National Physical Therapy (PT) Month

As National Physical Therapy (PT) Month comes to an end, we’d like to share with you the ways physical therapists help heal, restore, and improve our ability to move. This month gives physical therapists and assistants an opportunity to highlight their expertise in improving quality of life.
No matter what area of the body, physical therapists help many individuals of all ages. They can work in hospitals, clinics, schools, or homes. The American Physical Therapy Association describes physical therapists as “trusted health care professionals with extensive clinical experience who examine, diagnose, and then prevent or treat conditions that limit the body’s ability to move and function in daily life.”
Pediatric physical therapists work with children and families to assist each child in reaching their maximum potential to function independently and to promote active participation in home, school and community environments (APTA). Pediatric physical therapists also help motor development and function, improve strength and endurance, enhance learning opportunities, and ease challenges with daily caregiving.
At Pediatric Therapy Partners, our physical therapists work to improve a child’s gross motor skills, the everyday activities that use the body’s large muscle groups. Pediatric Therapy Partners holds certification and extensive training including:
·        Aquatic (pool) therapy
·        NDT (Neurodevelopmental) based treatment techniques
·        Lower Extremity orthotic and prosthetic evaluation and training
·        Childhood athletic injuries
·        Childhood health and fitness
Some common diagnoses seen in pediatric Physical Therapy include:
·        Musculoskeletal
·        Orthopedic
·        Neuromuscular
·        Gross motor development
·        Coordination and balance
·        Mobility training
·        Motor planning
·        Adaptive equipment assessment and training
Pediatric Therapy Partners works together with each family, seeing as they have a primary role in their child’s development. The therapists at PTP collaborate with the family to stimulate development and implement treatment strategies with the goal of reaching further for our clients to help them laugh, love, and live life to its fullest.
If you have any concerns with your children, please visit us at and request a free screening.

PT Resources
American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)
Pediatric Therapy Partners

National Down Syndrome Awareness Month

October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month – a chance to give individuals with Down syndrome a voice and an opportunity to share their stories.
“For many of us, every day is a chance to promote Down syndrome awareness—advocating for our children to be included in school and community activities, highlighting their talents, giving them opportunities to show just how much they have to share” (National Association for Down Syndrome).
Ways to promote awareness and get involved include the National Down Syndrome Society Buddy Walk, a national program which raises awareness on a local level, or the NDSS My Great Story campaign where anyone who has something to share can submit stories as part of a collection from all over the nation. 
On a local level, the Up with Downs Fall Conference in Fargo, ND introduces the needs of the child and experiences of families living with a child with Down syndrome. Pediatric Therapy Partners is a host for the Down Syndrome Playgroup, held on the second Sunday of each month from 3pm-5pm.
According to the National Down Syndrome Society, individuals with Down syndrome are becoming increasingly integrated into society and community organizations, such as school, health care systems, work forces, and social and recreational activities. More and more Americans are interacting with individuals with Down syndrome, increasing the need for widespread public education and acceptance.
As stated by the NDSS, “A person’s a person – instead of “a Down syndrome child,” say “a child with Down syndrome.”
Children with Down syndrome can often benefit from speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. Pediatric Therapy Partners provides quality, coordinated home-based therapy services throughout the community as well as in our facility for special needs children and their families throughout the Red River Valley.
If you have any concerns regarding your child with Down syndrome, or any other child, please visit our website at and request a free screening.

About Down syndrome
According to the National Down Syndrome Society, one in every 691 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome, making Down syndrome the most common genetic condition. Approximately 400,000 Americans have Down syndrome and about 6,000 babies with Down syndrome are born in the United States each year. In every cell in the human body there is a nucleus, where genetic material is stored in genes.  Genes carry the codes responsible for all of our inherited traits and are grouped along rod-like structures called chromosomes.  Typically, the nucleus of each cell contains 23 pairs of chromosomes, half of which are inherited from each parent. Down syndrome occurs when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21. There are three types of Down syndrome:  trisomy 21 (nondisjunction), translocation and mosaicism.  This additional genetic material alters the course of development and causes the characteristics associated with Down syndrome. A few of the common physical traits of Down syndrome are low muscle tone, small stature, an upward slant to the eyes, and a single deep crease across the center of the palm - although each person with Down syndrome is a unique individual and may possess these characteristics to different degrees, or not at all.
Down syndrome Resources:
National Down Syndrome Society
National Association for Down Syndrome  
National Institute of Child Health & Human Development

Sensory Integration

About Sensory Integration
Whether you are biting into a hamburger, riding a bicycle, or reading a book, your successful completion of the activity requires processing sensation or "sensory integration" (SPD Foundation).  Sensory Integration refers to how the brain interprets information it receives from the senses and turns it into motor or behavioral response. Sensory Processing Disorder, a complex brain disorder, affects one in twenty children. Children with SPD experience touch, taste, sound, smell, movement, and other sensations differently from typical children (Sensational Kids, Miller & Fuller xviiii). Sensory Integration was developed by Dr. A. Jean Ayres in the 1950s. As an occupational therapist, her theory and her work laid the foundation for Sensory Integration therapy today.
Pediatric Therapy Partners has one of the region’s only Sensory Integration and Praxis Test (SIPT) certified therapists.  Occupational therapists at Pediatric Therapy Partners help uncover strategies that the families can take with them and practice in a home setting. The therapists also help regulate the five senses as well as two additional senses. Proprioception is the sense of body position in space, and vestibular system detects movement of the head in space to help maintain posture, balance, and sense of where the body is. They also assess the impact the disorder has on the child’s self-care, play, social skills, and activities of daily living.
With each session, the therapists identify red flags that indicate the child’s difficulties in processing information. Some signs include impulsivity; excessive movement; oversensitivity or undersensitivity to sound, sight, or touch; poor coordination, becoming easily distracted; fine motor or growth issues. Often, children with autism, prematurity, ADHD, anxiety, depression, bi-polar disorder, OCD, or developmental delays experience sensory processing disorder.
The therapists at PTP believe that parent and family education is very important as therapists provide techniques and treatment plans based on the needs of the child.
Sensory Integration Seminar
The Pediatric Therapy Partners Sensory Integration Team will provide a 2-Part seminar to explain the definition, risk factors, signs & symptoms, and common populations affected by sensory processing disorder. Assessments and evaluations that can be used and the treatment principles and home programming that can be provided will also be covered.
Both sessions will be held from 6:30pm-8pm at Pediatric Therapy Partners, 3060 Frontier Way S., Fargo, ND.

PART 1: Sensory Processing Disorders: Learning to Recognize Sensory Processing Disorder in Children: Thursday, October 11, 2012
PART 2: Sensory Processing Disorders: Treatment for Children with Sensory Processing Disorder: Thursday, November 8, 2012
Please call or email today to RSVP as spots are limited at 701-232-2340 or 
For further information, please visit or call for a free screening.

Sensory Integration Resources:
Ayres, A. Jean. (1979). Sensory Integration and the Child. Los Angeles: Western Psychological Services.
Bundy, A., Lane, S., Murray, E. (2002). Sensory Integration Theory and Practice, 2nd Ed. Philadelphia. F.A. Davis.
Kranowitz, Carol Stock. The Out of Sync Child: Recognizing and Coping with Sensory Integration Dysfunction. New York, NY: The Berkley Publishing Group, 1998.
Miller, Lucy Jane; Fuller, Doris A. Fuller. Sensational Kids. New York: Penguin Group (USA) Inc, 2006. Print.
In-Sync Activity Cards by Carol Kranowitz and Joye Newman


We’d like to welcome you to Pediatric Therapy Partners’ blog!
Please stay tuned as we strive to keep you informed of current therapy-related services and educational pieces each month.
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We look forward to being a resource for children and their families.