INITIAL ASSESSMENT AND FOLLOW UP
During your child's first physiotherapy appointment, your physiotherapist will complete a detailed history to get to know your child and your family. They will want to know all about your child's personality including their likes/dislikes, communication style, their motivations and what they need assistance with. As a parent, you will then be asked a series of questions to ascertain your child's social circumstances, medical history, birth history, and general health. We may also ask for a copy of any appropriate medical documents or educational reports.
Once your Physiotherapist has obtained a thorough history, they will move on to the physical part of the assessment. Usually your Physio will start by observing how your child moves - depending on their age, this can be done using toys and games to encourage certain movements or gross motor skills. Once your child feels comfortable with their therapist, they will then begin the hands-on part of the assessment to determine your child's range of movement, muscle strength, muscle tone and functional abilities. In addition to this, depending on your child's presenting condition, your Physio may choose to complete a number of special tests to aid their diagnosis.
At the end of your initial assessment, your Physiotherapist will provide you with an exercise programme to complete at home/school/nursery. Here at RVCP we use an exercise app called Physitrack to create and distribute our exercise programmes. This innovative system allows the child or parent to input the number of reps and sets that your child has managed to complete via their phone or tablet, which allows us to monitor your child's rehab progress remotely. We can also create photo exercise programmes for children who require specific handling techniques within specific exercises.
We regularly liaise with schools, nurseries and sports training facilities to send copies of these programmes to a child's keyworker, SSA or coach in order for them to gain their full rehab potential with the support of a wider team; if there are any members of staff who require exercise training in order to best facilitate your child's progression, this is also something we can offer.
During your initial assessment, your Physiotherapist will discuss your child's needs and advise how much Physio input they would benefit from - this is not a one size fits all! Some children prefer to complete their Physiotherapy at home with their siblings, parents or carers, and some children prefer to be seen by their Physiotherapist more regularly as it can provide them with more personal accountability. In addition, if as a parent you would prefer your Physiotherapist takes care of your child's exercises in order to free up time for you to do more things as a family, this can also be accommodated.
TOY AND EQUIPMENT RECOMMENDATIONS
Our Physiotherapists are very experienced with therapy equipment, and can make equipment recommendations if they feel a particular piece of kit would be appropriate and beneficial for your child. Our Physiotherapists can also arrange appointments with equipment reps if equipment is being purchased privately, or liaise with NHS Physio's and OT's to discuss whether it's possible to source a piece of equipment through them in order to keep costs down for parents (where it is felt to be appropriate). We also very often recommend certain toys which we feel would compliment a child's programme and help progress their gross motor milestones.
MULTI-DISCIPLINARY TEAM WORKING
Here at RVCP, our Physiotherapists know how important multi-disciplinary team working is to ensure the best outcomes for your child. If your child is already working with a team of professionals, with your consent, your Physio will ask for their details in order to communicate with them. As there is very often a substantial amount of clinical crossover between certain specialities, this enables our therapists to help streamline your child's care and create collaborative goals with other professionals, ensuring we access your child's full rehab potential.
Your Physiotherapist will be able to provide progress reports where appropriate, and can send reports to other professionals in order to ensure continuity of care throughout their Physiotherapy treatment. Our Physiotherapists are also experienced at writing supporting documents for Educational Health Care Plans (EHCPs) and annual reviews; it should be noted that private healthcare professionals can submit their own draft reports at a parent's request, however goals will need to be agreed by NHS services and the local authority to be included in the final plan. As a parent, you will be informed of/included in any correspondence between RVCP and other healthcare professionals.
Your Physiotherapist can refer your child to other medical professionals (both private or NHS) if they feel further investigation or additional input is required. This can include (but is not exclusive to) Paediatrics, Orthopaedics, Rheumatology, GP, Orthotics and Occupational Therapy.
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