All Children, All Abilities, All Possibilities

Hannah Gilford

Koorana Paediatric Physiotherapist

I am often asked, “how do you engage a toddler or child during physiotherapy?”.


The answer is quite simple. If you make an activity fun and work with a child’s strengths and interests, you will successfully engage any child in an activity. Fun is the key ingredient when developing a therapy program for children. It’s a little sneaky at times, but children don’t mind, as all they see is someone wanting to play a game with them.


About me …


Growing up in the UK, I always knew I would work with children. I didn’t want to be a teacher, but I loved being with children in an educational environment. Whilst practising as a paediatric physiotherapist, I was given the opportunity to work with children with additional needs in a school setting. It was that moment that I fell in love with paediatric physiotherapy and how it supported improvement in daily life for children with disability.


Physiotherapy and disability …


There are many reasons why we use physiotherapy on children with additional needs or disability. When we are developing a program, we do it with the intention to develop skills and promote physical independence. We also use physio to prevent secondary complications, like poor posture or stiffness that can lead to pain and difficulties with movement. It is a therapy that is beneficial at all stages, providing support as the body grows and changes.


What I know …


I have been part of many moments that have reinforced my belief that paediatric physiotherapy is a key element in supporting children and young people with additional needs to be active members of their community. When working with children in the UK, I’ve seen children move, stand and walk, who were not expected to be able to do this. It has shown me that when therapists, educators and families work together as a team around the child, the outcomes often exceed expectations.

Hannah Gilford

Koorana Paediatric Physiotherapist