What is Physiotherapy?

Physiotherapists are regulated health professionals with the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario, who work with children and youth with movement difficulties to help them achieve their maximum level of functional independence and mobility. Physiotherapy promotes motor development and function, fosters independence and increases participation in daily activities and routines at home, school, daycare and community and eases care giving. Practical suggestions may be given regarding:

  1. Positioning for activities of daily living
  2. Adapting toys for play
  3. Expanding mobility options
  4. Using equipment effectively and safely

What will the physiotherapist provide?

At the THRIVE Child Development Centre, Physiotherapists provide services for children/youth from birth to 19 years of age with a variety of needs. The Physiotherapist works closely with the child, the family, caregivers and other health care professionals to establish individualized therapy goals and treatment plans.

Physiotherapist work with children/youth who have difficulty with:

  • Muscle and joint function
  • Muscle tone
  • Strength and endurance
  • Mobility and gait
  • Cardiopulmonary status
  • Fitness
  • Balance and coordination
  • Posture and stability
  • Sensory and neuromotor development
  • Equipment, splinting and bracing needs
  • Transfers and lifts
  • Safety and accessibility
  • Recreational needs


Prior to intervention the Physiotherapist will complete a comprehensive assessment help understand your child/youth’s motor skills and interests. Therapists use a variety of observational and standardized assessment tools to measure physical and developmental change. Therapists can help you understand your child/youth’s development i and help you recognize their growth & development over time. As well as looking at motor development, the therapist will assess and try to better understand:

  • How your child/youth’s bones and muscles work together to move their body.
  • How your child/youth’s brain and nervous system work to move their muscle and bones.
  • How well your child/youth’s muscles and nervous system work together to help them move around safely and independently in their home, school and community.
  • Your child/youth’s need for equipment to help with mobility and functional skills such as transfers and stairs.

Types of Therapy Services:

  • Direct therapy, either individual or groups, offered by a therapist or therapy assistant.
  • Monitoring in which the therapist trains someone else involved with the child/youth on a more regular basis to carry out the physiotherapy plan. The therapist is in regular contact with the person who carries out the program.
  • Consultation with parents, caregivers, day care staff, school staff, etc to address the needs identified in the assessment and to help the client develop the skills to achieve their goals.
  • Home programs for use by parents, caregivers, day care staff, school staff
  • Physiotherapists are involved in a number of clinics at the Thrive Child Development Centre including:
    • Orthopaedic
    • Orthotic
    • Botox
    • Neuromuscular
  • Collaboration with children,youth and their families, caregivers, daycare and school staff and other agencies to provide individualized treatment plans suited to each child/youth’s and family’s strengths and needs.
  • Education and training for families, school personnel and caregivers on, gross motor programs, the use of equipment, safe lifting and other related issues
  • The type(s) of intervention chosen will depend on the needs of the individual. The physiotherapist also supports the parents and caregivers to teach them how to help the child/youth in home, school and community settings.

Eligibility for Physiotherapy Services

The Thrive Physiotherapy department provides service to:

  • All children with gross motor and mobility issues up to the age of 5
  • Only children with complex needs from the age of 5-19

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