Individuals in the medical profession each come with their own strengths and weaknesses. Finding the right fit, not only in knowledge set, but comfort in helping your child with Cerebral Palsy address and overcome challenges associated with their condition, is essential. Doing so not only impacts the effectiveness of early intervention, but also ensures that your child is able to make the greatest impact possible with his or her therapy efforts. Comfort with your child’s physical therapist must come from your own experience, making the selection and ongoing usage an important process. Choosing your child’s physical therapist must combine comfort with the individual, as well as your child’s unique needs.
We provide the following not as a complete or definitive blueprint but, instead, as a starting point for ensuring that you take into consideration a variety of factors related to the care provided.
With that said, be sure to consider:
- What is your child’s comfort with the physical therapist? Because of the amount of trust and physical control involved in therapy, your child should be able to (if possible) remain calm and comfortable with each stage of his/her therapy. While one specialist may have more training or an extensive reputation, if they are unable to connect with your child nor have your child agree to go along with the recommended treatment, you may lose more time in the difficulties than on the assistance itself.
- Has your physical therapist worked with children who have CP before? Be sure that you’re not simply choosing a treatment location or person due to their presented qualifications but, instead, ensure you are working with someone who knows how to work with your child’s specific challenges.
- Does the therapist put safety/injury avoidance as a top priority? You know your child’s physical limits – if the therapist seems to be moving more with what they think should work versus what works for your child, especially given challenges that they face, it’s time to move on.
- Are therapy efforts built into progressive milestones or are they rushed? As much as physical safety should be prioritized, you should feel comfortable that you are not being pushed too fast. Rushed therapy may be indicative of a non-customized plan and, as such, not making as much impact as it should.
- Are goals clearly identified and is progress being made? Don’t allow your child’s physical therapist to provide lofty goals as the overall purpose of the efforts. Flexibility should be regularly measured with specific goals that apply to everyday life and not just an eventual general milestone (walking, balance, etc.)
Ultimately, both you and your child must feel comfortable with the therapy provided as well as the therapist. Your child’s future potential may be improved due to quality early intervention, making the timing and specificity of the treatment a very important component to review. Lifetime Benefits may help you in choosing a therapist due to the funds made available that are specifically aimed at helping your child reach their full potential. For more information on Physical Therapy, Lifetime Benefits, in addition to requesting a review of your child’s Cerebral Palsy diagnosis for assistance, call (800) 462-5772 or fill out our form today.