We will first evaluate your child, including having a conversation with you and conducting an appropriate and detailed test to determine the child's specific strengths and weaknesses. If the child has developmental delay, the therapist will problem-solve with you about your family's routines and environment to find ways to enhance and build your child's developmental skills.
In addition to evaluating your child and the environment in which the child moves, the physical therapist can give detailed guidance on building motor skills 1 step at a time to reach established goals. The therapist may guide the child's movements or provide cues to help the child learn a new way to move. For example, if a child is having a hard time learning to pull herself up to a standing position, the therapist might show the child how to lean forward and push off her feet; or if a child cannot balance while standing, the therapist may experiment with various means of support so the child can safely learn ways to stand.
The therapist will also teach the family what they can do to help the child practice skills during the child's everyday activities. The most important influence on the child is the family, because they can make sure the child has the opportunities needed to achieve each new skill.
The therapist will explain how much practice is needed to help achieve a particular milestone. A child learning how to walk, for example, covers a lot of ground during the day, and the therapist can provide specific advice on the amount and type of activities appropriate for your child at his/her stage of development.