Common questions asked by parents about their child’s development:

Common Questions: My daughter is 4 months old. She tilts her head to the left and often turns her head toward the right.  She does not like playing on her tummy and recently I noticed that she has a flat spot on the back right side of her head. What should I do?  

Answer:  It is important for your baby to turn her head in both directions and be able to achieve her head in midline during play. Tummy time is the foundation of your baby’s motor development. Spending time on their stomach helps create a well-rounded head, whereas the development of flat spots on the back of their head may occur with playing too often on their back. The process of lifting his/her head while on her tummy strengthens her neck and upper back muscles.  Encourage her to look in both directions while playing on her tummy by the use of motivating toys, and gradually build up the amount of time she is playing on her tummy.  If she does not like lying directly on her tummy on the floor, try laying her over a Boppy pillow or roll a blanket under her chest.  At first your child might become easily fatigued because it is a lot of work to lift their head up.  The more practice you give your baby, the stronger their muscles will get and the easier tummy time will be for them.  Try to avoid frequent use of the infant swing and prolonged time in the car seat, as these positions will further worsen your child’s flat spot. < click link for more info

It is important that your baby learn to achieve her head in midline and build her tolerance with tummy time at a young age.  Head shape can best be changed in the first 6 months of life.  If you have concerns and want to learn ways to best promote your child’s symmetrical head movements and neck range of motion, we can help!

Common Questions:  My son is 2 years 10 months old and receives Early Intervention services (birth – 3 yrs) for PT.  He is currently going through the transition process and has recently been evaluated through the Committee on Special Education (3- 5yr old).  I was told by the evaluation team that based upon the new qualification guidelines, my son would not be eligible to receive services after his 3rd birthday.  I still have concerns with his balance and he still trips a lot.  I am nervous that without support he will not be able to continue to make progress and may possibly regress. Does he still need Physical Therapy?

Answer:  Many times children who don’t qualify for therapy through CPSE, or even Early Intervention still have delays and need therapy elsewhere.  Here at Developmental Steps we often supplement CPSE or EI services and offer services for children who no longer qualify;

These children transition to private PT at our gym.  You mentioned that your child is tripping frequently, this could be due to low muscle tone or developmental incoordination.  Your child may have weak core strength, leading to difficulty controlling his or her body on uneven surfaces or on the playground.  In our state-of-the-art gym, we provide individualized one on one sessions to help a child achieve motor milestones, and to teach parents how to avoid future problems.  It is important to your son to gain as much strength and postural stability as possible; this will help him to be more successful and confident with physical activities in preschool and eventually elementary school.

Common Questions:  My son is 8 years old and wants to play baseball.  However, he has difficulty catching a ball and is easily frustrated when unable to hit the ball or run the bases as quickly as others. Would your office be able to help?

Answer:  All children love to be outdoors and the Spring weather brings many sports. We will look at the physical requirements of your child’s sport and gear a program toward his abilities. Our office offers numerous activities to help strengthen your son’s core muscles as well as playful exercises to help him develop stability in his postural muscles and improve his balance.  Our therapists can help you understand some underlying factors that may lead to a child’s clumsiness and possibly recommend proper shoes and/or orthotics to promote better stability and support.  These simple strategies and an understanding of the underlying causes can help to improve sports performance and your child’s confidence while strengthening his body at the same time.

About Developmental Steps: At Developmental Steps we will provide you & your child with a personalized, motivational and successful exercise program to help your son/daughter reach their greatest potential.  Our Physical Therapists all have many years of experience working with children.  We take pride in our unique kid friendly gym and using creative methods to motivate your child toward their accomplishments while making exercise fun.  Your child will have the best care around while achieving their highest potential and making the growth you expect!

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