You may find a variety of different terms on this page you’re not familiar with. That’s why we’ve put this page of definitions together for your reference.
If you’re still not clear on some of the terms found, feel free to contact us. We’re happy to help.
Ataxia is an issue of lack of coordination in the muscles, especially when trying to use them.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
ADHD is a neurological condition that results in persistent inattention, hyperactivity, and sometimes impulsivity.
In the past, ADHD and ADD – attention deficit disorder – were considered to be two separate disorders. ADD is now an outdated diagnosis, and we now only use ADHD.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disorder that involves impairments in social interaction and communication, challenges with sensory processing, and repetitive behaviors. This is diagnosed by a physician and individuals span a wide range of severity.
A number of previous diagnoses – autistic disorder, Asperger’s syndrome, pervasive development disorder, and childhood disintegrative disorder – are now outdated. These now all fall under the umbrella category of autism spectrum disorder.
Base Of Support
This refers to the part of the body that supports weight. When standing, this is your child’s feet.
The term bilateral refers to both sides of one’s body – as in, both arms or both legs.
Cerebral palsy is a condition that affects a child’s movements, posture, and balance. It’s caused by abnormal brain development. There is currently no known cure, but physical therapy for cerebral palsy can help your child manage their condition and move more freely.
Your child’s core area is the trunk of their body – their abdominal muscles and back.
Down syndrome is a condition where a child is born with an etra copy of their 21st chromosome, which affects how their body develops both in utero and after birth.
Down syndrome causes a number of health issues and developmental challenges. Both pediatric physical therapy and pediatric occupational therapy, however, can help your child manage their condition and develop their physical abilities.
Early intervention refers both to a type of pediatric therapy and a government program that funds it.
If your child is found to have a developmental disorder, early intervention pediatric therapy has been shown to deliver better results in most cases. Consult your state government’s website for more information on how early intervention programs near you work.
Fine Motor Skills
Smaller movements that occur in the wrists, hands, fingers, feet and toes.
Examples of these include writing, holding small items, buttoning clothing, turning pages, eating, cutting with scissors, and using computer keyboards.
Fine motor skills development is largely the domain of pediatric occupational therapy.
Gross Motor Skills
Large movements your child makes with their arms, legs, feet, or entire body.
Examples of these include rolling, crawling, walking, running, jumping, catching, and throwing.
Gross motor skills development is largely the domain of pediatric physical therapy.
Hamstrings are a group of muscles on the back of your child’s thighs. These muscles help with bending and flexing their knees, as well as straightening and extending their hips.
Hypermobility refers to mobility that extends beyond a child’s normal range of motion. This can be a sign of deeper issues.
The lumbar is the lower back area.
Proprioception is your child’s ability to understand where the various parts of their body are. This includes awareness of posture, movement, balance, the weight of objects they’re carrying, and more
Refers to the way the brain and nervous system receives messages from the senses (ears, eyes, nose, mouth, touch) and turns them into responses.
Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)
Sensory processing disorder is a condition where the brain has trouble receiving and responding to information that comes in through the senses (ears, nose, mouth, touch).
If your child has sensory processing disorder, their brain has difficulty organizing the information it receives. As a result, they may respond in atypical ways.
This can include being bothered by loud sounds, bright lights, or tags in their clothes, frequently putting non food items in their mouth, or constantly touching things.
Toe walking is when your toddler walks primarily or exclusively on the balls of their feet. This is common when children are first learning to walk, and is not cause for concern. If they haven’t grown out of it by two years of age, they may need pediatric therapy for toe walking.
Torticollis is a condition where your baby’s neck is twisted, causing their head to face downward in one direction, while tilted in the opposite direction. It’s also referred to a wryneck. Physical therapy for torticollis tends to be very effective in treating this condition.