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THE ROLE OF THE PHYSIOTHERAPIST
St. Gabriel’s physiotherapists are dedicated to working with your child to encourage and increase his/her ability to move and function as normally as possible. They assess and treat children with developmental delay, gross motor delay and physical disabilities. Physiotherapists at St. Gabriel’s treat many conditions, including:
· Developmental delay
· Cerebral palsy
· Spina bifida
· Muscular dystrophy
· Developmental coordination disorder
· Gross motor difficulties
· Congenital amputees
The role of St. Gabriel’s physiotherapists is also to assess and monitor children’s gross motor skills, their posture, their joint movement, the strength of their muscles, their endurance and how they conduct their daily living activities.
Therapy can then take place in several locations - in the physiotherapy department at St.Gabriel’s, at home, at school or at a community sports facility. Depending on the therapy prescribed, sessions may be one-to-one, group-based or conducted jointly with other team members. St. Gabriel’s is proud to be able to offer a purpose-built hydrotherapy pool on its premises, making it possible to include hydrotherapy as an effective treatment.
When they believe it is necessary, physiotherapists may prescribe specialist equipment, such as standing frames, walkers, chairs or tricycles. If your child has a medical card or a long-term disability card, any recommended equipment may be funded by the HSE.
Physiotherapists may also make referrals for orthotics clinics, seating clinics, gait analysis and assistive technology. These clinics or assessments are always carried out with the physiotherapist’s involvement. St. Gabriel’s physiotherapists work closely with paediatricians, orthopaedic surgeons, neurologists and other therapy centres. When it is appropriate, they also play an important role in assessing children for Botox or surgical intervention.
St. Gabriel’s physiotherapists work not only with children, but also with parents, carers and teachers. Physiotherapists train those responsible for the child’s care in positioning and handling techniques. They also tailor specific training programmes to cater for each child’s particular needs.
Many of the physiotherapists at St. Gabriel’s Centre are trained in the Bobath Concept and Neurodevelopmental Therapy. Several have also completed post graduate training in hydrotherapy. St. Gabriel’s strongly encourages continuous professional development for all staff members, particularly those working in physiotherapy. Therapists keep up to date with the newest physiotherapy methods by regularly attending national and international courses and events. Some physiotherapists at St.Gabriel’s also lecture regularly on external training courses.