How to help your child become more independent

Sharon Galitzer (Physical Therapist) by Sharon Galitzer (Physical Therapist) Additional Needs

Sharon Galitzer (Physical Therapist)

Sharon Galitzer (Physical Therapist)

I'm a pediatric physical therapist and also the sibling of an adult with special needs.

How to help your child become more independent

The ultimate goal for any child who has physical, cognitive or communication difficulties, is for them to be as independent as possible. How can you help your child get there? There are some concepts to keep in mind and small changes that you can implement immediately.

Studies show that active learning is the best way for kids to learn

As a parent, it’s important to let your child explore their surroundings and experience a variety of experiences. That can include a trip to the park, the supermarket, or the beach. A child sees or feels something, processes what they're seeing, and they react. If a parent or caretaker assumes any of these roles, the baby has not learned. All children learn through experiences.

Sensory motor is the first area of the brain to develop

All children learn through their 6 senses (taste, vision, hearing, smell, touch, and kinesthetic). They visually track and seek out toys and people, touch and feel toys, experience different textures, all while they listen and react to different sounds around them. Let your child have many experiences to stimulate their brain.

Container syndrome is a real thing

A newborn spends a lot of time on their back, in a swing, in a bouncy seat, in a bassinet…...It’s important that a child experiences the world from different angles. For a newborn, that means on the floor, on their belly, but also on their side. As a newborn, a baby's cranium is soft and if a baby is in one position too much of the time, there is a chance of developing torticollis.

If your toddler or child has difficulty with movement, get creative with ways to change their position. There are swings, adaptive seats, adaptive bikes, bungee cords, and harnesses to help with weight bearing. Your child will experience the world in an entirely different way.

Dr. Sharon Galitzer

Pediatric Physical Therapist

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