Physical Therapy

Our services focus on treating Autism and DD. Now accepting new clients!

Physical Therapy (PT)

Physical therapy can assist children with autism spectrum disorder in developing the skills necessary to be successful in their daily lives. Children in the spectrum are often delayed in acquiring motor (movement) skills and may have difficulty with motor coordination, postural control, and imitating the movements of other people. Physical Therapists (PTs) evaluate postural strength and control, functional mobility (eg, walking and running), body and safety awareness, coordination, play skills, interests and motivators, ability to change between different activities, strengths, and challenges in making large body movements, such as jumping, hopping, pedaling a tricycle or bicycle, and skipping, as well as the child’s participation in daily routines in the home, community, and school. All evaluations are conducted by a state of Ohio licensed and nationally certified physical therapist. At the PT’s supervision and direction, intervention is conducted by a state licensed and nationally certified physical therapy assistant (PTA).

Physical Therapy Treatment Plans

When creating an intervention plan, physical therapy (PT) practitioners evaluate children with autism using observation, parent, and teacher reports. PTs will also interview parents about their child’s relationships, ability to move with coordination and endurance, as well as their child’s ability to participate in daily routines.

Setting goals is a collaborative effort with the PT, family, and any necessary team member to address the most important and pressing concerns facing the individual with autism and developmental disabilities. By collaborating with families, teachers, and other service providers, the physical therapy clinician strives to support life and academic success. Each treatment plan for every child will follow a developmentally appropriate sequence so that children are being properly challenged without becoming frustrated.

Physical Therapy Treatment Can Help A Child

  • Improve participation in daily routines at home and school
  • Acquire new motor skills
  • Develop better coordination and a more stable posture
  • Improve reciprocal play skills, such as throwing and catching a ball with another person
  • Develop motor imitation skills (seeing another person perform an action and then copying that action)
  • Increase fitness and stamina
  • Adapt the environment to meet the child’s physical needs

Our Promise to You

The Occupational Therapy Team at Empower understands the needs of families living with autism and developmental disorders. Our promise to you as a partner in your child’s treatment is that we will ensure the standards of our profession and the expectations of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA, 2018) are upheld by:

  • Concentrating on the skills that are foundational to developing skills for participation in life activities for individuals across the autism spectrum at all ages
  • Focusing on developing skills needed for successful transition to adulthood and on meaningful community engagement
  • Developing strength and stamina to promote a lifelong healthy lifestyle
  • Ensuring safety and stability for children who experience postural insecurity
  • Providing support at any stage of life and to problem solve strategies to reduce barriers to successful community participation in meaningful activities
  • Developing treatment plans that are child and family centered and based on a comprehensive assessment of the individual’s abilities
  • Educating other professionals on the needs of persons with ASD and the role of PTs in managing ASD
  • Referring to other professionals to rule out other conditions, determine etiology, and facilitate access to comprehensive services
  • Making decisions about the management of ASD
  • Participating as a member of the planning team (e.g., whose members may include teachers, special educators, counselors, psychologists) to determine appropriate educational services
  • Providing treatment, documenting progress, and determining appropriate dismissal criteria
  • Counseling individuals with autism spectrum disorder and developmental disabilities and their families regarding everyday life activities and providing education aimed at preventing further complications related to ASD
  • Consulting and collaborating with other professionals, family members, caregivers, and others to facilitate program development and to provide supervision, evaluation, and/or expert testimony, as appropriate
  • Remaining informed of research in the area of ASD and helping advance the knowledge base related to the nature and treatment of ASD
  • Advocating for individuals with ASD and their families at the local, state, and national levels
  • Serving as an integral member of an interdisciplinary team working with individuals with ASD and their families/caregivers and, when appropriate, considering transition planning
  • Providing quality control and risk management