Therapeutic aids for your child

not only with abdominal pain, fever or rash you can get medical help - even if your baby is constantly crying, his posture gives cause for concern or in your toddler one outburst rages the next, professionals can help. The first point of contact is always the pediatrician, but he / she will refer you to the appropriate therapist if needed.

The variety of careers in the medical-therapeutic field is great. Keeping track of who does what is not always easy. Here is an overview of the most important therapeutic professions.

It is not possible to clearly delineate the individual treatment areas in the therapeutic occupations, since the various additional qualifications for appropriate treatment of infants and toddlers can be acquired by the various providers of remedies.

Physical and occupational therapists

In infants and young children, the first port of call is a physiotherapist (until the mid-nineties the official name was a physiotherapist) and occupational therapist. However, before they can take action, a pediatrician must have examined the child and consider a prescription for therapy to be necessary.

When choosing a therapist, it should be noted what additional qualifications he has. In the treatment of infants and toddlers, the children Bobath therapy is the alpha and omega. Another major area is the sensory integration therapy (SI). In addition, the Voitja therapy is also applied. The doctor will be able to call you therapists in your area. Before making an appointment, you should clarify the experience of treating children of the same age as your own. Therapeutic sessions with physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists are paid by the health insurance, if a corresponding prescription from the doctor is available.

The problem is not rare that children are sent too late to a therapy or other funding opportunities. For example, this may be because parents hope that the problem will resolve itself and that often not all of the child's difficulties with the check-ups are described by the parents. This is one of the reasons why doctors often fail to correctly assess the need for support.""The younger man is, the more plastic and malleable his nervous system and brain are. (...) The longer the perturbations go untreated, the more likely they will be overshadowed by avoidance, compensation, and behavioral problems. This complicates the diagnosis and can also prolong the therapeutic process, ""said the German Association of Occupational Therapists e. V.

In older children and adults, the overlaps between physiotherapists and occupational therapists are decreasing. The physiotherapist takes care of impairments of the musculoskeletal system, limitations after accidents or neurological deficits and congenital malformations. The occupational therapist, on the other hand, has a holistic approach and incorporates the patient's problem and environment into his therapy.

This clear distinction is not possible in the treatment of infants and toddlers. Provided that the above additional qualifications are in place, these children can be treated by either a physiotherapist or an occupational therapist.

These are cases for physiotherapists and occupational therapists

If you observe the following with your baby or toddler, you should talk with your pediatrician if it makes sense to have a therapist. First of all, most of the ""abnormalities"" are normal, but your pediatrician will judge it correctly:

  • The child only looks to one side (in the case of infants it often even slightly deforms the head)
  • Frequent hyperextension of the child , It puts its head back in the neck or throws it violently to the back.
  • The child moves too little. It does not lift arms and legs.
  • The child refuses to take the prone position.
  • The motor milestones (turning, crawling, running) come with a great deal of delay, or even not at all. Older children are more likely to have accidents (eg run into furniture, etc.),
  • behavioral problems such as B. Great anxiety, exaggerated fright, frequent aggression.
  • Overly ""easy-care"" baby, passivity (sleeps a lot, demands little attention, hardly demands food, rarely plays).
  • The child cries a lot and looks very dissatisfied. except for the three-month colic)
  • Strong reaction to changes in position
  • Body contact problems (eg the child does not like cuddling or stroking or hugging)
  • The child avoids or reacts excessively to touch (eg B. does not mud, does not want to have his hair washed, does not like to walk barefoot over a lawn)
  • Two to three-year-olds who can not assess the dangers of what their peers have learned

during the treatment of At least one parent is with young children. It is often desirable to have father and mother participate together at the beginning of the treatment because they can be so actively involved in the treatment and receive suggestions for the implementation at home.

First, the therapist makes a conversation with the parents and makes contact with the child. After a differentiated survey, he decides on the therapeutic measures. The goal is for the child to develop motor, sensory and cognitive deficits and to be able to achieve and build on age-appropriate development. But: every child develops at its own pace and delays in development can be quite normal. For example, a therapy could be for the therapist to guide the baby or toddler in their movements, or to ask them to play with specific movement sequences.

Speech Therapy

Speech therapy is a relatively young medical and therapeutic discipline that deals with speech, speech, voice and swallowing disorders caused organically or functionally. The work of these speech therapists is often only in patients from five years or older, although often early treatment would be desirable. Some of the tasks that a speech therapist can perform, such as training oral motor skills or initiating the swallowing motion, are also offered by other therapists. The boundaries of the professions are blurred in the area of ​​the treatment of infants and toddlers. Examples of symptoms in infants and toddlers on which a speech therapist operates are:

orofacial problems (mouth and face abnormalities)
  • Eating and drinking difficulties
  • Down's disease
  • Lips and jaws Palate Column
  • Central Motor Disabilities
  • Congenital Hearing Disorders.
  • Early Intervention

Early Intervention is a kind of contact point for children from birth to the age of entry into school. Under this collective name different professional groups are united with the aim to offer pedagogical and therapeutic measures, if a disability threatens or already exists. These are socio-pedagogical approaches in connection with medical forms of therapy when more severe disabilities, mainly mental ones, are emerging.

Early interventionists are currently predominantly educators with special education, fewer therapists. However, other occupational groups, such as occupational therapists, also want to open up this area. The term Frühförderer is not a job title.

Early intervention centers can be found, for example, through institutions such as the Arbeiterwohlfahrt or the Deutscher Roten Kreuz, and they exist in most towns and counties.

After the child has been introduced to the early intervention center, it will be decided how high and intensive the need for support is, which therapists are suitable, and then the frequency will be determined. The therapy is mainly conducted in the family as the home environment is included in the treatment.The measure comes from the pediatrician.


The osteopath uses his hands primarily to repair dysfunction. The osteopaths have a holistic approach and are complementary to conventional medicine.

Osteopathy is not a training occupation, but an additional qualification after further education or training. While osteopathy is a recognized medical discipline in the US, it is considered an alternative cure for us.

According to German jurisprudence, osteopathy is a medical science in the sense of the Heilpraktikergesetz and may only be practiced by doctors and naturopaths. This field of activity is becoming ever more topical with us - especially in children who have problems with the spine, such as the KISS syndrome.

When it comes to displacements of the spine and resulting blockages of the spine in infants and toddlers, often an osteopath is the appropriate contact person. Even if the osteopathic treatment is usually not taken over by the health insurance company, the route should be there after consultation with the doctor. It is also conceivable that a physiotherapist or occupational therapist recommends visiting an osteopath to resolve the blockages.

Cranio-sacral therapy is one of the best-known osteoporotic treatments. It is - with appropriate additional training course - also used by other therapists. These are disorders of the cranial bone. Areas of application are, for example, developmental disorders in infants and young children, cry children or for birth preparation and aftercare.


In the field of motor psychology, psychological, educational as well as sport and educational findings and methods are combined with medical approaches. The central starting point is the movement. The corresponding field of research and teaching is motology, which can also be called psychomotricity. Depending on the training, a moto-therapist is either more pedagogical-preventive or more therapeutic-rehabilitating. As a rule, the work of a motor specialist starts later, so not yet in babies and toddlers.


National Association of Independent Physiotherapists - IFK e. V.: www. ifk. de

German Association of Occupational Therapists e. V.: www. ergotherapie-DVE. de

German Federal Association for Speech Therapy e. V.: www. dbl-ev. de

Association for Interdisciplinary Early Intervention (VIFF eV): www. fruehfoerderung-VIFF. de

Association of Osteopaths Germany e. V.: www. osteopathy. de

Deutscher Berufsverband der MotopädInnen / MototherapeutInnen DBM e. V.: www. Motopädie-linked. de

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