Following an initial telephone consultation to understand your child's specific needs, I offer a full and thorough assessment to enable an honest expert opinion on further action. I can then provide tailored advice, programmes and/or treatment as required.
I take a holistic, hands-on approach to treatment where necessary and work closely with children, their families, and other professionals to ensure they reach their full potential. I am passionate about working with, and empowering parents, to enable them to optimise their child’s ability. I will also incorporate elements of yoga and pilates into my physiotherapy practice where appropriate. I work closely with schools and nurseries as needed and will assess and treat any concerns affecting their school life e.g., sitting posture, handwriting, PE etc.
It is important to assess a child in their own, familiar environment: This gives you the added convenience of me coming to you. However, if required I will also see your child at nursery, school, in the playground or hydrotherapy/swimming pool.
I cover Central, Southwest and Southeast London within the M25. If you are unsure whether I can come to you, please get in contact.
I have been working with children with neurological difficulties for over 14 years and have extensive experience of treating emerging and undiagnosed movement disorders in babies as well as managing established difficulties in older children and teenagers. This ranges from mild forms affecting gait and posture, to severe 4 limb conditions requiring postural equipment.
Examples include Cerebral Palsy, brain, spinal or nerve injuries, neuromuscular conditions such as Muscular Dystrophy, peripheral neuropathies, and other complex disabilities.
The treatment approach to these conditions varies due to cause and severity but would always include full and thorough assessment of your child to establish the main priorities. Treatment may include direct hands-on therapy, a home activity programme, advice on appropriate toys/equipment/strategies to implement on a day-to-day basis, referral to orthotics and working closely with any other involved therapists, school, or nursery and of course carers.
My expertise in this area lies in the early years – assessing and treating children with worries about head shape (Plagiocephaly), neck posture (torticollis), foot posture (turning in or out – often known as Positional Talipes) or Moulded Baby Syndrome (a combination of the above). I also have lots of experience with children who in-toe, out-toe, tiptoe or display bow-legs or knock-knees.
Children who present with difficulties such as these often do not need a lot of hands-on input, but they do require a full assessment to determine the cause and target treatment appropriately (particularly if concerns are asymmetrical). It is likely in these cases families need advice about stretching and strengthening activities and positioning.
I am not a musculoskeletal specialist and I do not usually see children with musculoskeletal injuries, back pain, or growth pains such as Apophysitis. I will, however, occasionally see children presenting with these conditions who have other needs such as Cerebral Palsy or learning difficulties, or whose injury is more complex and involves nerves.
Musculoskeletal and Postural Concerns
I have been lucky enough to have significant experience working with premature and very young babies in neonatal units and acute settings throughout my career. I am fully aware of the effect early hospitalisation (whether due to prematurity or not) can have on development. Having expert knowledge about early movement means I can assess your child as soon as appropriate and provide timely intervention to get them on their way…
I work with children with developmental delay daily, be that purely motor or more global concerns and love assisting parents with motivating movement on the floor and up into standing and onto walking where possible.
As these children’s presentations can vary hugely, it is important to start with a full and extensive assessment to determine what is going on and target treatment appropriately. Treatment may include direct hands-on therapy, a home activity programme, advice about appropriate toys/equipment/strategies to implement on a day-to-day basis and close working with any other involved therapists, school, or nursery and of course carers.
Early Years and Developmental Delay
My forte when working with these children (whether referring to concerns about being very flexible or that have a diagnosed condition) is determining how it is affecting them and their movement and function.
Having generalised flexibility can be a cause of delayed standing and walking so in these cases I work with families to address their challenges (often reduced core / pelvic activity) through play / movement to develop their upright activity.
In older children who struggle with physical activity or higher-level motor skills I often draw on my pilates and yoga practice to motivate them and work on stamina and optimise efficiency of movement as required.
Pacing of activity and footwear advice can also be key in these cases. Increased range in upper limbs and reduced core activity (often coupled) can also affect sitting posture / endurance and handwriting so looking at strategies to address can also part of treatment.
Please note, I am not a hypermobility expert, I work from a functional and (hopefully!) fun point of view. I will of course target specific muscle groups for strengthening if required, but if your child has significant pain or issue with dislocations, it might be best to see a musculoskeletal / rheumatological specialist.