoing physical therapy treatment.
Does it hurt?
Depending on the child’s diagnosis and reason for receiving therapy services, physical therapy usually does NOT hurt. Stretching and strengthening can be unique feelings for many children and they often need to be taught the difference between pain, stretch, and the burn of muscle that is being used in strengthening activities. Often, school-aged children who are not familiar with using certain muscles or engaging in strengthening activities say “ow” when their tummy, arm and leg muscles are being worked, but this is not pain that is caused by damaged tissues.
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