What is an initial evaluation?

An initial evaluation is considered your first visit as a patient of our clinic and is a detailed visit with your physical therapist to determine a plan of care to best treat your child’s condition. Often this includes a conversation about your child’s condition, health history and goals. These visits often include stretches and exercises. Following the initial evaluation, we will work with you to schedule your child’s next visits.

How often do I need to come for physical therapy?

This depends on your child’s individual needs. Your child’s physical therapist will work with you to develop a treatment plan together. This usually consists of one to three visits per week depending on your child’s condition.

What do physical therapists do?

Physical therapists are movement experts who work with patients to enhance quality of life with exercise, hands-on care and education. Physical therapists, after making a diagnosis, create personalized care plans to improve mobility, manage pain and chronic conditions, recover from an injury and prevent future injuries and chronic conditions. Physical therapists treat people of all ages.

What do physical therapist assistants do?

Physical therapist assistants are licensed clinicians who work under the direction and supervision of physical therapists. Like physical therapists, they help patients recover from injuries, gain movement and manage pain. Physical therapist assistants treat people of all ages.

Can I avoid surgery if I do physical therapy?

Physical therapy, for some conditions, has been found to be as effective as surgery. Consider physical therapy before undergoing expensive and invasive surgeries.

What are common symptoms and conditions that physical therapy can help with?

Physical therapy can help with a wide variety of symptoms and conditions including but not limited to developmental delays, walking abnormalities such as toe-walking, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, down syndrome, genetic abnormalities, hypotonia, hypertonia, torticollis, coordination disorders, balance disorders, post-surgical and NICU graduates.

What if I have a new concern with my child while they’re being treated?

We are here to help! Please let your physical therapist know of any other issues or new concerns. We work on the entire body, so chances are we can help. If physical therapy is an option for treating your child’s new condition, we may modify their current plan of care. Or we may establish a separate plan of care to address the other condition(s). We’ll work with you to determine the best path to getting your child better.

Why do I need to do exercises with my child?

Physical therapists’ end goal is for patients to get to the point where they can maintain on their own. In order to do that, they will push your child beyond their comfort zone a little bit. Physical therapists will encourage your child to go beyond what they think they can do to help them live their best life. Most people only go to therapy a few times each week. Stretching and strengthening exercises need to be done almost daily to get the improvement your child needs. Your child’s exercises are like eating a salad: you’re not going to have a healthy diet if you eat a salad once a week and eat cake the rest of the week, they need to become part of your daily routine. And yes, physical therapists can tell if someone is doing their home exercises or not.

How long will my child be in physical therapy?

Physical therapy takes patience and perseverance and is not a quick fix. If you want lasting results, you need to see the program through to the end.

What is the difference between pediatric physical therapy and pediatric occupational therapy?

Pediatric physical therapy helps you learn to move. This can include rolling, crawling, walking, jumping, and navigating stairs and obstacles. Pediatric physical therapy is teaching gross motor activities. Pediatric occupational therapy teaches you how to complete tasks that are part of daily life, such as dressing—zippering and buttoning, eating—holding a utensil, and taking care of yourself. Pediatric occupational therapy is teaching fine motor tasks. It is common for both physical therapists and occupational therapists to work with doctors, nurses, social workers, speech or recreational therapists.

What should my child wear to my physical therapy appointment?

Dress comfortably so your child is free to move. Typically, loose-fitting clothing that allows for movement. Shorts are appreciated for gait assessments. Shoes, if necessary, should be supportive, such as a good-fitting pair of walking or running shoes.

What can I expect during my first visit?

You can expect to be talking with your child’s physical therapist about their overall health, the specific condition they are being seen for, their home environment, their health habits and activity level and their leisure and recreational interests. Your child’s physical therapist will complete an examination, which might include evaluating your child’s strength, flexibility, balance, coordination and posture. Your child’s physical therapist wants to help them to be as active and independent as possible. Together, you and your child’s physical therapist will determine goals for physical therapy.

What should I do to prepare for my first visit?

If you have any questions for your child’s physical therapist, write them down and bring them with. Please fill out the new patient paperwork or arrive early enough to complete it prior to your child’s appointment.

What do I need to bring to my first appointment?

For your child’s first appointment, please bring your photo ID, your insurance card, a list of your child’s current medications and completed paperwork that you received prior to the appointment.

What times are available to make my appointment?

We have many appointment times to fit your schedule. We are open Monday through Friday and start seeing patients as early as 7 a.m. We can see patients over the lunch hour and have our last appointment scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Give us a call and we can usually schedule your child within the next 24 to 48 hours.

Do I need a physician’s referral for physical therapy?

While insurance policies may require you to visit a primary care provider first or limit your access to preferred providers only, all 50 states and the District of Columbia allow you to contact a physical therapist without a physician’s referral. You have the right to choose your child’s own physical therapist. Your child is not obligated to receive physical therapy in any specific facility.

What forms of payment are accepted?

We accept cash, check, credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover), and health savings account (HSA) cards.

May I pay for physical therapy with cash?

If you do not have insurance or if we are out-of-network (which means we do not have a contract with your insurance carrier), then please inquire about our cash-pay program.

What is co-insurance?

A share of the payment you make per visit. This amount is a percentage (such as 20%) you pay for each visit.

What is a co-pay?

A payment you make in addition to the payment made by health insurance. This is a set amount you pay per visit (such as $25 per visit).

What is a deductible?

A specified amount you pay before an insurance company will pay on your visit. You are responsible for the full amount of each visit until the deductible is met.