Early Childhood Intervention
This website is a place for families who are facing
challenges pertaining to their child's development and
It is a place to find answers and practical
suggestions. That's what Early Intervention Support is all
Whether a family has a child with a challenging behavior,
a disability or developmental issue, childhood is short - it
should be savored and enjoyed.
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We understand developmental milestones and the challenges
of Special Needs children. We spend a great deal of time
with families understanding the inner workings of childhood
routines and interactions. Ask us about your child today!
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The Importance of Posture and Positioning for Play and Movement
As a pediatric physical therapist for many years, I keep
returning to the idea that posture, alignment and positioning
are crucial for helping all children develop efficient
ways of moving for play and exploration. Let's start by
talking about infants and toddlers.
For many years now it has been recommended that babies be placed to sleep
on their backs. This movement is now being called Safe Sleep for Your
Baby: Reduce the Risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). If you Google
"safe sleep" on the web, many hits come up. The site for The National
Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD) has a Safe Sleep
Top Ten List of how and why this is so important.
One of the most important items in the Top Ten List is number ten (to a
physical therapist, all ten are important), reduce chances of flat spots
developing on a baby's head. I have noticed a great increase in infants
developing flat spots and different shaped heads (when severe, the medical
term is called plagiocephaly) . The NICHD recommends "tummy
time" and "changing the direction the baby lies in the crib from one week
to the next" and to "avoid too much time in car seats, carriers, bouncers
etc." The other risk of too little tummy time and too much time in
carriers and similar equipment is tight neck muscles (the medical term is torticollis) which tilts the baby's head to one side and turns it to the
"Tummy Time" is integral to a baby's development . One of my
favorite brochures about Tummy Time is "Tummy Time Tools" from Children's
Healthcare of Atlanta. I found it on the web and one of the
families I work with was given the brochure by their pediatrician. The
brochure talks about why babies need tummy time, what tummy time is and
different activities to help you position, carry, hold and play with your
baby all with great photos and ideas. Ask any early intervention therapist
no matter what their specialty what they think about tummy time and they
will all recommend supervised belly time from day one of an infant's life.
Posture and alignment are important for everyone but especially for
growing babies and children. One of the important jobs of a pediatric
physical therapist is to pay attention to how a child is held, carried and
positioned for both play and in chairs, strollers, seats etc. Have you ever
noticed that when you go to buy your child's first car seat , stroller or
highchair that they are way too big? How many children sit at tables in
preschool where the table height is up to their chins or their feet don't
touch the ground? When I work with families we always look at how the child
is positioned in chairs, etc to allow the child the maximum stability and
mobility to be able to be comfortable, be well aligned and be able to play.
One of my favorite books that I use in my work is "Positioning for Play:
Interactive Activities to Enhance Movement and Sensory Exploration" by
Rachel B. Diamant , MS, OTR/L, BCP and Allison Whiteside, PT. I share
handouts from this book with families for ideas on positioning and moving
their child to enhance their ability to move and explore.
Posture and positioning are important for everyone to help us move against
gravity efficiently and with good alignment.
Lynn Kisseloff PT, MS, PCS
Techniques for Building Positive Habits
Parenting Tips in Other Areas Include
Learn More About Early Intervention
Thankfully, there are many ways to deal with childhood developmental
delays and behaviors. These include in-home services, outpatient (you take
your child to a clinic), inpatient (following injury or surgery) and school
based services. Which type of therapy should you choose?
Visit our Therapy Options
area to learn more.
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