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Home > Physical Therapy > Who needs PT?

Who needs PT?

Medically necessary therapies are very different than educational therapies through TEIS or school systems. Most children need both to make huge gains in development! Families rely solely on their pediatrician’s referral for medically based therapies. Here are some “red flags” to know when to refer for medically based pediatric therapies.

Gross Motor

Any known medical diagnosis can be considered a “red flag”: Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy, congenital heart condition, frequent ear infections, sensory avoiders, low muscle tone or high tone…

Newborn to 3 months old:

· Unable to turn head both ways fully or postures with sidebend of neck and trunk ( Possible torticollis or fascial restrictions causing pelvic obliquity and tightness of neck muscles)

·Breathing erratically, has excessive belly breathing, caving in at chest, appears restless, has excessive tongue thrusting (could be sign of fascial restrictions or high muscle tone)

·Constipated or having difficulty with reflux (could be sign of fascial restrictions in abdomen, pelvis, or chest area)

·Not moving arms and legs equally on both sides, not bringing hands to midline, not making eye contact, maintains arms/legs fully flexed or fully extended position (signs of muscle tone abnormalities)

Six to Nine Months:

· Not rolling by 6 months of age from supine to prone both R and L sides

· Not pushing up on straight arms, lifting his head and shoulders, by 7 months of age

· Not sitting upright in a child-sized chair by 9 months of age

· Not sitting independently by 7 months of age and falls over easily

· Not crawling (”commando” crawling–moving across the floor on his belly) by 9-10 months of age or inability to move legs or arms equally


                                                                 Ten to Fourteen months:

· Not creeping (on all fours, what is typically called “crawling”) by 11 months of age or any abnormal creeping patterns like bottom shuffling or scooting. 

· Not pulling to stand by 10 months of age

· Not standing alone by 12 months of age

· Not walking by 14 months of age


Age 2 years and above:

· Not jumping, kicking, catching or throwing a ball by 28 months of age

· Not independent on stairs (up and down) by 30 months of age

· “walking” their hands up their bodies to achieve a standing position

·   walking on their toes, not the soles of their feet

· frequently falling/tripping, for no apparent reason

· still “toeing in” at two years of age


Any child at any age who develops difficulty with motor skills, scoliosis, pain, low or high muscle tone issues or any motor issues can benefit from a pediatric Physical Therapy evaluation!  Don't hesitate, call today!   


For referral information and insurance coverage questions, please call 931-372-2567 Centers of Development we are hear to help!

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