Pain prevention is just as important for your children as it is for you! So the more you know about what to expect, the more likely you can prevent painful or difficult medical/developmental issues during your child’s early years of life. Your child may benefit from Physical, Speech, and/or Occupational Therapy in order to maximize his/her strength, motor skills, communication, eating, swallowing and overall functioning in daily life.
Here are a few brief checklists (from hceip.org) for parents of young children, to know if your child is developing at age-appropriate levels. Obviously, there is a range of norms for developmental milestones, which your pediatrician is monitoring regularly (at well visits). However, the pediatrician does not see your child on a daily basis, so you are the best person to assess his/her development! As the parent, take the initiative to know what your child should be doing at various ages, especially during the first few years of life. If you feel your child needs any therapy, request a referral or prescription from your pediatrician.
One major benefit of early intervention (of PT, OT, or Speech) is that it may be covered by various medical programs, to decrease your out-of-pocket cost. Also, it will help to decrease your child’s need for therapies in the future. Do not be afraid or ashamed to put your child into one of these types of therapy because it truly will help! It does a disservice to your son/daughter if you choose not to use PT, OT or ST once you know it is needed. Having a child be able to do age-appropriate activities will improve the quality of life for your whole family. Plus, it is fun for children! Pediatric PT’s, ST’s and OT’s love to play games in order to make learning as fun and engaging as possible!
Article 1: When Should a Parent Refer a Child to Physical Therapy?