5 Things Being A Paediatric PT Has Taught Me

27 years ago I started my career as a paediatric Physical Therapist.  My clients, families and colleagues have taught me many life lessons along the way……..


1.  When you are with a child, they should be the center of your universe.

  • Get down to their level, make eye contact, read their cues and follow their lead.  Focus all of your energy on them in that moment.


2.  Appreciate the small things.

  • Each milestone, piece of art, hug, and “I love you” is a gift so treasure them all – they could disappear at any moment.


3.  There’s always more going on than meets the eye.

  • Development is complex. Remember that what you see on the outside is not necessarily what’s happening on the inside.


4.  When a child is behaving badly, that’s when they need your understanding most.                       

  • When a child is having a meltdown, it’s an opportunity to help them learn to calm.   Later, you can have a conversation about what upset them.  Together you can problem-solve and practice solutions, so they can manage the situation better the next time.


5. When you feel overwhelmed, get a hug and take a breath.

  • Things are rarely the disaster they seem in the moment, so don’t panic.  Deep breathing inhibits the sympathetic nervous system and a 20-second hug releases oxytocin. The bottom line?  A big hug and a deep breath really does make everyone feel better.




This blog was written for Friendship Circle.  Connect with them at www.friendshipcircle.org. 






2 thoughts on “5 Things Being A Paediatric PT Has Taught Me

  1. Shelley, with your permission I would like to use this and the round and round blog post as a reference in my feeding workshop for community therapists. Is that okay?

    • Hi Cathy, that would be wonderful! The more therapists we can get this information to, the better. Thanks for asking. Someday I’d love to attend one of your feeding workshops 🙂