Pediatric Physiotherapy & Occupational Therapy

Vista Healthcare provides Physiotherapy & Occupational Therapy services from infants to adolescents (Ages 3+). We provide both assessments & evidence-based therapy.

We work under a variety of schemes, we currently work with-

  • Private paying clients
  • Self-managed NDIS participants
  • Plan managed NDIS participants
  • Referrals from Pediatricians & Neurologists
  • Medicare Rebates ( The Chronic Disease Management Plan ) with a gap

While many of our clinicians possess experience working with children with varying symptom severities, we do not consider ourselves Pediatric specialists, during the initial phone call, we will establish if we are an appropriate provider to consider. In the event the patient is outside our scope of practice, we will refer onwards.

Mobile Throughout Greater Sydney

Our Physiotherapists & Occupational Therapists are mobile across NSW, meaning we are able to provide healthcare at homes or schools.

Physical therapist assisting little boy make exercises on gym ball during rehabilitation in children hospital.

Disabled child on wheelchair is playing, learning and exercise in the outdoor city park like other people,Lifestyle of special child,Life in the education age of children,Happy disability kid concept.

Pediatric Services

Physiotherapy

Picture of small patient doing exercises with fitness ball

Our Physiotherapists help children with neurological and developmental delays as well as sensory impairments related to hearing and vision.  We do this with compassion & care.

We primarily help with:

  • Newborn babies having difficulty turning their head, not tolerating tummy time, babies with difficulty rolling, sitting, crawling and walking
  • Musculoskeletal issues related to poor posture or muscular pain, flat feet, gain problems, etc
  • Physical conditions – spina bifida, Erb’s palsy, spinal deformities
  • Developmental delays
  • Neurological conditions such as Cerebral Palsy, head injury
  • Neuromuscular Disorders such as Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy
  • Congenital Disorders e.g Down Syndrome
  • Tendinopathy
  • Frequent falls, poor balance and coordination
  • Strength building

We are mostly contacted to assist with developmental delays. This is an umbrella term for when a child does not reach their physical and/or neurological milestones at an appropriate time (i.e. delay in fine & gross motor skills preventing a child from running at age 7 when this is expected).

Our objective is to develop the necessary physical skills to be successful in life. More importantly, we help children feel confident and proud of themselves.

Occupational Therapy

Our Occupational Therapists work with children to help them live more independently, safer and with a higher quality of life.

We primarily help with:

  • Fine Motor Skills – using and coordinating the small muscles such as hand to hold, explore and manipulate toys, pencils and cutlery
  • Gross Motor Skills – using large muscles of the body to sit, walk, jump, play ball
  • Optimising activities of daily living
  • Assessing for equipment & assistive devices
  • Self-care skills such as use cutlery, tie shoelaces, fastening buttons, dressing and toileting
  • Play Skills
  • Social engagement
  • Coordination
  • Study provisions – handwriting, school readiness

We also work closely with the parents and guardians to help with any challenges relating to everyday life tasks. Our Therapist will provide best assessment and therapy to enable your baby, child or adolescent to gain skills for participation and independence in the activities of their daily lives such as playing, self-care, socialization and learning.

How Physiotherapy & Occupational Therapy Can Help Your Child

Each and every person we serve receives a tailored approach to Individual care. This is largely defined by the nature of the complaint and the age of the child, for example, we would assess & treat a child with gross-motor (i.e. walking difficulty) problems differently to how we would treat a child with social engagement challenges.

During the initial assessment, we will test for deficiencies. We would use outcome measures to take baseline measurements – and then work towards improving these metrics. Outcome measures can relate to strength, range of motion, cognitive processing and so on.

Some common outcome measures we use for pediatrics are

  • Six Minute Walk Test (6MWT)  – A simple test to measure the distance a person is able to walk over six minutes – this tests overall functional capacity, providing great information about the person’s cardiovascular capacity, endurance & fatigue levels
  • Functional Independence Measure (FMI) – Assessment of a child’s independence performing instrumental tasks, such as communication, social cognition, movement, self-care skills etc

After performing baseline measurements at admission, we would then devise an appropriate care plan for that child. We would periodically re-perform these measurements, and also on the discharge of our service, so we can see the effectiveness of our interventions.

We would also set goals with the patient. For example, a child’s goal may be to “be able to play on the swings by me” – we find setting meaningful goals like these typically improves the child’s motivation and overall success of our service.

Pediatric Case Study

We were contacted by a lovely family, it was their son’s goal to improve his fine motor skills in his hands to allow him to play video games, as this was a meaningful pastime for him.

This is a case where we are aiming to improve both the physical and neurological capacity of the patient, with a specific emphasis on intrinsic muscle use of the hands through the repetitive engagement of those muscles.

We implemented an exercise program and specifically worked on –

  • Strength building – using putty and play-do
  • Dexterity & coordination – playing with lego blocks, playing with complex toys
  • Handwriting – the ability to grip and control the pencil

After several weeks of working together, the patient was able to grip his gaming controller and play to the best of his ability!

When working with pediatrics, a key focus is to identify activities the child is stimulated and likely to perform independently, thus empowering the child with life skills.

What is included in Vista Healthcare’s Pediatric Services?

  • Mobile service – we travel to the patient’s home, school or community
  • Choice of clinician – we possess a diverse group of Physiotherapists & Occupational Therapists – we will assign a clinician that suits the child and their family
  • Multidisciplinary care – We are able to integrate with other healthcare professionals to adopt a multidisciplinary approach to care – we have partnerships with high-quality clinicians throughout NSW and can assist with referrals (i.e speech pathologists)
  • Clear Care Planning – We understand there are many variables at play. During our initial assessment, we will discuss openly and honestly the recommendations and how to work best with your level of funding or budgeting.

Please contact us with any questions you may have.