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Pervasive developmental disorders are a group of disorders that cause impaired communication and social interaction. A pervasive developmental disorder usually begins before the age of 3 and does not affect life expectancy. Physiotherapy engages your child in a range of fun, functional activities to improve physical ability and communication skills. Regular sessions with a specialist physiotherapist can help to improve your child’s ability to interact with others during play, increase confidence and improve overall quality of life.

Symptoms of Pervasive developmental disorder

The symptoms of Pervasive developmental disorder include
  • Impaired speech and use of language,
  • Lack of social skills and ability to interact with others.
This makes it very difficult for children with pervasive developmental disorder to use play to make friends and engage with peers. They also appear to have difficulty using their imagination to play games and have a limited range of interest. Children with pervasive developmental disorder intensely focus on specific topics and are disinterested in others. They are inflexible to changes in routine and surroundings and demonstrate repetitive body movements if daily rituals are changed. Children with pervasive developmental disorder require multi-disciplinary specialist team input to minimise symptoms and ensure optimal standards of living.

Trainig sitting balance and core stability on a gym ball under close supervision of a paediatric physiotherapistAbove: Trainig sitting balance and core stability on a gym ball under close supervision of a paediatric physiotherapist

Diagnosis of Pervasive developmental disorder

Pervasive developmental disorder is diagnosed by psychologists and paediatric neurologists via observation of the child and lots of questions about their behaviour.

Treatment of Pervasive developmental disorder

There is no cure for pervasive developmental disorder. Treatment includes medication, behavioural therapy, dietary advice, special education and physiotherapy.

Physiotherapy for Pervasive developmental disorder

Following a thorough and detailed physiotherapy assessment, formulation of problem list and discussion of appropriate rehabilitation goals, a treatment plan may include: Your physiotherapist will observe your child carrying out normal activities of daily living, for example getting in and out of bed, getting washed and dressed, eating breakfast etc. This will enable your physiotherapist to identify problem areas and suggest alternative methods of carrying out the normal routine without difficulty. Your physiotherapist will provide a detailed exercise plan based on your child’s symptoms and areas of weakness. This may include a variety of challenging balance activities and exercises to strengthen muscles and improve co-ordination. It is important that you help your child carry out these exercises on a daily basis to make optimal functional improvement. Your physiotherapist can provide training and education to all parties involved in your child’s care if required. For example, it may be appropriate to show your child’s siblings how to use play as therapy time or teachers how to use aids and equipment that enable your child to actively participate in lessons.

The benefits of regular physiotherapy for your child with pervasive developmental disorder are:
  • Improved mobility and ability to transfer
  • Increased independence with normal daily activities
  • Increased ability to take part in team sports
  • Increased self-esteem and confidence
  • Increased muscle strength, balance and co-ordination
  • Improved social skills
  • Increased interest in range of topics and activities
  • Provision of exercise program, aids and equipment
It is important to increase and improve the rate of your child’s development as much as possible. With regular treatment, your child’s confidence, self-esteem and ability to interact with new people will improve and this will help them to make friends with peers and enjoy school. A new ability to interact with others, engage in team activities and take pleasure from a broad of interests will substantially improve your child’s well-being and quality of life.

Why for Pervasive developmental disorder

At we understand the difficulties with communication and social interaction that your child may face as a result of pervasive developmental disorder. Our specialist physiotherapists are able to offer expert assessment and treatment focused on achievement of specific goals to attain optimum function and quality of life.
  • One to one treatment
  • Liaison with other health professionals to provide holistic care
  • Flexible appointment times
  • Treatment at home, in clinic, gym or school
  • Experienced dynamic physiotherapists
  • No waiting lists
  • Learn how to help your child grow and develop
  • Access to hydrotherapy
  • Access to speech and language therapy
  • Proven track record
Physiotherapy sessions can be held in your child’s home, school or in one of our clinic locations. Regular treatment form one of our specialist physiotherapists will substantially increase your child’s rate of developmental improve the whole family’s quality of life. If you would like to find out more about how your child with pervasive developmental disorder would benefit from physiotherapy or to book an appointment, please contact us now on 0330 088 7800. or alternatively book an appointment online with us today!

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