At SINAI Schools, the goal of Physical Therapy (PT) is to assist each child in reaching his or her maximum potential to function independently, and to promote active participation in home, school, and community environments. In particular, we focus on our students’ physical function and participation in the school setting. This is especially important for our students who have physical disabilities.
Our pediatric physical therapists work with students and their families, and collaborate with teachers and other SINAI health care staff (including occupational and speech therapists, and behavioral therapists) to reinforce the child’s progress throughout his or her day in school.
Physical therapy in the lower schools focuses on safety navigating the school, gross motor skills, sports skills, and play skills, so that students can participate appropriately at recess and in a modified gym class. PT also focuses on improving posture to assist students with maintaining attention in class and endurance to improve fatigue with activities.
In the upper grades, PT includes navigating the school safely and independently; educating staff on transfers for those students in wheelchairs; improving students’ gross motor skills so that they can participate in a modified gym class; and improving students’ understanding of sports, their rules, and how they are played, in order to help them participate in integrated school activities. For our older students we focus on improving general health by creating good habits with regards to exercise, and establishing home exercise programs for their future lives.
Physical therapy helps to promotes independence, increases participation, facilitates motor development and function, facilitates improvements in attention, improves strength and endurance, enhances learning opportunities, and improves daily caregiving.