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Physiotherapy (PT) specializes in the prevention and alleviation of movement disorders of the arms, legs and/or trunk, assisting children and youth to move and function.  

ErinoakKids' Physiotherapy team is focused on helping children/youth develop skills, and creating environments to help children/youth physically function at their best possible level. We work together in partnership with the family and the whole service team.

Physiotherapy services may be delivered by a Physiotherapist (PT) or a Physiotherapy Therapy Assistant (PTA), who works under supervision of the PT.         

 Physiotherapy services may involve: 

  • Assessment, treatment  and consultation
  • Prescription of therapeutic equipment such as splints, walkers, standers
  • Therapeutic groups aimed at improvement of function and participation
  • Teaching of functional exercises such as walking, negotiating stairs, or propelling a wheelchair
  • Individual or group therapy, combined with parent education and coaching 
  • Home programming and consultation to caregivers, professionals and supportive personnel who interact with the child/youth
  • Promotion of participation in sports and recreation activities, both at ErinoakKids and in the community 
  • Promotion of movement, participation and independence in the home, daycare and community environments

Typical conditions seen by ErinoakKids Physiotherapists

  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Spina Bifida
  • Skeletal (bone) disorders (Achrondroplasia, Osteogenesis Imperfecta, Arthrogryphosis, Congenital or traumatic amputation)
  • Neuromuscular disorders (Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, Becker and Limb Girdle Dystrophies, Spinal Muscular Atrophy)
  • Neural Tube deficits
  • Torticollis (medical referral required) 
  • Metabolic, mitochondrial disorders with neurological impairment
  • Medically fragile

Referral Criteria

  • Children 0 – 18 years old with a physical or developmental delay/disability requiring therapy to improve gross motor function. This does not include children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or learning disability (LD)
  • Must live in Peel, Halton or Dufferin 

Referrals will be reviewed and services will be determined based on the child's individual needs and meeting eligibility requirements.

Referral process

Health professionals, families and clients can complete a referral form. Completion of the referral form is required to access this service.

Visit the Intake Services page for the referral form and more details.

Typical development and when to call for help


  • Lifts and holds head up while on tummy
  • Pushes up on arms while lying on tummy
  • Moves legs and arms off of surface when lying on back
  • Not able to lift head and hold it up while on tummy Stiff legs with little or no movement,
  • Not observing a kicking motion while lying on back
  • Arches neck and back when lying on back
  • Uses hands to support self while sitting
  • Rolls onto tummy and back
  • While standing with support, accepts entire weight with legs
  • Reaches for toys while on tummy
  • Reaches both hands to play with feet
  • Not able to sit using hands for support
  • Poor ability to control head movements or position
  • Arches back and stiffens legs when pulling to a sit position
  • Sits and reaches for toys without falling
  • Can get into a sitting position
  • Crawls on hands and knees or creeps with alternate leg movement
  • Turns head to (look at and follow) parent or objects
  • Starts to pull to a stand
  • Not able to sit independently
  • Uses only one side of the body to move
  • Cannot take weight on legs
  • Legs crossed and stiff
  • Pulls to stand and cruises along furniture
  • Stands alone
  • May take some steps alone
  • Moves in and out of various positions to explore environment
  • Maintains sitting balance when throwing objects
  • Not able to get into standing without using support from furniture or caregiver
  • Not able to crawl
  • Legs crossed when  pulling  to stand
  • Only able to sit with weight to one side
  • Stiff arms
  • Walks alone
  • Squats to pick up a toy
  • Not able to take steps without support of furniture or caregivers hand
  • Not able to stand hands free
  • Not able to crawl to climb stairs
  • Needs mobility device for walking
  • Frequently moving in and out of various positions (i.e. climbing, cruising, and walking)
  • Can maintain balance when gently bumped by peers
  • Able to throw and attempt to catch ball without losing balance
  • Not able to maintain balance when gently bumped by peers
  • Not walking up or down stairs with hand support
  • Specialized equipment to walk or use of a wheelchair
  • Has adequate endurance and strength to play with peers
  • Coordinates movements needed for activities at the playground
  • Usually walks with heel toe pattern
  • Able to walk and maintain balance over uneven surfaces
  • Leans on furniture, walls or people most of the time for support/balance
  • Not able to walk on uneven ground without falling
  • Not walking up or down stairs
  • Not able to step up and down a pavement curb without hand assistance
  • Not able to stand with feet flat on the ground  and mostly walks on toes
  • Specialized equipment to walk or use of a wheelchair
  • Able to quickly move around peers on the playground
  • Participates in recreational tasks that require balance such as riding a bike and participating in games/sports
  • Starts to trip and fall often
  • Not able to get up off floor easily
  • Needs specialized equipment to walk or use of a wheelchair


Ministry of Health (MOH) Publicly Funded Physiotherapy Clinic

ErinoakKids has OHIP-funded physiotherapy clinics at the Mississauga, Brampton, and Orangeville sites for young infants presenting with suspected or confirmed torticollis. A valid OHIP card and a referral from a physician or nurse practitioner is required. 

Additional Resources 

Infant Child and Development Services - Halton

Infant Child and Development Services - Peel

Dufferin Child and Family Services

Healthy Babies Healthy Children

Growing Great Kids

Nipissing District Developmental Screen

College of Physiotherapists of Ontario

Canadian Physiotherapy Association