How Physical Therapy Can Help Your Child on the Spectrum

Physical Therapy

Children on the spectrum may struggle with several motor skills, developing them later than their peers. What does this mean? Muscles in the fingers, legs and arms may be weaker or have less coordination, leading to difficulties in sports and everyday activities. It could be harder to kick a ball, enjoy a playground or write or otherwise participate in school.

Specialists, however, can work on muscle development and posture. If your little ones are struggling with fine or gross motor skills, consider finding professionals in physical therapy for kids.

Muscle Control and Strength

Studies indicate that kids on the spectrum have coordination and physical development delays. This lag varies in individuals but ultimately leads to difficulties completing age-appropriate activities. After all, physical growth is important among kids as they spend much of their time learning and playing, both of which rely on movement.

It’s hard emotionally and socially for kids when they can’t do what others their age can. While others are off riding bikes or climbing playsets, children on the spectrum may feel left out. Their bodies aren’t ready to handle those situations because muscle control and strength may lag. In fact, according to the Autism Society, approximately 30% of children with autism have lower muscle tone. These two traits are essential in much of kids’ physical activity to play and get about their day. It may not be possible for such children to push their legs on a swing or skip about with friends.

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Autism and Physical Therapy

However, these muscle and posture delays could improve when parents reach out to professionals for assistance in physical therapy in Louisville, KY.  The field centers around helping people reduce discomfort and increase the body’s ability to move and perform. Therapists often have master’s degrees and years of training in understanding how to alleviate such difficulties.

The therapists can assess children’s abilities, working with parents to create goals and routines to bolster control and build the weaker muscles. In addition, they create activities and exercises to develop various skills. A number of techniques work for younger and older kids.

Babies and toddlers on the spectrum could have trouble walking, crawling or rolling. These early signs may indicate that there’s a need for help. Therapists can offer support here, learning these early stages.

Older youth may focus on other areas, such as learning their body placement and bolstering the strength in the back and legs to sit more easily. They may focus on balance to minimize falls and work on play skills such as throwing a ball or pedaling a bike. In addition, the therapist could discuss body awareness, such as spatial comfort. In turn, children may feel better about getting out among friends because they are better capable of handling the fun that’s taking place.

There is hope if you’re looking for an intervention to build a bridge, bringing children on the spectrum closer to others. Talk with your pediatrician about goals for your kids, and ask about experts in Highlands Louisville, Kentucky physical therapy treatment. With help, you could see advancement, closing some of the gaps in your child’s development.

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