Physiotherapy for Young Children

Once your child has been referred into St. Joseph’s they will be seen by one of our physiotherapists for an initial assessment.

Stage 1. Assessment

This initial assessment looks at what your child’s abilities are, what they can do and we then build on these abilities to help them reach their full physical potential.

The key areas we look at on initial assessment are:

  • Gross Motor Skills
  • Mobility skills
  • Strength
  • Function e.g. balance
  • Family’s Needs

Stage 2. Treatment Programme

From this assessment we then form the basis of our treatment programme.

  • All our treatment programmes aim to promote function, strengthening, mobility, postural alignment and independence. They are discussed with the whole team, carers and family
  • It is essential for the whole team and your family to be involved in carrying out treatment programmes
  • Treatment programmes may also involve the introduction of adaptive equipment, such as orthotics, Lycra garments, standers and walkers
  • In designing our therapy programmes we try to incorporate the activities/exercises into everyday activities, such as bathing, dressing, feeding, swimming etc…

“A young child gets maximum stimulation and motivation through engaging with others and their surrounding environment”

We aim to enable each child to achieve this level of engagement with their family and their home environments.  We do this by helping a young child achieve & maintain an upright position.  This starts with head control, mobility in lying - rolling, progressing to sitting, then onto crawling, standing and walking. 

Some children may need more time, help and support to achieve all these stages and it is the role of the physiotherapist to determine what supports are best needed. This is the stage when adaptive equipment may be considered.

The ethos and values of the Physiotherapists in St. Joseph’s are based around a family centered approach, it has been proven, extensively, that the most effective way to ensure a child’s, well-being is to provide services that engage, involve, strengthen, and support families.

We actively encourage all families to play a central role in your child’s therapy. We will look for you as their parents, guardians, brothers, sisters, relatives to all be involved.

Stage 3. Specialist Services

We work closely with Enable Ireland when developing care plans for some children, who may require a more detailed level of monitoring.

We use their clinical expertise and their direct access to specialist practitioners to best manage your child’s hips and spine. This is an essential “link in” with specialists in this area, as the hip and spinal joints, may in some cases, need some extra support to ensure they develop in correct alignment.

Once a month the Physiotherapy Department manages an orthotic clinic, at which, we work closely with a team of clinical specialist orthotists, in the assessment, supply and monitoring of a range of orthotics for the children who attend St. Joseph’s Foundation.

Please contact anyone on the team if you have any queries:

Nicki Gargan
Senior Physio Adults & Children
Tel: (086) 4611642
Email: ngargan@stjosephsfoundation.ie

Premanand Prabbakaran
Senior Physio Adults & Children
Tel: (086) 8223924
Email: pprabbakaran@stjosephsfoundation.ie