The cranial symmetry program assesses and supports children ages 0 – 18 months with an abnormal head shape who are in need of physical therapy, family education on repositioning, and/or a corrective helmet.
Types of Asymmetry
It is important to consult with your physician or a specialist to determine if the asymmetry could be due to a condition called synostosis, a premature union of the bones of the skull. Treatment will vary depending on diagnosis.
- Plagiocephaly (flattening on one side of the back of the head, with a bulging of the forehead on the same side)
- Brachycephaly (symmetrical flattening on the back of the head that causes the head to look very wide above the ears, short from front to back, and from the side, the back of the head looks taller than the front)
- Asymmetric Brachycephaly (both brachycephaly and plagiocephaly)
- Scaphocephaly (head that is shaped long front to back and very narrow from side to side)
A multidisciplinary team including an orthotist and a physical therapist will work with the child and family to determine the correct course of treatment. Orthotists design, develop, create, and fit custom assistive supports and devices to maximize physical function. Physical Therapists provide assessments and treatments to improve strength, balance, and flexibility.
Evaluation and Treatment
The multidisciplinary team will work with your child and family to determine the course of treatment. If the team identifies muscle tightness (torticollis) or poor muscle tone, your child may be referred to receive physical therapy. Treatment may include:
- Family training and education on repositioning techniques • Corrective helmet filling, if needed
- Physical therapy for torticollis or other identified concerns • Corrective helmet adjustments
Fitting and Follow-up
If a corrective helmet is needed, our team will schedule an appointment to take a 3-D scan of your child’s head. The scanning process is painless and FDA approved, involves no radiation, and the hand-held scanner will not come into contact with his or her head. Once the image is captured, it will be sent digitally to Boston Brace, where the dimensions will be used to create the helmet.
After the helmet is received, follow-up sessions will be needed for adjustments and to track progress as your child’s head grows and reshapes. This process will be repeated every few weeks until a more symmetrical shape is achieved.
How do I sign my child up for the Cranial Symmetry program?
ChildServe's medical social workers can help you get started– give them a call at 515.727.8750.