Autism and Physical Therapy

Puzzle design awareness ribbon with blue background April is Autism Awareness Month,

**The following is an except from, a website of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). For more information, read the full article, click here.

How can a Physical Therapist help children with an autism diagnosis?

“Physical therapists can work with your child, family, and educational team to help your child:

  • Improve participation in daily routines at home and school
  • Acquire new motor skills
  • Develop better coordination and a more stable posture
  • Improve reciprocal play skills, such as throwing and catching a ball with another person
  • Develop motor imitation skills (seeing another person perform an action and then copying that action)
  • Increase fitness and stamina

“A physical therapist will conduct a thorough evaluation of your child that will typically include a health and developmental history and assessment of:

  • Postural strength and control
  • Functional mobility (eg, walking and running)
  • Body and safety awareness
  • Coordination
  • Play skills
  • Interests and motivators
  • Ability to change between different activities
  • Strengths and challenges in making large body movements, such as jumping, hopping, pedaling a tricycle or bicycle, and skipping
  • Participation in daily routines in the home, community, and school

“Your physical therapist will work with you to develop goals to help your child participate as fully as possible in daily routines at home, in the community, and at school. Your physical therapist will then develop a comprehensive plan to meet your child’s, and your whole family’s needs. No “standard” treatment exists for children with ASD (Austism Spectrum Disorder). Each child’s challenges and goals are different. Your physical therapist will design an individual program to meet the strengths and needs of your child. The therapist will work with you to monitor how your child progresses, and collect data to make sure that the treatment plan is leading to positive outcomes for your child.”**

If you have questions regarding how physical therapy may benefit a friend or family member with Autism Spectrum Disorder, please contact your nearby Encore Rehabilitation clinic. Encore locations can be found by clicking here. 

**The above article is an excerpt from, a website of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). For more information, read the full article, click here.

Pediatric Program at Encore Rehabilitation-Hartselle

Pediatric Physical Therapy Programs – Mississippi

Pediatric Program at Encore Rehabilitation-Cullman


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