Does your child need the assistance of a physio? Are you unsure how to find a physiotherapist that suits your needs?
We recently came across a great article in Source Kids, that provides helpful tips from physiotherapist Dace Johnson which we thought we would share.
Dace explains where to search for a physio, questions to ask yourself and what to expect from that first appointment.
Where to find a physiotherapist.
There are several options:
Ask your child’s GP/paediatrician for a referral
Talk to other parents or teachers and find out if they have seen anyone who they would recommend – word of mouth is always the best referral!
Check the Source Kids Directory and the Leap in! Provider Network Directory)
Do an internet search
Paediatric physiotherapists can care for a wide range of conditions experienced by children. Alternatively, they may be able to refer you to the best person they know.
You can access physiotherapists who work with children or young people through the public hospital system, community health centres or private practice.
Selecting a physiotherapist.
First impressions count. When you phone to enquire, the person on the other end of the phone should be approachable, friendly, helpful and knowledgeable.
The physiotherapist needs to be flexible with their availability. Do they do hospital, home, school or childcare visits and see children in their rooms? Do they do combined consultations with other therapists? Do they do playgroups or one on one sessions?
At your first appointment, get a sense of how the physical space feels. Is the space kid-friendly and welcoming? Do reception staff welcome you, know who you are and make you feel relaxed and comfortable? Are there accessible baby change and toilet facilities?
What can you expect at your first physio appointment?
The physio should explain what will happen in the assessment process. Assessment initially involves an interview with you and getting a brief background history.
They will then look at your child’s posture and movement. Depending on the child’s age, this will be done through play and may include age-appropriate development, flexibility, balance, strength and coordination activities.
You should feel comfortable and find it easy to talk to the physio. When determining if they are right for you, ask yourself the following:
Did they listen to you?
Did they ask about your concerns for your child, the NDIS goals you’re working towards, medical history and treatments undertaken?
Are they knowledgeable?
Do you feel they are capable and caring? Did they relate to your child and make them feel comfortable?
Findings and treatment.
The physio should discuss their assessment findings with you in a manner you can understand and welcome questions.
They should explain any treatment options, guide you on choosing a particular intervention, and then outline a plan and a timeframe for reviews if needed.
If your child is old enough, the physiotherapist should also discuss the treatment options with your child in a way they can understand.
It’s essential that you can tell if your child is changing or progressing. It may be that your child acquires a new skill such as crawling or hopping. There may be a measurement showing a knee is now straighter. Or your child may be pain-free.
Expect to come away with practical and user-friendly activities to do outside of the physio session.
Choosing the right health professional can make all the difference in your child’s ability to live their best life and improve their independence.
Connect with providers today!
Did you know that Leap in! can help you connect with providers near you, matched to the budgets available in your NDIS Plan? Learn more about Providers Near You or take a look at our Provider Network Directory.