What Is Childhood Apraxia of Speech?

So, what IS Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS)?  
The American Speech-language-hearing association defines it as, “…a neurological childhood speech sound disorder in which the precision and consistency of movements underlying speech are impaired in the absence of neuromuscular deficits (e.g. abnormal reflexes, abnormal tone)” (ASHA, 2007).  A way I like to tell parents about CAS: there is nothing wrong with their brain and there is (typically) nothing wrong with their speech articulators/muscles, but there is communication breakdown between the brain and these speech helpers.  The breakdown makes it difficult for the child to coordinate and sequence speech.

Early Signs of CAS
Limited babbling as an infant
-No intelligible first word by 18 months
-Inconsistent sound errors
-May be able to imitate sounds on one trial, but unable to reduplicate
-Children appear to understand more than they can say
-Vowels may appear distorted
-More vowels present than consonants
-Children may develop a go-to word that is used for many things
-Oral groping when attempting to imitate or produce connected speech sounds

I think my child has CAS
If you think your child demonstrates characteristics of CAS, the best place to start is with a speech-language evaluation.  A speech pathologist can rule out other possible causes for these signs/symptoms, such as a severe phonological processing disorder or an expressive language impairment.  

Treatment

If your child has CAS, the American Speech Language Hearing Association recommends frequent, individual speech therapy sessions for children with childhood apraxia of speech.   A multi-sensory approach to treatment with frequent home practice and early focus on functional communication is most effective.  There are a variety of treatment tools and programs available, but no one “program” or treatment approach is right for each child.  At The Therapy SPOT, we are experienced and trained in using a variety of materials and approaches to treat childhood apraxia of speech making certain we individualize treatment to what works best for each child.

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References
Smith, L. (2015, August 5). When We Asked Ronda Rousey If She Had Apraxia of Speech. Retrieved November 23, 2015, from http://themighty.com/2015/08/when-we-asked-ronda-rousey-if-she-had1-apraxia-of-speech/#ixzz3sLlmn5pi


American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (2007). Childhood apraxia of speech [Position Statement]. Available from http://www.asha.org/policy.

About the author:  Danielle Carey, M.S., CCC-SLP, became a licensed speech-language pathologist in 2012, treating patients mainly in hospitals and subacute rehab centers with clinical time spent in the public school and at a private practice treating patients ages 2-80+.  She graduated magna cum laude from East Carolina University with a bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders with a minor in child development and family relations.  Danielle received her master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Old Dominion University.  She is a member of American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.  Danielle received VitalStim certification (neuromuscular electrical stimulation) in 2014 to use for adults with dysphagia (swallowing impairment).  Danielle  enjoys working at The Therapy SPOT with both young children and adults.  She is passionate about speech-language pathology and enjoys completing continuing education courses and sharing knowledge with colleagues.  Danielle and her husband Jared have one spunky daughter, and they love to travel.  In her free time, Danielle enjoys reading, riding horses, cooking, and spending time at the beach.

The Therapy S.P.O.T. – Speech, Physical, and Occupational Therapy

Our multidisciplinary therapy center was established in 2007, and is committed to providing quality therapy services in a fun, family and child centered environment. We provide pediatric speech, feeding, physical, and occupational therapy as well as adult speech and swallowing therapy.  Our therapists have unique and specialized skills and training, and we strive to pair our patients with the therapists who will best meet their specific needs.  You can learn more about our services at http://www.therapyspotstatesboro.com.  Questions or concerns?  Call us at (912) 681-7768 for a free consultation.

www.jasonhurstphotography.com ©Jason Hurst Photography 2014-2015

 

www.jasonhurstphotography.com ©Jason Hurst Photography 2014-2015

No Big Deal! Talking To Your Child About Therapy

When you decide your child needs to see a speech, occupational, or physical therapist or it has been recommended by your doctor, your child may experience some anxiety or want to know more about what he or she will do at this appointment and why do they need to go?

  • Explain to your child that when they are sick or do not feel good they go to the doctor for help and to feel better.  Along the same lines, a parent might explain that a sports coach helps provide tips and practice to get better at the sport the child plays.  A therapist is much like a coach that will help the child improve in area(s) where they experience some difficulty. You can explain that sometimes kids have difficulty with their talking, walking, eating, or handwriting.  When children have these types of troubles they can see person called a “therapist.”
  • Tell your child that the therapist they will see is like a new special teacher friend that will help them with the areas of difficulty they might be experiencing (talking, walking, eating, writing, etc.)
  • What is a therapist?  The therapists are people who have gone to school with specialized training for speech, physical, or occupational therapy.  Therapists are helpers!
  • It maybe comforting to explain some things the therapist may ask them to do when they are visiting for the first time.  The new therapist may ask the child to do some things like run, jump, name pictures in a book, draw, talk, eat/drink, follow directions, or point to pictures. The therapist may also spend some time talking with parents about what kinds of difficulties the child is experiencing.
  • Children might wonder what they will do when they visit a therapist when they are scheduled for regular therapy appointments.  A parent can explain to their child that the therapists do their work by playing games and planning fun activities to work on things that may be a little difficult for the kids to do by themselves.  Therapists often plan therapy activities based on the child’s interests.   
  • The clinic or office where the therapist works is a safe place with lots of fun things to do.  There are toys and games that will be used during therapy.  It may look like a doctor’s office, but it will be fun!  There are no needles or shots.
  • For older kids, be sure your child knows that they can choose to tell their friends that they go to therapy or they can decide not to share this information.  Who they tell, and if they tell, is their decision.  
  • If a child needs help, explain to them that working with a therapist is the right thing to do to make their problems better.  You might say “No one is perfect.  We all have strengths and things we need extra help with.  You will get to have fun while getting even better at talking, writing, walking, etc.” Getting help is no big deal and can be lots of fun!
References: an article from Therapeutic Partners 

The Therapy S.P.O.T. – Speech, Physical, and Occupational Therapy

www.jasonhurstphotography.com ©Jason Hurst Photography 2014-2015
http://www.jasonhurstphotography.com ©Jason Hurst Photography 2014-2015

Our multidisciplinary therapy center was established in 2007, and is committed to providing quality therapy services in a fun, family and child centered environment. We provide pediatric speech, feeding, physical, and occupational therapy as well as adult speech and swallowing therapy.  Our therapists have unique and specialized skills and training, and we strive to pair our patients with the therapists who will best meet their specific needs.  You can learn more about our services at http://www.therapyspotstatesboro.com.  Questions or concerns?  Call us at (912) 681-7768 for a free consultation.

device photo

It Takes a Village: Understanding Available Therapy Services

So, you think your child may need speech, occupational, or physical therapy.  Now what?  There are many ways your child can receive services, and it can be hard to understand and navigate all the options.  Relax!  We are going to run through the options for you.

There are three outlets that typically serve our children: private therapy, school therapy, and Babies Can’t Wait.  Each of these options have different service requirements and methods of administering therapy and intervention.

1.  Private Therapy:  In the private setting, your child will be evaluated and treated by a licensed therapist and is seen individually for treatment.  Therapy in the private setting requires a signed order from your child’s primary care physician to complete the evaluation if medical insurance is being billed.  At the time of the evaluation, the therapist will determine if therapy is warranted and recommend the frequency of treatment (typically 1-2 times per week).  Private therapy in most clinics is billed directly to your insurance.

Private therapy can provide services that may not be offered in other settings such as speaking valve trials for patients with tracheostomy, listening therapy, augmentative and alternative communication evaluations, feeding and swallowing therapy.  Private therapists work with all ages, from babies through elderly clients.  Referrals are typically scheduled quickly after the order from the referring physician is received.  In private practice, therapists communicate with parents and caregivers each week, and work closely with families to teach parents how to facilitate skills at home.

2.    School Therapy:  Children may qualify for therapy services through the public school system from age 3 through high school graduation (maximum 22 years old).  Typically, children are eligible to receive therapy services if their speech/motor/sensory difficulties have a negative educational impact.  Children who were enrolled in the Babies Can’t Wait program will transition into the school’s therapy services quickly and receive an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).  An IEP will have defined, measurable goals in each area of need.  IEP meetings are held annually and can be requested at additional times to modify the plan.  The referral process for school age students requires that they transition through the Response to Intervention prior to development of an IEP.  The Response to Intervention (RTI) process was federally mandated and put into place to require teachers to implement assessments, interventions, and document results of interventions in the classroom to improve student achievement and so that fewer students are identified as having special needs requiring an IEP.  The referral process for therapy services in the school system can take several months to be completed.

Once the process of RTI is complete and an IEP is in place, therapy within the school setting is provided by a licensed therapist and can be conducted in the classroom or in the therapy room, typically in a group of 2-4 students for 30 minutes.  School therapists strive to pair children with similar goals in groups to address goals together which is especially helpful for working on social skills and pragmatic language, but this can also be challenging when therapists are required to pull students from their regular classrooms only at certain times of the day so that they are not missing special area classes and direct instruction.  School therapy goals are often developed with academic standards in mind.  Many children who receive school therapy also choose to receive additional private therapy, and school therapists often communicate and collaborate with private therapists about children they both serve.

3.  Babies Can’t Wait (BCW):  Babies Can’t Wait is Georgia’s state funded early intervention program which serves children from birth to age 3 if they meet one of the two requirements:

  • Have a diagnosed physical or mental condition which is known to result in a developmental delay
  • Have a diagnosed developmental delay confirmed by a qualified team of professionals

BCW utilizes a teaming approach to provide intervention.  In our district, a multidisciplinary evaluation is completed in the home by a therapist or special instructor to determine the scope of services.  Following the evaluation and development an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) which outlines the early intervention services that your child will receive, the team will meet and choose the best candidate to provide special instruction/intervention.

Services are often rendered by a special instructor/teacher and at times by a licensed therapist.  Services are provided in the natural environment, typically in the home or preschool/daycare setting.  In our district, BCW does not usually send multiple therapists into the home to provide services.  Typically, one provider/special instructor is the sole provider of intervention for each child.  Many children who receive Babies Can’t Wait services also receive private therapy.  Special instructors collaborate and work with private therapists.  BCW providers strive to involve families and teach them ways to play with their children to help them reach their goals.  Evaluation and coordination is provided at no cost, services are provided on a sliding fee scale.  To contact Babies Can’t Wait, call 1-800-651-8224 or locally (912) 284-2552.

 

Knowing about all the options available can help families make informed decisions about what is best for each child.  In many cases, children receive services from Babies Can’t Wait and private therapy, or school therapy and private therapy!  We want our families to take advantage of all the wonderful services available, remembering that early intervention is so important!

 

The Therapy S.P.O.T. – Speech, Physical, and Occupational Therapy

www.jasonhurstphotography.com ©Jason Hurst Photography 2014-2015

http://www.jasonhurstphotography.com ©Jason Hurst Photography 2014-2015

Our multidisciplinary therapy center was established in 2007, and is committed to providing quality therapy services in a fun, family and child centered environment. We provide pediatric speech, feeding, physical, and occupational therapy as well as adult speech and swallowing therapy.  Our therapists have unique and specialized skills and training, and we strive to pair our patients with the therapists who will best meet their specific needs.  You can learn more about our services at http://www.therapyspotstatesboro.com.  Questions or concerns?  Call us at (912) 681-7768 for a free consultation.

 

 

Four Ways to Help Baby Pull to Stand

Pulling to stand is a gross motor skill that should occur around 9 months of age, according to the Peabody Developmental Motor Scales. It’s an exciting and significant gross motor skill, as it helps baby build the strength and balance required for independent standing and walking! Try these 4 ways to promote this important gross motor skill:

  1.  Make the crib a safe place for pulling up:
  • Crib railings offer the perfect opportunity to learn to pull to stand.
  • In preparation for this skill, make sure you lower the crib mattress to the lowest setting to prevent falling or climbing out.crib baby

Photo courtesy of Quinn Dombrowski via Flickr

2.  Pull up to a kneeling position:

  • Teaching baby how to pull to a kneeling position is a great way to progress towards pulling to stand!
  • When babies transition from sitting to standing, they often come to a kneeling position, then push up with one leg in half-kneeling (see photos).
  • To encourage the kneeling position, place a toy or other motivating object on an elevated surface, such as a couch cushion (removed from the couch and placed on the floor) or ottoman. Place baby’s hands on the surface encouraging them to reach for the toy and rise onto his knees.

He may need you to help him by lifting up through his hips into kneeling. Encourage baby to maintain this position as he interacts with toys. This will build the strength required to stand!pull to kneel

Baby kneeling at elevated surface: Photo courtesy of Rob via Flickrstand

Baby half kneeling, preparing to pull to stand: Photo courtesy of Kris & Fred via Flickr

3.  Arrange furniture for pulling up:

  • A great place to encourage pulling to stand is the sofa, because it cannot tip over on top of baby like a table or dresser can.
  • Place toys, food, or other motivating objects on the sofa. There are two ways you can promote pulling to stand:
  • Help baby place both hands on the sofa and both feet flat on the ground as you encourage him to pull up through his arms and push up through his feet.  Baby may need you to help him by lifting up through his trunk or hips. If you feel like your sofa is too tall for baby, remove a cushion to create a lower surface.
  • Help baby come to a kneeling position as described above. Progress by bending one leg into a half kneeling position, placing the foot flat on the floor, then help baby push through that leg to stand.

4.  Try using an activity table:

  • An activity table is a great way to encourage novice and experienced “standers” to continue practicing this skill.
    • For new standers who need a lot of support, be sure to place it against a sofa or in the corner of a room, so it does not slip forward.
    • Always supervise baby and be aware of the potential for the activity table to tip over.
  • These are great toys because of its many uses! You can remove all of the legs and use it as a tummy time toy or as a motivator to pull to kneeling or standing by placing it on higher surfaces. It’s also a great way to promote cruising/side-stepping, as baby will want to explore all 4 sides of the table!activity table

    Photo courtesy of Andrew Jacobs via Flickr

The Therapy S.P.O.T. – Speech, Physical, and Occupational Therapy

www.jasonhurstphotography.com ©Jason Hurst Photography 2014-2015
http://www.jasonhurstphotography.com ©Jason Hurst Photography 2014-2015

Our multidisciplinary therapy center was established in 2007, and is committed to providing quality therapy services in a fun, family and child centered environment. We provide pediatric speech, feeding, physical, and occupational therapy as well as adult speech and swallowing therapy.  Our therapists have unique and specialized skills and training, and we strive to pair our patients with the therapists who will best meet their specific needs.  You can learn more about our services at http://www.therapyspotstatesboro.com.  Questions or concerns?  Call us at (912) 681-7768 for a free consultation.

About the Author:

Abby McAvoy, Doctor of Physical Therapy, graduated Cum Laude from the University of Georgia in 2012, with a B.S. in Health Promotion and Behavior. In 2015, she received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Armstrong State University in Savannah, GA. Abby is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and presented her capstone research at the APTA’s national Combined Sections Meeting in 2014. During a clinical rotation in an outpatient pediatric facility, she discovered a great passion for working with the pediatric population and decided to pursue a career in pediatric physical therapy post graduation. Abby hopes to expand her skill set by obtaining specialized training in aquatic physical therapy, manual therapy, and the NDT treatment approach, in order to provide the most comprehensive physical therapy services possible to her patients at The Therapy SPOT. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, cooking, and being outdoors with her dog.

pumpkinphoto

Free Fall Fun for Families

Fall Fun for the Whole Family

pumpkinphoto

Photo courtesy of Gigi H via Flickr

Fall is such a fun time of year for kids. The weather is beautiful, and the excitement of Halloween is contagious! Festivals, carnivals, and fairs provide an ideal (and fun!) opportunity to work on gross motor, fine motor, communication, and social skills.

  • Arts and crafts are a great way for kids to experience different textures and get a little messy with paint and glue.
    • This is especially beneficial for kids with mild sensory aversions.
  • Crafts are also a fun way to hone those fine motor skills.
  • Jumping houses, slides, obstacle courses, ball and ring tossing games, and bobbing for apples all foster gross motor development and social interactions with peers.

fall photo

Photo courtesy of Michel Biedermann via Flickr

  • Trick-or-Treating can be a great social experience for children and a fun way to practice speech and language skills! Practice saying trick or treat, hi, bye, and thank you prior to going trick or treating. Find another family to trick or treat with, and encourage appropriate play and social skills. After, you can have fun labeling types of candy, counting, and describing them! Is it crunchy? Sticky? Sweet? Sour?  Passing out candy and answering the door can be just as much fun for kids and also encourages appropriate social interactions as well as fun practice of speech and language skills.

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  • Experiencing a fall carnival, fair, or even a petting zoo can be the perfect opportunity to expand your child’s vocabulary and communication skills.
    • Serve as a narrator for your child by pointing out and naming objects, such as pumpkins, cotton candy, ghosts, and leaves.
    • It’s also the perfect chance to explore verbs and adjectives, such as “round and round”, “up and down”, “scary and spooky”, “fast and slow”, and “big and small.”

Below is a list of fall activities in our area that are perfect for kids! Be sure to check the local paper and community calendars for additional opportunities for fall fun!

  • Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair on October 19th-24th; Kiwanis Ogeechee Fairgrounds in Statesboro
  • Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair Parade @ 5pm on October 19th; Downtown Statesboro (FREE)
  • Teen Craft Night @ 5pm on October 20th; Statesboro Regional Library (FREE)
  • Greek Street Trick or Treat @ 6pm on October 21st; Olympic Blvd in Statesboro (FREE)
  • Halloween Hike at Oatland Island Wildlife Center @ 5pm on October 23rd & 24th; Oatland Island Wildlife Center in Savannah
  • Old Farm Day @ 10am on October 24th; Anderson’s General Store on Hwy 80 in Statesboro (FREE)
  • Statesboro First United Methodist Church Harvest Festival @ 5pm on October 25th; South Main Street in Statesboro (FREE)
  • Trick or Treat at Mill Creek Park @ 5pm on October 30th; Mill Creek Park Statesboro (FREE)
  • CrossRoads Community Church Fall Festival @ 7pm on October 30th; Hwy 80 in Statesboro (FREE)
  • Halloween Movie Event: It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown @ 10:30am on October 31st; Statesboro Regional Library (FREE)
  • Halloween Bazaar @ 3pm on October 31st; Jelinek Creative Spaces in Downtown Savannah
  • Annual International Festival @ 10am on November 14th; Mill Creek Park in Statesboro
  • Freeman Family Farm Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch is open through Nov. 1.  Visit http://www.andersonfreemanfarm.com/ for information regarding price and hours

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  • L & D Farm Fresh Produce has an adorable pumpkin patch.  It’s a great photo opportunity for your little ones! (FREE)

The Therapy S.P.O.T. – Speech, Physical, and Occupational Therapy

www.jasonhurstphotography.com ©Jason Hurst Photography 2014-2015
http://www.jasonhurstphotography.com ©Jason Hurst Photography 2014-2015

Our multidisciplinary therapy center was established in 2007, and is committed to providing quality therapy services in a fun, family and child centered environment. We provide pediatric speech, feeding, physical, and occupational therapy as well as adult speech and swallowing therapy.  Our therapists have unique and specialized skills and training, and we strive to pair our patients with the therapists who will best meet their specific needs.  You can learn more about our services at http://www.therapyspotstatesboro.com.  Questions or concerns?  Call us at (912) 681-7768 for a free consultation.

About the Author:

Abby McAvoy, Doctor of Physical Therapy, graduated Cum Laude from the University of Georgia in 2012, with a B.S. in Health Promotion and Behavior. In 2015, she received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Armstrong State University in Savannah, GA. Abby is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and presented her capstone research at the APTA’s national Combined Sections Meeting in 2014. During a clinical rotation in an outpatient pediatric facility, she discovered a great passion for working with the pediatric population and decided to pursue a career in pediatric physical therapy post graduation. Abby hopes to expand her skill set by obtaining specialized training in aquatic physical therapy, manual therapy, and the NDT treatment approach, in order to provide the most comprehensive physical therapy services possible to her patients at The Therapy SPOT. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, cooking, and being outdoors with her dog.

cutebaby

Hmmmmm. Hypotonia. What exactly is that?

Hypotonia is a term used to describe decreased muscle tone.

  • Muscle tone? This is the amount of tension in a muscle at rest.
  • Relaxed muscles have a resting level of tension/resistance to passive movement.
  • Those with hypotonia have very little or no resting tension.
  • They usually feel floppy or squishy (great for snuggling!) and can be very flexible.

Children with hypotonia often present with developmental delays in areas of gross motor, fine motor, speech, and feeding skills.

  • It’s harder for children with low tone to turn their muscles on and off.
  • They also have less endurance than those with normal tone.
  • Low tone is not the same thing as weakness, but they often exist together.

Physical, occupational, and speech therapy can help!

  • Since it is harder for them to use their muscles, early intervention is important.
  • Therapists can help these children learn to efficiently activate and control their muscles in order to move, play, speak, and eat.
  • They also need help increasing their strength and endurance, so they can keep up with their peers.

cutebabyPhoto courtesy of Rain0975 via Flickr

Children with hypotonia often need more practice to learn skills than children with normal tone. What you do at home is just as important as their therapy sessions!

  • It is important to keep them active and playing throughout the day.
  • For babies with low tone, tummy time is one of the best exercises they can do!
  • For older children, active games and toys that require movement of both arms and legs are best. Riding bicycles or tricycles, swimming, climbing, and crawling through tunnels are great examples.

boyoutside

Photo courtesy of Randen Pederson via Flickr

Each child is different, and your child’s therapist can give you the best exercises and activities specific to your child!

About the Author:

Abby McAvoy, Doctor of Physical Therapy, graduated Cum Laude from the University of Georgia in 2012, with a B.S. in Health Promotion and Behavior. In 2015, she received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Armstrong State University in Savannah, GA. Abby is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and presented her capstone research at the APTA’s national Combined Sections Meeting in 2014. During a clinical rotation in an outpatient pediatric facility, she discovered a great passion for working with the pediatric population and decided to pursue a career in pediatric physical therapy post graduation. Abby hopes to expand her skill set by obtaining specialized training in aquatic physical therapy, manual therapy, and the NDT treatment approach, in order to provide the most comprehensive physical therapy services possible to her patients at The Therapy SPOT. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, cooking, and being outdoors with her dog.

The Therapy S.P.O.T. – Speech, Physical, and Occupational Therapy

Our multidisciplinary therapy center was established in 2007, and is committed to providing quality therapy services in a fun, family and child centered environment. We provide pediatric speech, feeding, physical, and occupational therapy as well as adult speech and swallowing therapy.  Our therapists have unique and specialized skills and training, and we strive to pair our patients with the therapists who will best meet their specific needs.  You can learn more about our services at http://www.therapyspotstatesboro.com.  Questions or concerns?  Call us at (912) 681-7768 for a free consultation.

www.jasonhurstphotography.com ©Jason Hurst Photography 2014-2015

http://www.jasonhurstphotography.com ©Jason Hurst Photography 2014-2015

The ABC’s of Torticollis

A: What is it?

  • Torticollis is a very common diagnosis seen by pediatric physical therapists.
  • It occurs when the neck muscles are tightened on one side and weak on the other side.
  • Tightness in the sternocleidomastoid (SCM) muscle on one side of the neck is usually to blame. Tightness can also occur in other muscles of the neck and shoulders.
  • This causes an abnormal position of the head and neck.

B: What does it look like?

  • Tilting of the head to one side:
    • You may notice that your child tilts his head to one side, causing one ear to be closer to the shoulder on that side.
    • This is often noticed when lying down or when in the car seat.
  • Preferring to look in one direction:
    • You may notice that your child has a preference for looking to one side, rather than straight ahead.
    • In older babies, you may notice that your child is able to look straight ahead but has difficulty turning to look to one side.

torticollis

Image by Jennuine Captures Photography on Flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/picturepurrfect685/7024053515/in/photolist-bGG7oX-ovEFGd-oeHKfv-ow5qb2-ow955q-oeSiuL-oukqhG-ovXSWo-owkuqq-oy6Vw4-owoYLC-ovKW6p-oeTkqK-6oepds-ow2AUT-otKQET-owjZpR-osFqg1-owaUe7-ovX5h9-ouAcrE-oe3vaH-ocEMnT-oeHAi2-odbM5u-owrsKR-osQbzq-odb8DN-osQDmS-oeqXZc-oeWsro-oez7Du-ovVKsF-oukpTA-oeSmb5-oexu2f-ow4XEF-oePcSM-ovZDZe-ow9xMj-owEuQB-ovR76G-oyevvH-oun1UR-oupE2Y-oy4K18-ou3HnJ-7a2eWF-ovqnjY-ovsyRS)

C: How is it treated?

  • If you think your child has torticollis, you should make an appointment to visit your pediatrician.
  • Your pediatrician should then refer you to a pediatric physical therapist.
  • There are 3 main approaches to treating it:
  1.  Positioning: Look at your baby’s head position throughout the day. Help your baby keep his head in a straight position, looking forward. It can be helpful to use small towel rolls to position your baby’s head when in a car seat or bouncer seat. Do not place towels in cribs or any other sleeping areas.

torticollis2

Image by Jennifer on Flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/nathaniel_mark_2011/5695100104/in/photolist-xmY5bR-7JH55s-4HJ5qb-6b59fK-NQVE5-9FfSR7-5v3coc-6PsjcK-4Wx9kH-6CWQza-j489h-5iVbeZ-ouhjGf-bPRJCR-oN6TqK-3Kt6s4-oC7ch-aAEgzp-4oNXAG-ekift-o7vJbn)

2.  Tummy Time: This is crucial for your baby’s development and it helps strengthen the neck muscles. Time spent on the tummy can also prevent plagiocephaly (flattening of the back of the head). You want to do this in 10-15 minute intervals throughout each day.  If your child does not tolerate lying flat, try propping him on a towel roll/crescent shaped pillow or over your legs.

torticollis3

Image by Jon Pinder on Flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/rofanator/16552752212)

3.  Stretching: Your therapist should provide you with specific stretches depending on your child’s torticollis. Only perform stretches with instruction from your physical therapist. In most cases, you cannot stretch too often. Many children tolerate stretching well when sleepy or when taking a warm bath.

About the Author:

Abby McAvoy, Doctor of Physical Therapy, graduated Cum Laude from the University of Georgia in 2012, with a B.S. in Health Promotion and Behavior. In 2015, she received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Armstrong State University in Savannah, GA. Abby is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and presented her capstone research at the APTA’s national Combined Sections Meeting in 2014. During a clinical rotation in an outpatient pediatric facility, she discovered a great passion for working with the pediatric population and decided to pursue a career in pediatric physical therapy post graduation. Abby hopes to expand her skill set by obtaining specialized training in aquatic physical therapy, manual therapy, and the NDT treatment approach, in order to provide the most comprehensive physical therapy services possible to her patients at The Therapy SPOT. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, cooking, and being outdoors with her dog.

The Therapy S.P.O.T. – Speech, Physical, and Occupational Therapy

Our multidisciplinary therapy center was established in 2007, and is committed to providing quality therapy services in a fun, family and child centered environment. We provide pediatric speech, feeding, physical, and occupational therapy as well as adult speech and swallowing therapy.  Our therapists have unique and specialized skills and training, and we strive to pair our patients with the therapists who will best meet their specific needs.  You can learn more about our services at http://www.therapyspotstatesboro.com.  Questions or concerns?  Call us at (912) 681-7768 for a free consultation.

www.jasonhurstphotography.com ©Jason Hurst Photography 2014-2015
http://www.jasonhurstphotography.com ©Jason Hurst Photography 2014-2015