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A woman and a child in a hospital room.

Welcome to the first post in our UF Health Wildlight series! Throughout this series, we’ll be interviewing various UF Health professionals about services and wellness practices that can help our residents live their healthiest lives.

Today, we’re excited to introduce Jessie Walczak, a pediatric physical therapist at UF Health Rehabilitation–Wildlight. See how she and her team are working alongside Wildlight families to help their children move around with more confidence.

Could Your Child Benefit from Physical Therapy?

Children need to feel comfortable and confident moving about their homes, at school and in social settings. Physical therapy techniques help children with gross motor skill challenges gain more independence through movement.

Pediatric physical therapy can help families and children with a variety of concerns, such as delays in development, muscle weakness, poor coordination or balance, genetic disorders and other conditions such as cerebral palsy. In physical therapy, children are engaged with fun and age-appropriate activities to keep them motivated, while assisting them with reaching their goals.

Signs that indicate physical therapy could be beneficial:

    • 2 months: holding their head up during tummy time
    • 4 months: holding their head up in supported sitting, bringing hands to mouth and pushing up on elbows when in tummy time
    • 6 months: rolling from tummy to back and back to tummy consistently, sitting up without support and reaching for toys/items and bringing them to their mouth
    • 8–10 months: crawling on all fours—any variation in crawling or pulling up to stand at support surfaces are reasons to seek physical therapy intervention
    • 12–15 months: taking independent steps

To learn more about pediatric physical therapy services at UF Health Rehabilitation–Wildlight, please visit their website at or call 904.427.8300.

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