Giving the Gift of Mobility
Typically developing children reach most motor milestones in a fairly predictable manner. By six months babies are rolling; by eight months they are creeping on all fours and sitting on their own and by ten-twelve months they are standing and getting ready to take their first steps.
During this part of the first year of life, typically developing babies are exploring their environment, interacting with...
Evidence Based Practice
Evidence Update: Early Intervention Stepping Practice
Because bone is dynamic and responds to positive stresses and forces placed on it through weight-bearing activity, the authors of a recent study set out to examine the effects of early upright supported stepping on bone mineral content in a population of infants (1-18 months) with a form of spina bifida called myelomeningocele (MMC). They chose patients with MMC because this condition presents with...
Mobility Opportunities Via Education
The MOVE® program helps people with disabilities learn to sit, stand, walk and transition so they can participate more fully in family and community life. MOVE® is a stepped process that helps you assess your client’s ability and incrementally teach key motor skills. And it works.
Optimal Positioning with Adaptive Seating for the Child with Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy is a result of abnormalities in the parts of the brain that control muscle movements. For children with cerebral palsy, their muscle control, coordination, and posture will be affected to varying degrees by this faulty development or damage to areas of their brain. Cerebral Palsy affects approximately three out of every 1,000 children, and symptoms can range from mild to severe physical...
Early Intervention: Assistive Technology for Motor Intervention
Assistive technology (AT) is defined as any device which increases, maintains, or improves the functional capabilities of an individual with special needs. Providing AT for young children with disabilities makes a significant difference towards their long-term independence goals. In the early intervention setting, AT enables children to more fully integrate into their home, school, and community activities...
Prone Standers: Positioning for Health and Independence
Prolonged immobility in a seated or supine position can result in contractures, skeletal deformity, skin ulcers and decreased bone mineral density. It can cause deficits in the digestive, respiratory, and circulatory systems. This is especially true for children with special needs who have decreased muscle strength, balance and tone issues. Because they cannot move or stand independently, these children...
Feeding Chairs for Children with Special Needs
Therapists, teachers and parents are well aware that children with cerebral palsy and other disabilities can face more challenges (and pose more challenges) than the average child. This can be particularly true during mealtimes.
Feeding problems commonly associated with disability include dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), and gastro-intestinal reflux (spitting up frequently) as well as oral...
Toby Long on Activity Focused Early Intervention
Not long ago I had the opportunity to interview Toby Long, PT, PhD, FAPTA . As Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Georgetown University and Director of Training in the Division of Physical Therapy at the Center for Child and Human Development, she has expertise in the area of evaluation, assessment and service delivery to children with disabilities as well as in training professionals...
Evidence Based Practice
Evidence Update: Autism in the News
This evidence update is focused on autism. It is a topic that’s been in the news lately, and the Spring 2012 Pediatric Physical Therapy Journal features two great articles and one commentary on this subject which I summarize below. Additionally, it is timely for the Rifton autism chair which is now available.
I have also included a remarkable (and provocative) ABC news video at the end which you...
Feeding Equipment for Special Needs Children
Feeding children with oral-motor disability is often challenging, and positioning a child for this task is the key to success. The chair that we like to use for feeding in our clinic is the Rifton Activity Chair.
Using the Rifton Hi-Lo Activity Chair is a useful tool in therapy with patients who have feeding and/or swallowing difficulties. Most of my clientele have some type of neurological...