Kids Physio Group – Physiotherapy & Autism

The recording is from an ACT Chats event on July 5, 2023.

“ACT Chats” is a free new series of informational events, content and resources presented by ACT.

In this video, Jessica and Taylor from Kids Physio Group discuss how some autistic kids can benefit from physiotherapy. They describe how physiotherapy can treat physical challenges that are common among kids with autism, such as hypertonia, motor planning, toe walking, and proprioception. Learn what caregivers can watch for as autistic kids develop, what to expect when starting physio, and how they make physio fun for kids of all ages and abilities.

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About the Presenters

Jessica Harris, DPT, BA

Jessica is a dedicated and experienced Doctor of Physical Therapy, having completed her degree in Spokane, Washington in 2011. Throughout her career, she has worked in various settings, including acute care and a pediatric outpatient neurodevelopmental clinic. Her passion for working with children led her to focus on Early Intervention and School Aged Physio when she returned to B.C. in 2014. With a particular interest in complex disorders in babies and young children, Jessica’s expertise covers a broad spectrum of conditions and age groups, ranging from infants to teenagers. Her skillset encompasses treating neurological conditions, developmental disorders, gross motor delays, toe walking, coordination concerns, torticollis, plagiocephaly, and more. As a RASP-certified (Registry of Autism Service Providers) Physiotherapist, Jessica’s approach revolves around placing the child and family at the center of care, and she is thrilled to help children achieve their goals.

Taylor McElwain, MPT, BKin

Taylor is a dedicated and compassionate physiotherapist whose work centers around his core value of family and his passion for helping children thrive. He firmly believes that every child deserves the opportunity to succeed and is committed to breaking down barriers that hinder their participation in life. Growing up locally, Taylor’s love for sports, especially hockey, shaped much of his identity, providing him with invaluable experiences in relationships, challenges, and leadership. These formative moments played a significant role in his decision to become a physiotherapist. Prior to pursuing his career in physiotherapy, Taylor garnered diverse experiences working with kids and adults in sport camps, adapted programs, coaching hockey, behavior intervention, and assisted living facilities.

As a physiotherapist, Taylor has successfully worked with children and families of all ages, addressing a wide range of presentations. He approaches each individual with genuine interest, taking the time to understand their unique stories, and collaborates with them to develop personalized treatment plans. Taylor’s impressive educational background includes a Master of Physical Therapy and a Bachelor of Kinesiology from UBC. Moreover, his dedication to furthering his expertise is evident in his numerous certifications which include being a Registered Autism Service Provider (RASP), and having completed training in fields such as Anxiety, Self-Regulation and Postural Control, Sensory Integration and Autism Spectrum Disorders, among others. Through his extensive knowledge and experience, Taylor strives to make a meaningful impact on the lives of children and their families, helping them achieve their goals, whether that means returning to sports safely or gaining independent mobility.