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Physiotherapy is a type of health care that specializes in the prevention and alleviation of movement disorders of the arms, legs and trunk, and helps children and youth to move and function. 

Physiotherapy services may be delivered by a Physiotherapist (PT), who will assess your child and set an intervention plan, and a Physiotherapy Therapy Assistant (PTA), who helps carry out treatment under the supervision of the PT.

The Physiotherapy team at ErinoakKids is focused on helping children and youth develop skills and creating environments to help them physically function at their best possible level. We work together in collaboration with the family and the whole service team. 

What Do Physiotherapy Services Involve?

Physiotherapy services may involve: 

  • Assessment, treatment and consultation
  • Prescription of therapeutic equipment such as splints, walkers, standers
  • Therapeutic groups aimed at improvement of function and participation
  • Teaching of functional exercises such as walking, negotiating stairs, or propelling a wheelchair
  • Individual or group therapy, combined with parent education and coaching 
  • Home programming and consultation to caregivers, professionals and supportive personnel who interact with the child/youth
  • Promotion of participation in sports and recreation activities, both at ErinoakKids and in the community 
  • Promotion of movement, participation and independence in the home, daycare and community environments

Typical conditions seen by ErinoakKids Physiotherapists

  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Acquired Brain Injury
  • Spina Bifida
  • Skeletal (bone) disorders (Achrondroplasia, Osteogenesis Imperfecta, Arthrogryphosis, Congenital or traumatic amputation)
  • Neuromuscular disorders (Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, Becker and Limb Girdle Dystrophies, Spinal Muscular Atrophy)
  • Neural Tube deficits
  • Torticollis (medical referral required) 
  • Metabolic, mitochondrial disorders with neurological impairment
  • Medically fragile

Referral Process and Criteria

A referral is required to access Physiotherapy services. Health professionals, families and clients can complete our online referral form. For more details, you can visit our Intake Services page.

Referral Criteria

Below are the criteria for Physiotherapy services:

  • Children 0 – 19 years old with: 
    • a physical or developmental delay/disability
    • require therapy to improve gross motor function (movement)
    • Does not include children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or learning disability (LD)
  • Must live in Peel, Halton or Dufferin

Children who are currently receiving speech and language services, Intensive Behavioural Intervention(IBI) services and/or Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) services through ErinoakKids or an ErinoakKids subcontractor may access OT services concurrent with their other service(s) as needed.

Start A Referral 

Referrals will be reviewed and services will be determined based on the child's individual needs and meeting eligibility requirements.

Online Referral Form

Intake Services Page

Typical Development and When to Call For Help

Developmental milestones are important age-specific skills that are used to help check on how your child is developing. 

Below, we've listed some milestones that are commonly seen in most typically developing children and when to call for help if your child is not reaching certain milestones.

You are your child's best advocate. If you have any concerns about your child's development, don't hesitate to seek help from your pediatrician or contact our intake services for more information.

By 3 Months

Typical Development:

  • Lifts and holds head up while on tummy
  • Pushes up on arms while lying on tummy
  • Moves legs and arms away from surface when lying on back

When To Call For Help:

  • Not able to lift head and hold it up while on tummy
  • Stiff legs with little or no movement
  • Not observing a kicking motion while lying on back
  • Arches neck and back when lying on back
By 6 Months
Typical Development:
  • Uses hands to support self while sitting
  • Rolls onto tummy and back
  • While standing with support, accepts entire weight with legs
  • Reaches for toys while on tummy
  • Reaches both hands to play with feet
When To Call For Help:
  • Not able to sit using hands for support
  • Poor ability to control head movements or position
  • Arches back and stiffens legs when pulling to a sit position
By 9 Months
Typical Development:
  • Sits and reaches for toys without falling
  • Can get into a sitting position
  • Crawls on hands and knees or creeps with alternate leg movement
  • Turns head to (look at and follow) parent or objects
  • Starts to pull to a stand
When To Call For Help:
  • Not able to sit independently
  • Uses only one side of the body to move
  • Cannot take weight on legs
  • Legs crossed and stiff
By 12 Months
Typical Development:
  • Pulls to stand and cruises along furniture
  • Stands alone
  • May take some steps alone
  • Moves in and out of various positions to explore environment
  • Maintains sitting balance when throwing objects
When To Call For Help:
  • Not able to get into standing without using support from furniture or caregiver
  • Not able to crawl
  • Legs crossed when pulling to stand
  • Only able to sit with weight to one side
  • Stiff arms
By 18 Months
Typical Development:
  • Walks alone
  • Squats to pick up a toy
When To Call For Help:
  • Not able to take steps without support of furniture or caregivers hand
  • Not able to stand hands free
  • Not able to crawl to climb stairs
  • Needs mobility device for walking
By 24 Months
Typical Development:
  • Frequently moving in and out of various positions (i.e. climbing, cruising, and walking)
  • Can maintain balance when gently bumped by peers
  • Able to throw and attempt to catch ball without losing balance
When To Call For Help:
  • Not able to maintain balance when gently bumped by peers
  • Not walking up or down stairs with hand support
  • Specialized equipment to walk or use of a wheelchair
By 6 Years
Typical Development:
  • Has adequate endurance and strength to play with peers
  • Coordinates movements needed for activities at the playground
  • Usually walks with heel toe pattern
  • Able to walk and maintain balance over uneven surfaces
When To Call For Help:
  • Leans on furniture, walls or people most of the time for support/balance
  • Not able to walk on uneven ground without falling
  • Not walking up or down stairs
  • Not able to step up and down a pavement curb without hand assistance
  • Not able to stand with feet flat on the ground  and mostly walks on toes
  • Specialized equipment to walk or use of a wheelchair
By 6+ Years
Typical Development:
  • Able to quickly move around peers on the playground
  • Participates in recreational tasks that require balance such as riding a bike and participating in games/sports
When To Call For Help:
  • Starts to trip and fall often
  • Not able to get up off floor easily
  • Needs specialized equipment to walk or use of a wheelchair