The Association for Mentally & Physically Challenged Children in Israel



Every baby in the world is physically dependent on his parents up until the age of three when he gains control over his body and begins to function independently. Typical patterns do not apply, however, when a baby has special needs and therefore therapy in the first years is critical to his physical development.

The developmental side of physiotherapy is designed for children who have developmental drawbacks that make it difficult for them to function physically according to their age. In these cases, therapeutic intervention is needed at an early age to assist them in maximizing their full potential. For example, intensive work is done in the field of fine motor activity which is necessary for executing daily physical routines such as eating, brushing teeth, writing, etc. The better a baby can maneuver his body, the higher his ability is to explore and understand the world around him.

The Physiotherapy Center at Shalva enables children to work on different types of motion and advance the functional skills that are so important for development. Shalva's physiotherapists create individualized treatment plans for each toddler, specially tailored to his previous rate of development and current abilities. The plan incorporates goals which are based on professional assessments of the child's developmental potential.

What are the common problems among children with Down syndrome and other development difficulties?

Weak muscle tone and overly flexible joints are just a few of the issues that require attention. All these cause a huge motor delay, bad posture and, ultimately, defective and uncoordinated bodily function. Beginning physiotherapy treatment as early as possible increases the chances of developing better motor skills and effective motion patterns.

The secret of successful physiotherapy can be found in the continuous hard work and participation of the parents. This is vital for the child's training and his ability to continue the exercises in the home-setting. To maximize the success of this home treatment, Shalva offers a loan service for therapeutic toys that can be exchanged regularly according to the progress of the treatment.

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