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Social Skills

15 considerations for supporting the development of your child’s social skills

Let’s talk about Social Skills! As adults, we don’t often think much about social skills, as they are ingrained in our daily lives – like getting dressed in the morning or brushing our teeth. Human beings are sociable creatures, and we have developed many ways to communicate our messages, thoughts, and feelings with others. Children, however, must learn social skills from scratch, much like learning to read and write.

Social skills are the skills we use to communicate and interact with each other, both verbally and non-verbally, through gestures, body language and our personal appearance. This is an incredibly intricate set of skills which takes time and practice to acquire. The ability is built on foundational receptive communication skills (hearing and understanding language from others) and expressive communication skills (sharing thoughts and ideas with others).

Setting good examples in front of our children is the natural place to start, as they instinctively mimic and copy what we do. By demonstrating sound social skills at home, such as speaking to others in respectful tones, listening to what others have to say, and waiting to speak in turn, children subconsciously take this all in, and voila! The beginnings of developing social skills is a work in progress.

Children are like sponges, they absorb everything!

To help support the development of your child’s social skills, start by paying attention to your own behaviours as you go about engaging in the following ways. You will probably learn a bit about yourself in the process!

  1. Facial expressions
  2. Body language
  3. Gestures
  4. Interacting in group situations
  5. Collaborating with others
  6. Exercising patience and taking turns
  7. Sharing
  8. Achieving compromise
  9. Demonstrating empathy
  10. Play skills
  11. Conversation skills
  12. Emotional skills
  13. Problem solving skills
  14. Showing encouragement
  15. Maintaining eye contact

Many of the above skills will come naturally, however when we stop and think about them in isolation, we may notice that we have to work harder to demonstrate some skills than others, or some areas that we could definitely improve upon.

One of our most important jobs in life is to be good role models for our children. By examining our own behaviours from time to time, we may not only enhance our own social skills, but we also ensure we are role modelling desirable behaviours for our children! Over time, you should see your little person starting to use more and more of the skills outlined above in their interactions with others.

Fun ways at home to develop social skills

Playing board games can be a fun way to practice using social skills at home.

Firstly, board games are fun, but they also require patience, self-control, and using manners. For example, after you’ve rolled the dice and moved your character, say, “Your turn!” Then, when your child has finished moving their character, say, “My turn!” before rolling the dice. By verbalising the order of play, it introduces children to the concept of taking turns, helps to develop the elusive character trait of patience, and begin to understand game play etiquette. This prepares them for navigating group settings such as when it’s time to start kindy or school.

Playing board games also helps to introduce children to the emotionally challenging task of how to conduct themselves whether winning or losing! This is a really important skill which will set them up well once they’re taking their first steps out into ‘the real world’ at school. Let’s face it, we are not always going to be ‘the winner’, so it’s important to learn humility in defeat.

If you have any questions about the above skills or your child is having difficulties with some of them, have no fear. You can directly reach out to one of our friendly paediatricians HERE We are here to help!

Adelaide Paediatrics – Helping Children and Families Thrive

Adelaide Paediatrics’ doctors, allied health professionals and staff care about your family and what you are going through. We take the time to listen and understand so that you feel supported and empowered as we work together to care for your child. We know that sometimes medical issues in children cannot wait, so if an appointment is required urgently, we will accommodate as best we can and can usually offer an urgent appointment with a paediatrician within 7 days.

Paediatrics

5 things your baby needs for great mental health

Mental Health is such a relevant topic in 2022, and thankfully there is. more awareness and understanding around Mental Health than ever before. While it’s an important point of discussion for adults, Mental Health support and education is equally as important for our children.

You may be asking yourself:

“When should I start thinking about my child’s mental health”? Well, it would be fair to say it’s never too early and we should be mindful of all the factors that contribute to Mental Health from that special moment when we bring our new-born baby home for the very first time. The role we play as parents is pivotal as we strive to provide our children with the best life possible from the very beginning.

In those first weeks living “earthside” with their new family, your baby will look to you for love, reassurance, and safety. As helpless little humans, ensuring all their basic needs are met is the start of your baby learning that they are safe, protected, and loved. This is all they need to set them off on their journey through life with the foundation of self-worth.

To help you and your baby as you embark on this amazing, challenging, rewarding journey, we have compiled 5 simple tips for you to apply at home:

  1. Take care of yourself! It may seem obvious, but as the parent it can be easy to overlook the basic fact that you need to take care of yourself first before you can provide the love and care your little one needs. Babies look to us as their parents for guidance and reassurance, even when we may not realise it, we are setting the example. Therefore, it’s important that our children see us exercising self-care which contributes to a healthy state of wellbeing.
  2. Communication is key! We always hear about communication being one of the most important aspects in a relationship. Well, we hear this so often because it’s true! This is true for all relationships, and especially so with our children.
  3. Keep calm and carry on. Mishaps happen. Whether it’s at work, at home, or out in public, we all make mistakes. We are all so very human! The really important part however, is how we respond in these moments. If you are stressed about something, or spill red wine on the carpet, try to remain calm. The behaviour we model in front of our children will be what shapes their behaviour as they learn and grow. Let’s see every mishap as an opportunity to equip them well to navigate the challenges that life throws up at all of us from time to time!
  4. Play is the work of childhood. As adults, we work to provide our families with a roof over their heads, food in their tummies, an education, and a good quality of life. A child’s work however, is not that a desk – it’s with toys! That’s right – playing is learning about the world around them and using their imagination and helps a child’s brain develop in so many ways! Ensure your baby has plenty of playtime in their daily routine and engage with them at every opportunity. This helps them to be stimulated by all the new things in their world and teaches them that they are loved, and special, and important.
  5. A little routine goes a long way. Just like we have routine in our days (wake up, get dressed, go to work, have lunch etc.), babies like routine too! This will help them to understand there is an element of structure and predictability to each day and fall into a rhythm. This contributes to a child’s sense of security, and it will help tenfold when it comes to school time too! Trust us!

Raising a baby isn’t easy, especially if it’s your first … and sometimes your second, or even your third!

Raising a baby is also life-changing, and wonderful, and challenging, and overwhelming, and amazing, so try to be kind to yourself. Take it day-by-day and breathe every now and then. You will get there, and so will your little one. If you’re having a tough day, maybe read back over these tips, and if you would like to chat about what we’ve discussed today, please reach out to our friendly team  here (https://www.adelaidepaediatrics.com.au/appointment-booking/). We are here to help!

Adelaide Paediatrics – Helping Children and Families Thrive

Adelaide Paediatrics’ doctors, allied health professionals and staff care about your family and what you are going through. We take the time to listen and understand so that you feel supported and empowered as we work together to care for your child. We know that sometimes medical issues in children cannot wait, so if an appointment is required urgently, we will accommodate as best we can and can usually offer an urgent appointment with a paediatrician within 7 days.

10 activities to improve your child’s fine motor skills

10 activities to improve your child’s fine motor skills

10 activities to improve your child’s fine motor skills

Motor skills form a vital aspect of life. They are constantly utilised throughout the course of each and every day. Whether we’re picking up our breakfast in the morning, grasping a pencil at our desk, or buttoning up a shirt, these activities all require what we call “fine motor skills”. As adults, often we don’t think twice about performing these simple tasks, because they’ve been ingrained in us from a young age, and just form part of our daily lives.

It’s a different case for children though, as they need to learn and develop these skills over time, slowly becoming more confident with the repetition of each new activity. Children will develop fine motor skills gradually, at different ages and stages. For example, babies typically start to grasp objects with their hands between 5 and 6 months of age and will start playing with hand-held toys between 6 and 12 months old.

Our children will develop their fine motor skills naturally over time.

Around 18 months old, most toddlers will attempt more complex skills such as using a pencil or drinking from their bottle without assistance. By 24 months old, your toddler might even show a preference for using their left or right hand. Impressive, right?

Beyond their second birthday, toddlers’ fine motor skills start to become more refined. You will probably notice they may show an interest in drawing and attempting to handwrite!

While these skills will begin to develop naturally, there are lots of fun activities you can do with your child at home to support the development of their fine motor skills.

10 fun activities to improve your child’s motor skills:

  1. Play dough: Moulding, shaping, crafting. This also promotes sensory development
  2. Drawing, colouring, painting: Time-honoured favourites! These activities allow children to gain greater control with their hands, while using their imagination to create a work of art which can take pride of place on your fridge!
  3. Cutting with scissors: A great way to strengthen fine motor skills as well as improve hand-eye coordination
  4. Bath time and water play: Never gets old! Provide cups for your child to scoop and pour out water. It’s loads of fun for them and not too messy for you!
  5. Sand Play: Scooping and digging with buckets and spoons; encourages sensory development as well
  6. Building with Lego and blocks: Stacking, connecting, and creating things with Lego and blocks. Encourages fine pushing and pulling movements and offers endless imagination!
  7. Puzzles: Provides mental stimulation, teaches patience, and encourages usage of both hands
  8. Using plastic cutlery: Allowing children to begin picking up their own food, the start of developing independence
  9. Threading or lacing: Start teaching your child how to tie their shoes or creating knots in general. Fostering more independence and will eventually become a great time saver when everyone is getting ready in the mornings!
  10. Brushing their own teeth: Now this one may not be terribly effective at first! Once you’ve done the “serious” brushing, hand over the toothbrush to your little person encouraging them to finish off by moving the brush around all the surfaces of their teeth. This will help their fine motor development as well as establishing the crucial life skill of looking after their precious teeth!

Pretty simple, right? These everyday activities can all be done at home, and don’t require any expensive equipment. Give them a try with your child and see how eager they are to have a go! Children are quick learners. Before you know it, they will be sipping from their water bottle all by themselves.

Adelaide Paediatrics – Helping Children and Families Thrive

For a little more information, you can directly reach out to us HERE

Adelaide Paediatrics’ doctors, allied health professionals and staff care about your family and what you are going through. We take the time to listen and understand so that you feel supported and empowered as we work together to care for your child. We know that sometimes medical issues in children cannot wait, so if an appointment is required urgently, we will accommodate as best we can and can usually offer an urgent appointment with a paediatrician within 7 days.

Child with bowl of healthy food infront of yellow background

Food allergy education: 6 things you need to know for your child

A common question asked among many parents is: How do I know if my child has a food allergy? Something we hear often. We know prevention is the best form of cure, and we would rather prevent our little ones from having a reaction we cannot control in the first place. So, when they’re ready for solids, it’s important to introduce different food varieties little by little in order to rule out any allergies.

1. So, what are food allergies exactly?

When our immune system sees food as an invader, it triggers an allergic reaction. Our bodies are designed to routinely fight infections, and in the case of a food allergy our body reacts in a similar way. Instead of fighting off a cold or a flu, our body is attempting to protect us from a particular food, and a food allergy develops.

2. Who is at risk?

Anyone is potentially at risk of developing a food allergy. However, if either parent has allergies there is a higher likelihood of the child developing a food allergy. Even if previous reactions have been mild, it’s important to remain vigilant as anyone with a food allergy is potentially at risk of the next reaction being more severe or even life-threatening.

Individuals with a food allergy are usually recommended to avoid the problem food/s altogether.

3. What are the most common food allergies?

Any food may cause an allergic reaction in children as well as adults. These are the most common allergens known to cause 90% of all reactions in kids:

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Peanuts
  • Soy
  • Wheat
  • Tree nuts (such as walnuts and cashews)
  • Fish
  • Shellfish (such as shrimp)
  • Sesame

4. What is an allergic reaction?

An allergic reaction is your immune system responding to a food that it does not agree with. This stimulates the body to release chemicals such as histamines. Reactions can be mild or severe; and as we know, a person can have a severe reaction to a food even if they have only experienced mild reactions previously. Allergic reactions can produce different symptoms, including:

  • Wheezing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Coughing
  • Hoarseness
  • Throat tightness
  • Belly pain
  • Vomiting (the most common in infants)
  • Diarrhoea
  • Itchy, watery, or swollen eyes
  • Hives (the most common in infants)
  • Red spots
  • Swelling
  • Light-headedness or loss of consciousness (passing out)

In some cases, allergies can cause a severe reaction called anaphylaxis.

5. What is a food intolerance?

It is often the case that food allergies are confused with food intolerances. The symptoms of food intolerances are far less severe than food allergies. Symptoms can include burping, indigestion, gas, loose stools, headaches, or nervousness.

Food intolerances do not involve the immune system and can occur if you simply do not chew your food properly or because you can’t digest a substance, such as lactose. Symptoms of lactose intolerance can be unpleasant; however they aren’t usually dangerous or life threatening in the same way that allergies can be.

6. Receiving a diagnosis

Our fantastic Adelaide Paediatrics’ Allergy Team provides diagnosis and treatment for issues such as:

  • Environmental Allergies
  • Food allergies and intolerances
  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Skin prick testing
  • Immunotherapy
  • Dietitian support & advice
  • Food & drug challenges

We have an amazing team working across Allergy and Immunology including Dr Henning Johannsen, Dr Leigh Mackey, Dr Melissa Norman and Dr Christine Ziegler, and allergy dietitians Laura Ryan and Rachel George providing services at several locations.

For a little more information, you can directly reach out to us HERE

Adelaide Paediatrics – Helping Children and Families Thrive

Adelaide Paediatrics’ doctors, allied health professionals and staff care about your family and what you are going through. We take the time to listen and understand so that you feel supported and empowered as we work together to care for your child. We know that sometimes medical issues in children cannot wait, so if an appointment is required urgently, we will accommodate as best we can and can usually offer an urgent appointment with a paediatrician within 7 days.

teacher and child in colourful early childhood education setting

It takes two to talk! Easy ways to communicate with your little one

As parents, we all eagerly anticipate our child’s first words. We often wonder too what they may be! Will “Mummy” or “Daddy” be the first thing that comes out of their mouth? Or will it be something completely random like “Uh Oh”?!! This is a mystery and part of the ongoing surprise and excitement that is the journey of parenthood.

As parents, there are several ways we can encourage our children to speak, so let’s talk about them!

Story time

One easy and fun way to encourage your child is by reading together. One of the best things you can do with your child is to read to them as much as possible every day, as this encourages language development and can be a special part of building the parent/ child relationship. Doing so allows your child to develop a wider vocabulary and can assist in further developing their expressive and receptive language.

Item naming

Another activity we can encourage is giving names to everyday household items. Your toddler may often point to an item they want, like their water bottle, spoon, or a toy. When they do this, you can act as their teacher and translator, helping them understand the names associated with each of the items.

For example, when your child points to their bottle, rather than just giving it to them, respond by saying “Water?”, “Do you want your water bottle?”. If you keep doing this every time they point, they will slowly learn what the words mean, and in time understand they can use this word to make requests and comment on their surroundings.  You can do this with any items that play a part in their daily routine, so give it a try and see.

6 simple ways to encourage your child to speak

You can also try some of the below methods to encourage chatter from your child:

  • Talk directly to them, even if just to narrate what you’re doing.
  • Sing simple songs that are easy to repeat. Did someone say Wiggles?
  • Give your child your full attention when talking to them. Be patient when they try to communicate with you. Use your eye contact (and encourage your child to do the same) to check for attention and help to monitor if their message has been received.
  • When someone asks your child a question, resist the temptation to answer for them.
  • Even if you can anticipate your child’s needs, give them the opportunity to express it themselves.
  • Ask questions and give choices, allowing plenty of time and space for your child to respond.

What if my child still isn’t speaking?

Some children take longer than others to develop language. Even though you may have tried some of the above methods, you may still be eagerly waiting to hear first words come from their mouth. Your child may have difficulties with developing the skill of verbal communication.

Some signs of possible language difficulties include:

  • a child is not using at least 50 words by the age of 2
  • difficulty putting together sentences between the age of 2 – 3
  • having trouble following instructions
  • not responding to familiar voices

We recommend keeping an eye on these developmental milestones. If you notice your child is not progressing in these areas, reach out to the team at Adelaide Paediatrics, and organise a time to see one of our paediatricians. From here, we can assess your child and determine what the next steps may be.

For a little more information, you can directly reach out to us here

Adelaide Paediatrics – Helping Children and Families Thrive

Adelaide Paediatrics’ doctors, allied health professionals and staff care about your family and what you are going through. We take the time to listen and understand so that you feel supported and empowered as we work together to care for your child. We know that sometimes medical issues in children cannot wait, so if an appointment is required urgently, we will do our best to accommodate and offer an urgent appointment with a paediatrician where possible.

How to know your child is walking correctly

How to know your child is walking correctly

For most, walking is just an everyday part of life that we don’t really think about much. We get out of bed and just start walking, whether it’s to the bathroom, the coffee machine or to the bus stop. However, for our children – like in all areas of their development – it is important that we set them on the right track from an early age in relation to walking correctly as well.

Most children start walking between the age of 8 months and 18 months old. This varies from child-to-child of course. Some children might take their first steps with someone holding their hands at the age of 9 months; others may stand alone and sidestep around a coffee table at 12 months; or they may even take uneven steps or walk by pushing carts and trolleys by 15 months of age.

By around 18 months of age, your child might be walking comfortably with their legs close together. All these stages are part of their natural progression and shouldn’t be forced.

Everyone walks differently

There are a few different ways in which your child may walk as they grow. These are:

  • Pigeon toe or in-toeing – Where one or both feet/knees turn in while your child is walking. This generally resolves somewhere around 2-3 years of age.
  • Out-toeing – Where one or both feet turn out when your child is walking. Your child should outgrow this. Out-toeing typically disappears around 5 years of age.
  • Toe-walking – Where your child starts walking on their toes as soon as soon as they start to walk. This should resolve somewhere around 2-3 years of age.

If you notice your child is still walking in one of the ways mentioned above beyond the average age, speak to one of our physiotherapists, podiatrists, paediatricians, or your local GP for advice.

Signs and symptoms to look out for

There are some other signs to look out for as your child progresses with their walking. Keep an eye out for the signs mentioned below, and speak to one of our physiotherapists, podiatrists, paediatricians, or your local GP if you notice your child:

  • hasn’t yet started walking by 18 months
  • is displaying signs of severe pigeon toe or out-toeing
  • has pigeon toe or out-toeing which is getting worse
  • has pigeon toe or out-toeing that’s more pronounced on one leg compared to the other
  • trips or falls a lot
  • has walking issues that come on suddenly or as a result of a fall
  • has toe walking that hasn’t resolved by the age of approximately three years
  • can’t bear weight on either leg
  • complains of hip or knee pain, particularly while running or playing sports.

Our friendly team of physiotherapists, podiatrists and paediatricians is here to help if you have noticed any of the above issues or have other concerns. Please call the team at any one of our 9 locations throughout Adelaide, and they will be happy to assist you.

For a little more information, you can directly reach out to us here

Adelaide Paediatrics – Helping Children and Families Thrive

Adelaide Paediatrics’ doctors, allied health professionals and staff care about your family and what you are going through. We take the time to listen and understand so that you feel supported and empowered as we work together to care for your child. We know that sometimes medical issues in children cannot wait, so if an appointment is required urgently, we will accommodate as best we can, and offer an urgent appointment with a paediatrician if possible.

Asian boy cupping his hand around his left ear to listen

Auditory Processing: Understanding the signs and symptoms

Auditory Processing Disorder is a difficulty that affects about 3–5% of school-aged children, making it hard for them to know what people are saying. Children with this condition can’t process what they hear in the same way other children do and have a more difficult time registering and remembering what they hear.

There is nothing wrong with their hearing, however there is an interference with the way the brain interprets sound and speech, directly. Therefore, children with Auditory Processing Disorder will often ask people to repeat what they’ve said or may struggle to follow directions as a result.

Auditory Processing Disorder is often misunderstood

Signs and symptoms to look out for

Although the signs and symptoms of Auditory Processing Disorder vary from child to child, below are the most frequently reported symptoms:

  • Difficulty understanding speech, especially in the presence of background noise
  • Difficulty following multi-step directions that are presented verbally, without visual cues
  • Easily distracted by sounds
  • Difficulty paying attention and listening
  • Difficulty remembering what has been said
  • Difficulty reading, spelling, and/or writing when compared to their peers
  • Misunderstanding of jokes, idioms, and figurative language
  • Being fatigued at the end of a school day

How can you help?

Many children diagnosed with an Auditory Processing Disorder can develop better listening and comprehending skills over time as their auditory system matures.

There’s no known cure for Auditory Processing Disorder, but there are ways and strategies with listening that can assist to improve the development of the auditory pathway over time, especially when started at younger ages.

These can include things like:

  • Physical changes to your environment that allow for improved listening
  • Speech Pathology
  • Equipment that gives clear access to the speaker’s voice

As our Clinical Lead Audiologist at Adelaide Paediatrics, Sharon Price specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of Auditory Processing Disorder and utilises her dual qualifications as an Audiologist and Speech Pathologist to ensure best practice.

Auditory Processing Disorder is diagnosed over 2 appointments and is presented as ‘listening games’ to ensure your child is comfortable. If your child is diagnosed with Auditory Processing Disorder Sharon will support and guide you to gain optimum outcomes for your child.

If you are concerned that your child may have Auditory Processing Disorder, or would simply like to rule it out, please call our friendly team at Mile End on 7123 6147 and they will be happy to assist you.

For a little more information you can directly reach out to us here.

Adelaide Paediatrics – Helping Children and Families Thrive

Adelaide Paediatrics’ doctors, allied health professionals and staff care about your family and what you are going through. We take the time to listen and understand so that you feel supported and empowered as we work together to care for your child. We know that sometimes medical issues in children cannot wait, so if an appointment is required urgently, we will accommodate as best we can and can usually offer an urgent appointment with a paediatrician within 7 days.

Baby with bib on using a spoon to eat solids

Starting solids with Chelsea Mauch

There are so many exciting “firsts” with your new baby. The introduction of solids is one that can be a lot of fun, but also a little daunting for new parents. Like many things, practice makes perfect, and the more you know about how to approach introducing solids for the first time with your baby, the more confident you will be, and the happier and more relaxed your little one is likely to be.

There’s a sea of information on the internet about starting solids, which can be quite overwhelming! This is why we’d like to simplify the basics in relation to starting solids, with some easy-to-understand tips to get you started.

It’s important your baby can sit upright with some support, and hold their head up

Around 6 months of age, babies are usually ready to start solids. When they’re showing signs of interest in the foods you’re eating, this is an indication that they’re ready to start solid foods. It is also important that they can sit upright with some support, hold their head up steadily and that they have gained some control over their tongue. At this age, your baby’s digestive system and ability to chew and swallow is improving rapidly in readiness for the transition to solids.

Breastfeeding or bottle-feeding should continue while introducing solids

5 steps on how to easily start introducing solids

  • Introducing one new food at a time is a great way to allow your child to slowly explore new tastes for the very first time, and also identify possible allergies.
  • It’s important to remember; all they’ve ever known is breastmilk or formula, so don’t be too worried if they’re a little hesitant to start off with. In fact, it may take 10 to 15 tries of a food before they decide they like it. They’ll become more adventurous as the process starts to become familiar. That’s when the real messy fun starts!
  • The best time to offer your baby solids for the first time is after either breastmilk or formula, starting with small amounts.
  • Smooth foods can be good to start with but texture should be increased over the first few months as their skills develop. Great first foods are cooked and pureed vegetables or fruits, progressing to chunky mashed foods, followed by soft finger foods. Add plain water or their usual milk to pureed or mashed foods if you need to make it a little runnier.
  • There is no need to add salt or sugar to your baby’s food. Remember; they have only had milk so far, and have more tastebuds than an adult, so new flavours on their own are much more exciting to them than they might be to you!

If your baby is approximately 4-6 months old and you’d like to know a little more about how to introduce solid foods, book into one of our “Starting Solids and Nutrition in the First-Year” group education sessions.

Each two-hour group education session includes:

  • Starting solids (what, when, how) from the very first purees, through to lumps and finger foods
  • Nutrition for babies and how to encourage healthy eating
  • Developing your baby’s palate
  • Preparing food for babies
  • Extensive written resources including recipes and food preparation methods

This group session is currently held monthly online and booked through our Mile End – SuperGym.

For more information or to book into a group session:

P: 08 7123 6147
E: reception@adelaidepaediatrics.com.au

Adelaide Paediatrics – Helping Children and Families Thrive

Adelaide Paediatrics’ doctors, allied health professionals and staff care about your family and what you are going through. We take the time to listen and understand so that you feel supported and empowered as we work together to care for your child. We know that sometimes medical issues in children cannot wait, so if an appointment is required urgently, we will accommodate as best we can and can usually offer an urgent appointment with a paediatrician within 7 days.

Mother and young baby having a consult with doctor with Adelaide Paediatrics logo displayed in the background

A guideline for gross motor skill development for your little human

Gross motor skill development is at the core of our children growing stronger by the day. We love to see each and every one of our clients move closer to their goals through various activities along the way. Physiotherapy can play an important role in improving the development of gross motor skills assisting with your child’s posture, coordination, balance, walking, sitting, and standing.

Activities such as throwing and catching, jumping, climbing and balancing, running and changing direction, can all benefit your child in developing their gross motor skills.

Sometimes we forget to assess where our children are at with their development, and in particular their gross motor skills.

Our paediatric physiotherapists are experts in child and baby development and the development of their movement.

Movement allows our little humans to explore their bodies and how they work

Being able to move easily and successfully is essential for babies and children to learn and grow.

Strong cores are building blocks

Everything starts with a strong core. A strong core is the fundamental base and building blocks for developing gross motor skills, and essentially helps to coordinate the movement of arms and legs.

Easy ways you can help strengthen your child’s core at home:

  • Encourage playing in different positions – activities such as animal walks can be very effective – walking like a bear or crab requires lots of control and helps build core muscle. Also, the “wheelbarrow position” where you hold your child’s legs and they walk on their hands in a straight plank position is great for building core muscle.
  • Go to your local park and play on the swings. Swinging helps to engage core muscles while having fun in the process.
  • Musical statues and “Simon Says” are great games to encourage children to hold certain postural positions.
  • If you have a gym ball at home this is great fun for children and core exercises at the same time.
  • Visit places such as Bounce or play cafés where they have soft surfaces as these encourage children to hold their core automatically to manoeuvre around and play.
  • Swimming is also a great activity that helps build strength and endurance in a child core muscle.

Paediatric physiotherapists can help your baby or child:

  • Achieve milestones for their age
  • If they’re bottom shuffling for too long or are delayed in walking
  • If they’re continuing to toe walk.
  • Having difficulty with motor skills such as jumping, hopping and climbing.
  • If they have disabilities
  •  Have lower limb alignment issues such as flat feet, knock knees and bow legs
  • If they’re overly flexible
  • Following an injury or trauma
  • Require rehabilitation

It’s important to us here at Adelaide Paediatrics to use a holistic approach when it comes to your child’s physiotherapy. We know that every child is different and has a unique set of needs. Taking into account their physical, emotional, sensory, social and cognitive abilities is important when assessing how we work together.

We love to see your child grow and develop which ultimately helps them at school, at home and everywhere in between.

For a little more information or help with your child’s learning and development, we’d love you to reach out to us here at Adelaide Paediatrics.

Physiotherapy services are based across  6 locations throughout South Australia:

  • Mile End: 08 7123 6147
  • Kensington Park: 08 7123 6176
  • Ashford: 08 7123 6171
  • Bedford Park: 08 7123 6149
  • Elizabeth Vale: 08 7123 6148
  • Morphett Vale: 08 7123 6163

Adelaide Paediatrics – Helping Children and Families Thrive

Adelaide Paediatrics’ doctors, allied health professionals and staff care about your family and what you are going through. We take the time to listen and understand so that you feel supported and empowered as we work together to care for your child. We know that sometimes medical issues in children cannot wait, so if an appointment is required urgently, we will accommodate as best we can and can usually offer an urgent appointment with a paediatrician within 7 days.

young child doing craft at table

10 ways Occupational Therapy can support your child’s learning and development

Have you thought your child may benefit from occupational therapy, however you’re not sure whether this is for you? We hear this frequently in our day to day with parents, and it’s often a case of “you don’t know what you don’t know”, until you have that ahhh-haaa! moment. And this is absolutely okay. As parents we experience so many firsts with our children that we may not realise the smallest change to their weekly routine may benefit their learning experience exponentially.

There are, however, a large variety of ways that occupational therapy can benefit your child in many aspects of their development and navigating day-to-day life.

Adelaide Paediatrics provides a wide range of activities across the scope of occupational therapy, tailored to each child’s specific goals and needs.

Various movement activities can support and assist your child’s learning

Your child’s independence

Occupational therapy works to help children become more independent and ultimately self-sufficient. Occupational therapy offers great benefits for children who might be struggling with everyday fine and gross motor tasks like using a toothbrush, holding a pencil, catching a ball, organising a backpack.

It can also help children who struggle with self-regulation and sensory processing issues.

We use a holistic approach to work together with your children and your family

10 ways to support your child’s learning

  1. Handwriting
    • Difficulty with forming letters and numbers, and copying them
    • Grasping a pencil and putting it to paper.

  2. Sensory Integration
    • How your child processes, interprets and responds to what they hear, see, smell, taste, and touch.

  3. Fine Motor Skills
    • Writing
    • Holding small objects
    • Buttoning clothes.

  4. Gross Motor Skills
    • Running
    • Crawling
    • Swimming.

  5. Self Help Skills
    • Getting dressed
    • Combing hair
    • Going to the bathroom.

  6. Feeding mealtime management
    • Picky eaters
    • Limited diet
    • Texture aversions.

  7. Disability conditions, including:
    • Autism Spectrum Disorder
    • Cerebral Palsy
    • Down Syndrome.

  8. Behavioural issues and positive behaviour support
    • Emotional regulation
    • Persistence
    • Concentration
    • Consistency.

  9. Social Skills
    • Interacting with peers
    • Sharing
    • Taking turns.

  10. Self-regulation
    • Form and function
    • Emotional regulation
    • Productivity.

It’s important to us here at Adelaide Paediatrics to use a holistic approach when it comes to your child’s occupational therapy. We know that every child is different and has a unique set of needs. Taking into account their physical, emotional, sensory, social and cognitive abilities is important when assessing how we work together.

We love to see your child grow and develop which ultimately helps them at school, at home and everywhere in between.

For a little more information or help with your child’s learning and development, we’d love you to reach out to us here at Adelaide Paediatrics.

We’re based across 9 locations throughout South Australia:

  • Mile End: 08 7123 6147
  • Kensington Park: 08 7123 6176
  • Wayville: 08 7123 6177
  • Mount Barker: 08 7123 6175
  • Ashford: 08 7123 6171
  • North Adelaide: 08 7123 6173
  • Bedford Park: 08 7123 6149
  • Elizabeth Vale: 08 7123 6148
  • Morphett Vale: 08 7123 6163

Adelaide Paediatrics – Helping Children and Families Thrive

Adelaide Paediatrics’ doctors, allied health professionals and staff care about your family and what you are going through. We take the time to listen and understand so that you feel supported and empowered as we work together to care for your child. We know that sometimes medical issues in children cannot wait, so if an appointment is required urgently, we will accommodate as best we can and can usually offer an urgent appointment with a paediatrician within 7 days.

Paediatrics

Paediatrics

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Allergy / Immunology

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Gastroenterology

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Occupational Therapy

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Physiotherapy

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Podiatry

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Psychology

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Speech Pathology