Pediatric physical therapy focuses on how a child’s motor performance develops, and how it is related to the child’s cognitive development. Physical therapy focuses on improving the child’s functional mobility skills. Our goal is to help every child reach his or her full potential.

Who can benefit?

At The Children’s SPOT, our physical therapists treat children from birth to school age. A variety of diagnoses and conditions may affect a child’s gross motor skills including, but not limited to:

  • Torticollis/Plagiocephaly
    • Torticollis: Asymmetric posturing of the head and neck due to a tight neck muscle, typically causing an infant to hold his head tilted to one side and rotated to the other
    • Plagiocephaly: Characterized by a flat spot on the back or one side of an infant’s head due to repeated pressure on that area of the head, typically caused by remaining on their backs for too long   
  • Premature birth
  • Neurological impairment
  • Genetic Disorders/Syndromes
  • Toe-walking
  • Autism
  • Developmental delay/delayed milestones
  • Atypical muscle tone/general muscle weakness

Scope of practice

Our physical therapist develops individual treatment plans for each child. We base these plans on patient evaluations and medical diagnoses. Sessions might focus on:

  • Learning new gross motor developmental skills correctly through therapeutic play
  • Strengthening exercises
  • Stretching tight muscles
  • Motor planning skills
  • Coordination activities
  • Balance activities in all positions
  • Improving sense of balance and movement
  • Improving body awareness in space
  • Improving ability to discriminate and tolerate different textures on the body

Targeted skills may include:

  • Tummy-time progression
  • Rolling over
  • Crawling
  • Transitioning in and out of different positions
  • Sitting independently
  • Pulling up to stand and walking along furniture
  • Standing independently
  • Walking independently
  • Walking up and down stairs
  • Running
  • Jumping
  • Standing on one leg
  • Hopping on one foot             
  • Galloping and skipping
  • Throwing, catching, and kicking balls

What to expect

  • Telephone Inquiry: Gather more information about your child to determine if an evaluation and/or therapy are appropriate 
  • Scheduling: Discuss how soon an appointment can be scheduled, day and time preferences, insurance information and referring pediatrician
  • Evaluation: Determine if a comprehensive evaluation is needed for your child. If your child has a current and comprehensive physical therapy evaluation, Individualized Education Plan (IEP), or Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP), we can typically develop a therapy plan based on those tests. 
  • Plan of care: Develop appropriate goals and frequency of care based on evaluation results and family input

Parent Involvement

We encourage parents to get involved in the therapeutic process and learn how to work on therapeutic and behavioral goals at home. There are opportunities to observe by either being in the room or through an observation window. Home practice materials and suggestions will be provided on a case-by-case basis depending on your child’s response to treatment techniques. Supporting and practicing skills at home or in the community should expedite your child’s progress.

Insurance Coverage

Coverage is dependent upon your individual plan. You will want to check to see if you are in-network or out-of-network with Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City. You may have a deductible or co-pay for services and there may be exclusions to your plan regarding therapy that is covered. 

View accepted insurance list.

Family assistance program

We believe that all children deserve the best possible start in life. Our Family Assistance Program provides support to families who are uninsured or under insured, and is made possible by gifts and grants from individuals, corporations, and foundations in the Kansas City metro area.


We are committed to provide the best possible care for your child, and your family but we do need your help. Your child’s success depends on attending every therapy session and arriving on time. If you are unable to attend a scheduled appointment, please call us as soon as possible before the appointment at 816-932-3832 to cancel or reschedule. We have many children in need of services. Multiple cancellations may result in termination of services. 

Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City The Children’s SPOT

Established in 1980 at Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City, The Children’s SPOT (Speech, Physical, and Occupational Therapy) provides early and intensive rehabilitative therapy to infants through school-aged children. Research shows treatment at this early age is best.