Pediatric Rehabilitation


What is Pediatric Rehabilitation?

Pediatric rehabilitation is a form of treatment that emerges with the harmonious and complementary work of various medical and non-medical specialties applied in order to reveal and develop the existing capacity in children, to rehabilitate the detected diseases, and to ensure that the child can live independently at the highest possible level.

In pediatric rehabilitation, child care and rehabilitation are combined, so that the child can do his / her daily work more easily. At the same time, it is aimed to improve these features. Early treatment increases the chance of success. Goals should be realistic, and according to the age, it should be aimed to gain functions such as holding the head upright, then sitting, crawling, walking, handgrip, respectively. Afterwards, education, social skills, adaptation and personal care activities should be carried out.

By Who Is Pediatric Rehabilitation Applied?
Pediatric rehabilitation is considered as a separate discipline in developed countries and educational programs are carried out within the framework of these principles. In our country, the lack of sufficient specialization in this field causes a serious shortage of trained personnel.

Pediatric rehabilitation should be carried out under the leadership of a physician who has received special training in this field. The team to be established should include assistant health personnel with sufficient knowledge and experience in this field, including physiotherapists, nurses, orthotic / prosthesis technicians, occupational therapists, social workers, child development specialists, child psychologists, special education specialists.

What are the Differences of Pediatric Rehabilitation from Adults?
Pediatric rehabilitation is not just a disease-based specialty. The continuation of growth and development in pediatric patients, the fact that this development is physical and mental, that is, the child is more than a miniature adult, is one of the most important features that distinguish this specialty from general physical therapy and rehabilitation.

There are many neurological, orthopedic and rheumatological diseases encountered in childhood that require rehabilitation. Although the procedures applied in patient follow-up and treatment are basically similar, there are quite different treatments in terms of both physical conditions and approach and applications to the patient.

Routine healthy child examination practice should not be neglected. In this examination, attention should be paid to monitoring growth parameters, nutrition and especially vaccination. Children who are more severely affected may be overlooked due to the magnitude of their problems and may not have healthy child vaccinations.

In the treatment of a disabled child, showing a willingness to communicate and being able to achieve this is one of the most important priorities. Instead of focusing on the physical disorder of the child, first of all, it should be ensured that he / she is in contact with his / her environment. It is important to ensure the ability to act independently by making use of the simple and modern tools required.

Setting the appropriate goals in self-care activities is the most important point. Special education is as important as vocational rehabilitation for a disabled adult.

While being a parent of a normal child is a challenging enough experience, being a parent of a disabled child is even more difficult. Therefore, these parents need help and guidance in the care of the disabled child.

Who Should Pediatric Rehabilitation Be Applied to?
There are many diseases within the scope of pediatric rehabilitation. These include; 

  • Mental motor retardation (MMR) due to congenital reasons,
  • Metabolic diseases with musculoskeletal problems,
  • Muscle and nerve diseases caused by spinal cord injury,
  • All neurological and muscular syndromes effective in childhood, 
  • Diseases such as spina bifida, meningomyelocele,
  • Brachial plexus injury due to birth,
  • Torticollis (neuromuscular diseases)
  • Cerebral palsy, spasticity,
  • A wide range of diseases such as head traumas, microcephaly and hydrocephalus are evaluated and rehabilitated within the scope of pediatric rehabilitation. 

What are the Expectations from Pediatric Rehabilitation?
While the increase in technical facilities and quality of care in neonatal intensive care units increased the life chances of preterm babies and babies born with risk factors, it has also led to an increase in many central nervous system (CNS) -based neurodevelopmental diseases such as cerebral palsy, mental motor retardation birth traumas.

It is very important to prevent or minimize the problems that may occur in these babies. Such patients should be intervened early in the delivery room, and a physiotherapy and rehabilitation program should be started as early as possible when necessary.

A significant portion of the diseases that cause physical disability and loss of movement in childhood can be eliminated or reduced to the lowest possible levels with correct and timely interventions. In cases requiring treatment, the process should not only be limited to physical therapy and rehabilitation, but many other educational and social support programs should be used.