Opening Hours : Monday to Friday : 9am - 5pm
  Contact : (03) 9899 4004

All posts by admin


Quiet Hour at Coles Ringwood Square

On Tuesdays between 10:30-11:30am Coles Ringwood Square (and Balwyn) is trialling a Quiet Hour until the end of September. Alexis, one of our Physiotherapists headed over from the Ringwood office today to check it out. Here’s her review…
“Even before I walked into the store I instantly felt a sense of calm and quiet. The usual supermarket radio was turned off and there was only the soft hum of the refrigerator fans. The deli and bakery areas had turned off many of their bright lights which made those spaces feel very peaceful. I spoke to a really helpful staff member there who informed me that each of the fluorescent lights in the general aisles has two globes each but only one was operational during quiet hour. The aisles still seemed fairly bright to me, but he assured me that if both light globes were working, you would definitely notice the difference. The lights in the refrigerator sections do need to stay on, as they are on the same circuit as the refrigerator fans.
Interestingly, the staff member reported that he himself was enjoying the change and felt much more calm – an added bonus to have relaxed staff!
There weren’t many people shopping in the store during this time and the young children who were there with their parents seemed calm and happy.”
Let us know what you think about Quiet Hour, we’d love your feedback.
Read More

What is the NDIS?

As we get NDIS ready, we hope to help you do the same. You may have heard about the NDIS but what is it really?


The National Disability Insurance Scheme (also known as the NDIS) is designed to provide individuals with a disability with the necessary supports they need to help them achieve goals specific to them, helping to foster greater access to mainstream services, as well as promote inclusion and participation in the community.

The NDIS changes the way that disability services are delivered in Australia by:

  • Ensuring that every child or loved one with a permanent disability can get the support they need
  • Recognising that exercising choice and control in the pursuit of their goals and in the delivery of supports is a fundamental right of a person with disability
  • Providing funding for reasonable and necessary supports that are related to an individual’s disability

The NDIS roll-out is a staged process and from 1 July 2017, the NDIS is available in service areas including suburbs in Inner and Outer East Melbourne.

Individuals who currently receive support through the Victorian Government will be moving to the NDIS at varied times, depending on the type of support they are receiving.

Some families have already transitioned to the NDIS. In the scenario where you choose to self-manage your funds, you can elect to work with services that are not NDIS providers.

For more information about the NDIS, please click on the link below:


Read More

Physiotherapy for Positional Plagiocephaly and other head shape concerns.


You or your healthcare provider may have noticed that there is a flat part on your baby’s head. Or you may have noticed that your baby only turns their head to one side. The incidence of plagiocephaly has increased in recent years, and parents are increasingly seeking physiotherapy to facilitate in correcting this. So, how does physiotherapy help and how does it fit in with helmet therapy?


Is it Positional Plagiocephaly?

It is relatively common for newborns to have a slightly misshapen head.  This can be due to several reasons including the position in the womb or the head position during birth. Positioning after birth also has a significant impact on head shape. In some instances the flat spot can be quite severe. This can, in turn, have an effect on their ear and face symmetry.

A child may also be diagnosed with Torticollis, which also increases the risk of positional plagiocephaly.

A physiotherapist can assess your child and determine whether they require treatment.

Some common craniofacial problems are:

  • Plagiocephaly is a term used to describe an asymmetrical head shape, characterised by an asymmetrical flattening caused by repeated external pressure.
  • Brachycephaly refers to a condition where the head is disproportionally wide compared to its depth.
  • Scaphocephaly describes a disproportionately long and narrow shaped head.
  • Craniosynostosis may present with an asymmetrical head shape, however this is caused by premature fusion of one or more of the skull sutures.


What do I do if I’m concerned?
You do not need a referral if you are concerned and would like an assessment. Early detection and treatment is important, and bringing in your child before 4 months is ideal.

Our physiotherapists will do a thorough assessment of your baby to provide an accurate diagnosis.

This will include questions about your pregnancy, the birth and post-natal positions, for example day and overnight sleeping habits.

This is followed by a physical examination where the physiotherapist will carefully assess your baby’s head shape, fontanelles, neck muscles and development. They will discuss with you your baby’s diagnosis, prognosis, goals and treatment plan with you.


plagio pic


At our Stepping Forward Clinic, we use a craniometer to measure the severity of your baby’s head asymmetry. Re-measurements are performed to track improvements in head shape.


What is the Treatment?
Babies’ heads are relatively malleable. With early detection and the right treatment, prognosis is good. There are many factors which may affect the outcome of treatment, as each baby is different, so it’s best to discuss this with your physiotherapist.

Physiotherapists’ treatment for misshapen heads involves deliberate positioning of the baby’s head. It may include a program of stretching and strengthening of the neck and postural muscles. Your physiotherapist will teach you how to do this at home.  This includes (but is not restricted to) adapting your feeding, changing and carrying positions, giving your baby ‘tummy time’, setting up your baby’s environment appropriately and varying their sleeping positions.

Treatment is best done under the guidance of a trained physiotherapist. If you are concerned you can book in or speak with us directly.

In severe cases, our physiotherapists can refer you onto a specialist orthotist for helmet therapy, to be used in conjunction with physiotherapy.

If you would like to speak to someone about getting your baby’s head assessed please contact us on 9899 4004.
Read More

Is my child ready for school?

If your child is in kindergarten this year, chances are you are thinking about school in 2016… and asking yourself, ‘Is my child ready?’

There are a lot of resources and lists concerning ‘readiness for school’. Readiness will influence a child’s ability to thrive, to learn and to enjoy their first year of school.

Many resources focus on emotional and cognitive readiness… but what about physical readiness?

Here are some simple questions to ask yourself to help get your child physically ready:

  1. At 5 years old, can your child do the following?
  • Get up off the floor without using hands
  • Walk backward
  • Walk heel-to-toe without losing balance
  • Balance on alternate feet
  • Catch a ball using their hands
  • Run smoothly and with long steps
  • Hop well on either foot
  • Jump down from the second bottom step and keep balance
  • Safely go up and down a playground climbing frame/ladder.


  1. Do you still use a stroller/pram when going out?

As learning has become more interactive and dynamic, it is important your child has the stamina to get involved with their learning, and get involved in social and physical play.

  1. Does your child dress themselves, go to the toilet independently (including washing their hands) independently?

These activities require skills that your child has been building upon from birth.

Dressing is actually quite complex! (Just ask a 2 year old.) It requires motor planning and problem solving to know how to do it; coordination and balance to get the clothes on; and fine motor dexterity, strength and co-ordination to do zips, buttons and ties.

At school they will take jackets on and off, and will need to go to the toilet independently.

  1. Does your child have difficulty sitting still at a table or on the floor? Are you concerned about their posture?

This is different from normal ‘business’ of 5 year olds!

On the floor, children should be able to sit cross-legged with their backs ‘tall’ and their hands in their lap. If sitting on the floor quickly turns into slouching, leaning, lying or ‘W’ sitting (feet turned outwards), and they have a similar issue with sitting in a chair at the table, their core strength and sitting stamina may be an issue. It is very difficult to focus on literacy (for example) if you’re busy trying to stay upright.

  1. Does your child hold a pencil, scissors well? Do they use a sticky tape dispenser, glue stick or pencil sharpener effectively?

At this age, children are developing a mature grip and life long habits. Difficulties in this area can mean issues with dexterity, co-ordination, strength and/or motor planning.

So, what can you do?

  • Opportunity and practice is a good place to start if your child has difficulty with any of these gross motor activities.
  • Start with easy and achievable goals. From there you can slowly increase the difficulty, the duration and/or number of repetitions.
  • Encourage your child to build walking stamina by leaving the stroller at home, and walk more. There’s a lot more exploring and learning that can be done when you’re on your feet!
  • If your child is struggling with dressing, try talking through the task. Eg. “Oops, your T-shirt is on backwards! How did I know? How can we fix this?”
  • Practise doing buttons, zips, press studs… and turning taps.

Sometimes, children need a little more than practice and opportunity. If your child is struggling in more than one area, they may benefit from an assessment and tailored program from one of our physiotherapists.

In some instances, difficulties in these areas can be a symptom of something else. If you are unsure, or concerned with your child’s ability, contact us for an assessment.

Read More
9899 4004