If you’re looking for a career that is both fulfilling and challenging, consider becoming a pediatric therapist. These professionals work with children who have physical, emotional, or developmental disabilities. They help these kids improve their quality of life and reach their fullest potential. In this blog post, we will discuss what pediatric therapists do and how to become one!
- 1 Defining Pediatric Therapist
- 2 Types Of Pediatric Therapists
- 3 Common Conditions Treated By Pediatric Therapists
- 4 Techniques Used By Pediatric Therapists
- 4.1 Exercises
- 4.2 Therapeutic listening
- 4.3 Visual aids
- 4.4 Social skills groups
- 4.5 IEP goals
- 4.6 Massages
- 4.7 Sensory processing activities
- 4.8 Behavioral management strategies
- 4.9 Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
- 4.10 Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
- 4.11 Aromatherapy
- 4.12 Yoga for Special Needs
- 4.13 Play Therapy
- 4.14 Psychotherapy
- 5 Qualities Of A Successful Pediatric Therapist
- 6 Why Choose Pediatric Therapy?
- 7 Working as a Pediatric Therapist
- 8 Becoming a Pediatric Therapist
- 9 Conclusion
Defining Pediatric Therapist
A pediatric therapist is a professional who works with children who have physical, emotional, or developmental disabilities. Their goal is to help these kids improve their quality of life and reach their fullest potential. They also work with the child’s family and caregivers to ensure that they are able to provide the best possible care for their child.
A pediatric therapist’s job is to assess a child’s needs and develop a treatment plan that will address those needs. Treatment plans may include exercises, games, and other activities that can help the child to reach their respective goals. Additionally, pediatric therapists may also provide support and guidance to the child’s family and caregivers.
It is important to note that while any therapist may help a child with their physical, emotional, or developmental needs, only a pediatric therapist has the specialized training and experience needed to work with this population. They understand the unique challenges that children with disabilities face and are able to tailor their treatments to meet the individual needs of each child.
Types Of Pediatric Therapists
There are many different types of pediatric therapists. All of them have variety in their job duties, but all work to help children with disabilities improve their quality of life. Some of the most common types include:
Physical therapists are responsible for helping children with physical disabilities improve their mobility and function. They may use exercises, massages, and other techniques to help the child reach their goals. The key focus is to help the child be as independent as possible. During this process, they will also work with the family to ensure that they are able to provide care for their child.
Occupational therapists are health care professionals who help people of all ages participate in the things they want and need to do on a daily basis. They use their knowledge of human development, psychology, and neuroscience to promote independence for people with physical, mental, or social challenges.
For children, an occupational therapist’s main goal is to help them participate in school and play. This may involve working on fine motor skills, such as handwriting, or gross motor skills, such as running and jumping. They may also help with sensory processing issues or behavioral problems.
Like the name suggests, speech-language pathologists (SLPs) work with patients on their speech and language skills. This can include anything from helping a child learn to speak for the first time to teaching an adult how to better communicate after a stroke.
SLPs also work with people who have difficulty swallowing, known as dysphagia. They may help them by developing a treatment plan that includes exercises and other activities to improve muscle control and coordination.
Lastly, developmental therapists in the pediatric field are there to help infants and toddlers reach their developmental milestones. This can include working on gross motor skills, such as sitting up or crawling, as well as fine motor skills, such as holding a crayon or using a fork.
They may also help with social and emotional development, such as teaching kids how to share or take turns. This is especially important for children with autism or other developmental delays.
There are many different types of pediatric therapists, but they all have one goal in common: to help children reach their full potential. If you are looking forward to build a career in this field, make sure to do your research and find the right fit for you. With the right training and experience, you may just be the one to help a child take their first steps or say their first words!
Common Conditions Treated By Pediatric Therapists
There are many different types of conditions that can get treatment by pediatric therapists. Some common conditions include:
- ADHD(attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)
- ASD (autism spectrum disorder)
- Developmental delays
- Cerebral palsy
- Down syndrome
- Muscular dystrophy
- Speech and language delays
- Hearing loss
- Feeding and swallowing difficulties
These are just a few examples of conditions that pediatric therapists can help with. If you think your child may benefit from therapy, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional.
Techniques Used By Pediatric Therapists
Since dealing with children can be a bit different than working with adults, pediatric therapists have special training to work with this age group. Some common techniques that they use include:
Many times, therapists will use exercises to help children improve their strength, range of motion, and coordination. These can be academic as well as physical exercises. Incorporating games is also one of the ways to make things interesting in therapy. This can help children stay engaged and motivated while also working on their goals.
This is the core of what many pediatric therapists do. It is the art of really listening to what the child is saying and trying to understand their perspective. This can help build trust and rapport between the therapist and child, which is essential for successful therapy. It may also be essential in uncovering the root of some behavioral issues.
For children who have trouble processing information verbally, visual aids can be very helpful. This can be anything from charts and graphs to flashcards, puppets, picture books, or even a whiteboard with illustrations. Therapists may also use props or toys to help kids better understand concepts. These aids benefit the child by helping them understand the therapist’s instructions better and retain information more easily.
Social skills groups
This is a type of therapy that is becoming more and more common. It involves putting children with similar disabilities or diagnoses in a group setting to work on social skills. This can be anything from learning how to take turns to sharing, working cooperatively, and expressing emotions appropriately. It is the most beneficial for children with ASD.
If a child is receiving therapy through their school district, the therapist will likely be working on IEP goals. Individualized Education Plans are created for children with disabilities to ensure that they are receiving the best education possible. The therapist’s job is to help the child meet these goals so that they can succeed in school. This may differ from the goals of neurotypical children as they may be working on things like fine motor skills, social skills, or communication.
Massages have been shown to be beneficial for children with a variety of conditions. They can help improve circulation, reduce pain and inflammation, and promote relaxation. Massages can be done with the child fully clothed or with the use of lotions or oils.
The target points of massages are also different for children. They often focus on the head, neck, and shoulders as these are common areas of tension for kids. Massages can be done by the therapist or by the parent if they have been trained to do so.
Sensory processing activities
This is another common type of therapy for children with ASD. It involves activities that help the child to better process sensory information. This can be anything from jumping on a trampoline to playing in a sandbox. The therapist will work with the child to find activities that are calming and help them to focus. The principle of this idea is that by providing the child with the right level of stimulation, they will be better able to focus and learn.
Behavioral management strategies
This is an important part of any therapy, but it is especially crucial when working with children. Behaviors can be very unpredictable in kids, and therapists need to be prepared to deal with them. They will often work with the child’s parents to come up with a plan for how to deal with specific behaviors. This may involve using positive reinforcement, redirecting the child’s attention, or providing a distraction.
It is also important for therapists to be able to adapt their plans on the fly. They need to be able to think quickly and come up with new strategies when a behavior unexpectedly occurs.
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
EFT are a type of energy therapy that is based on the idea that all emotions are caused by disruptions in the body’s energy system. This can be done by tapping on specific points on the body while focusing on a particular memory or emotion. The goal of this is to help the person to release the emotions associated with that memory.
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
ABA is a specially designed therapy that is based on the principles of behaviorism. It is often used to treat children with ASD, as it has been shown to be very effective. The therapist will work with the child to identify specific behaviors that need to be changed. They will then create a plan to help the child change those behaviors. This may involve using rewards or punishments to modify the behavior. ABA can help to improve social skills, communication, and self-care abilities.
Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils to promote relaxation and well-being. This can be done by diffusing the oils in the air or applying them to the skin. Aromatherapy has been shown to be beneficial for children with ASD. It can help to reduce anxiety, improve sleep, and decrease negative behaviors. The most beneficial oils for children are lavender, chamomile, and sweet orange.
Yoga for Special Needs
Yoga is a traditional practice that has many benefits. It can help to improve flexibility, strength, and balance. Yoga can also be very calming and can help to reduce stress. There are a variety of yoga poses that can be modified to meet the needs of children with developmental issues. The therapist will work with the child to find poses that are comfortable and safe for them.
Play therapy involves the strategic use of play to help children address a variety of issues. It can be used to help with social skills, communication, and behavioral management. The therapist will work with the child to identify specific goals that they want to achieve. They will then create a plan to help the child reach those goals. This may involve using toys, games, or art supplies. This approach of therapeutic is carefully designed to help the child feel safe and comfortable while they are working on difficult issues.
Lastly, psychotherapy is a type of therapy that is used to treat a variety of mental health conditions. It can be used to help with depression, anxiety, and PTSD. The therapist will work with the child to identify the root cause of their issues. They will then create a plan to help the child address those issues. This may involve various approaches such as:
- cognitive behavioral therapy
- exposure therapy
- eye movement desensitization and reprocessing
- family therapy
- dialectical behavioral therapy
- interpersonal therapy
- group therapy
Each of these therapies and techniques can be beneficial for children with ASD. It is important to work with a therapist who has experience in treating this population. They will be able to create a plan that is specifically designed for the child’s needs.
Qualities Of A Successful Pediatric Therapist
In order to be a successful pediatric therapist, there are certain qualities that you will need to possess. Some of the key qualities and skills that are necessary for this career include:
- Compassion: It is important that you have compassion for the children that you work with. This includes being able to empathize with them and understand their challenges.
- Patience: Pediatric therapy can be a long and slow process. You will need to be patient in order to see results.
- Creativity: In order to keep children engaged, you will need to be creative in your approach. This may involve coming up with new games or activities on a regular basis.
- Communication skills: You will need to be able to communicate effectively with both children and adults. This includes being able to explain things in simple terms and being an active listener.
- Organizational skills: As a pediatric therapist, you will likely have a lot of paperwork and appointments to keep track of. It is important that you have organization in order to stay on top of everything.
- Problem-solving skills: There will be times when challenges arise. It is important that you have the ability to problem-solve in order to come up with creative solutions.
- Flexibility: You will need to be flexible in your schedule and your methods in order to meet the needs of each individual child.
If you possess these qualities, then a career as a pediatric therapist may be the right fit for you!
Becoming a pediatric therapist is a rewarding way to help children with disabilities reach their full potential. If you have a passion for this work, make sure to do your research and find the best route for you to take in order to become one. With the right education and training, you can make a difference in the lives of those you work with!
Why Choose Pediatric Therapy?
It must have been easily established that while pediatric therapy might not be an easy field, it is a highly rewarding one. It’s a great opportunity to give back, make a significant difference in children’s lives and see the results of your hard work every day.
There are other reasons to enter this field as well. The job outlook for pediatric therapists is very good, with an expected 19% growth in demand for occupational therapists between 2019 and 2029.* This means that not only will there be plenty of opportunities available, but also that those opportunities will come with good pay and benefits.
In addition, pediatric therapy is a flexible career option. You can choose to work in a hospital, clinic, school, or even a home-based setting. There are also many different types of positions available, such as working with infants, toddlers, children, or adolescents. No matter what your interests or skills are, there is likely a pediatric therapy job that is a good fit for you!
There have also been stories of people who themselves needed therapy as a child and are now giving back by becoming pediatric therapists. This is a great way to turn a personal challenge into something positive that can help others.
If you’re looking for a career that is both personally and professionally rewarding, consider becoming a pediatric therapist. With the right education and training, you can make a difference in the lives of children with disabilities and their families!
Working as a Pediatric Therapist
Pediatric therapists typically work in hospitals, clinics, or private practices. They may also work in schools, early intervention programs, or home health settings. In some cases, they may even travel to patient’s homes to provide therapy services.
Pediatric therapists typically work Monday through Friday during regular business hours. However, they may also need to work evenings or weekends to accommodate their patients’ schedules.
The most common places for a pediatric therapist to work are:
- Private practices
- Early intervention programs
- Home health settings
They may work in collaboration with a number of other professions such as:
- Social workers
- Special educators
- Child life specialists
Since the profession deal with children, it is important to work with a number of other professionals to provide the best care possible.
Becoming a Pediatric Therapist
If you’re interested in becoming a pediatric therapist, there are several things that you will need to do. First, you will need to earn a bachelor’s degree in a field such as occupational therapy, physical therapy, or speech-language pathology. Then, you will need to complete a professional doctoral or master’s degree program in pediatric therapy. Once you have completed your education, you will need to obtain a license in the state where you plan to practice.
If you are from a different background, you may be able to become a pediatric therapist through a certificate program. These programs are typically shorter and less intensive than degree programs. However, they will still require you to complete some coursework in pediatric therapy.
No matter what route you take to becoming a pediatric therapist, it is important that you have a passion for helping children with disabilities reach their fullest potential. This career can be both challenging and rewarding, and it is one that will make a difference in the lives of those you work with.
As the field is relatively new and still growing, the financial compensation for pediatric therapists is at a high enough scale. In addition, most pediatric therapists report high levels of job satisfaction. If you are looking for a career that is both personally and professionally rewarding, consider becoming a pediatric therapist!
In conclusion, pediatric therapists have a very important role in the lives of children with disabilities and their families. They work to help these children reach their fullest potential and lead happy, healthy lives. It is a demanding yet rewarding career and one that comes with good pay and benefits. If you have a passion for helping children with disabilities, consider becoming a pediatric therapist!
If your child is struggling with any physical, emotional, or developmental issues, you may consider contacting Mantra Care for assistance. We have a team of highly trained and experienced therapists who can help your child overcome their challenges. Our services are available globally at affordable rates. You may visit our website to to book a therapy session or download our free Android or iOS app for more information!