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Physical Therapy

Learning to play and playing to learn

A bridge to confidence

Children with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental delays sometimes have challenges moving through their spaces successfully on a daily basis. These kids often need extra support to develop gross motor skills. At Hopebridge, we do this through the process of play. Our physical therapy environment and exercises are designed to build strength, mobility, balance, coordination, endurance and most of all, confidence.

Physical therapy involves getting the brain, bones and muscles working together to create smooth movements. Children are encouraged to have fun while working to accomplish tasks. Goals can be anything from sitting on a chair or walking long distances, to climbing stairs or using a playground.

Strength in numbers

Hopebridge’s proven, team-based approach spans essential aspects of treatment, and the benefits of physical therapy are augmented when we combine it with other services. Collaboration is part of what makes our therapy so successful; since knowledge of sensory-processing needs and behavioral tendencies can impact techniques and make it more effective overall.

Licensed DPTs and PTAs have experience working with a variety of diagnoses and conditions, as well as participate in ongoing training on the most up-to-date and innovative approaches. Our centers have gyms full of specially chosen, pediatric-friendly equipment and activities to motivate and guide our children toward their goals.

Who can benefit from physical therapy?

Hopebridge specialists assist children with:

  • Sensory-processing difficulties that produce physical effects
  • Poor coordination or balance
  • Muscle tightness or weakness
  • High or low muscle tone
  • Gait challenges, such as toe walking
  • Issues with postural tasks, such as sitting, running or jumping
  • Delayed or atypical motor milestones
  • Increased motor stereotypes
  • Functional movement

How is physical therapy different from occupational therapy?

At Hopebridge, both our OT and PT services focus on building skills from the beginning rather than rehabilitation. Physical therapy is where we focus on how kiddos use their bodies to play – with help from movement and musculoskeletal specialists – whereas occupational therapy builds day-to-day life skills. Though there is some rollover, PT hones in on gross motor skills and OT mostly sharpens fine motor skills. The two therapies are extremely complementary and are often both recommended in the treatment plan.