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Pediatric physical therapy is a specialty practice that addresses the needs of the child and family. Care is provided through support, guidance, and interventions that are family-centered, culturally appropriate, age appropriate (0−21 years), and that improve quality of life and function. Pediatric treatment settings can vary among the acute neonatal intensive care unit, the acute hospital, an outpatient setting, school, and home, to address a few. Pediatric therapists treat infants and children with disabilities, typical developing children, and adolescents and young adults with and without disabilities. Some unique aspects of pediatric physical therapy include the understanding of child development as it relates to behavior management, developmental models, family interactions, social trends, reimbursement issues, and the requirements of working in diverse areas. Table 10–1 describes typical development. Physical therapy models of delivery can include the therapist working independently (unidisciplinary), the therapist evaluating the patient and then meeting with other professionals to discuss the case (multidisciplinary), joint examination with other professionals (transdisciplinary), and working with equal participation in serving the child and family (collaborative).

TABLE 10–1Developmental charts.

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