Evidence Based Practice Evidence Update October 17, 2017 by Elena Noble, MPT
Because good clinical evidence on the benefits of gait training is so scarce, we celebrate every contribution we find. Here’s one that specifically explores the effect of dynamic gait training on a child with a spinal cord injury. After sustaining a complete T10 spinal cord injury (SCI) at 23 months old, this child began a walking program six months later. She initially started with a posterior...
Stories In Praise of the Athlete August 25, 2017 by Elena Noble, MPT
Johnny Agar never considered himself an athlete. Born with cerebral palsy, he used a wheelchair, depended on others to care for him and took his first steps—23 total—at 11 years old. But sports was always part of his life—after all his dad had been a pitcher for the Detroit Tigers. But father and son did not bond on the baseball diamond. Inspired by My Team Triumph, a program where able...
Evidence Based Practice Improving Gait in Chronic TBI with Motor Learning Strategies July 25, 2017 by Elena Noble, MPT
Long-term disability is a frequent sequel of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and takes the form of persisting motor impairments that impact walking and autonomous movement. So to improve environmental negotiation and basic care skills, independent gait is an essential therapy goal for TBI patients.    Literature shows that the best time for independent gait recovery occurs within the first few...
PT/OT Busting that Persistent Myth about Adaptive Bikes and Recreation July 18, 2017 by Codi Andersen, DPT
I love the adaptive tricycle and the opportunities it affords many of my students. But how often have insurance companies denied requests for adaptive tricycles because they only see the recreational purpose? For my students with the most severe disabilities, the tricycle is a life-saver, and often the only piece of adaptive equipment that will help them achieve functional gains and participation. I&rsquo...
Evidence Based Practice Evidence Update: Dynamic Seating for Children with Autism May 30, 2017 by Elena Noble, MPT
Teachers and therapists working in inclusive classrooms continue to work to improve academic outcomes for students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).  One fascinating area of inquiry is seating modification to improve in-seat performance, as students may need to sit for five hours during a normal school day. In one recent article on the topic, researchers examined how dynamic seating options...
Evidence Based Practice Evidence Update: The Relationship of Trunk Support to Head Stability May 09, 2017 by Lori Potts, PT
Trunk and head control is a challenge for many children with cerebral palsy (CP). This fascinating recent study examines how providing varying levels of biomechanical trunk support affects neural control of head stability, specifically for children with CP in Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) Levels IV or V. By definition, GMFCS Level IV indicates children whose walking ability is severely...
Evidence Based Practice Evidence Update: Task-Specific Gait Training Improves Gait Speed January 05, 2017 by Elena Noble, MPT
Improving gait parameters is a primary goal of therapy intervention. One of these parameters is gait speed because we know there is a link between how fast we walk and how well we interact with our surroundings. (Just notice how frustrated your aging parents become as their gait slows them down.) Simply put, refining gait through therapy ultimately improves speed and boosts quality of life. There are a...
News The "Adverse Birth Outcome" February 10, 2015 by Carmen Hinkey
I didn’t know Henry until this morning, but he’s been in my mind all day thanks to what his mother shared so honestly about having him. In case any of us need reminding, the Washington Post carried her beautiful reminder that they are children first, their potential to learn and meet milestones far more important than their disabilities.  And she takes it even farther: She is &ldquo...
News Found Today on the Web January 02, 2015 by Carmen Hinkey
Every time a major media source writes a serious story about the challenges faced by those with developmental disabilities we should be encouraged and reminded that our society has made strides in accessibility and acceptance.   Facilities like the Lee Specialty Clinic in Louisville Kentucky are to be commended for creating an environment where these challenges are more easily met and the DD...
Stories Down Syndrome in Ancient Art October 22, 2013 by Erna Albertz
Image copyright ©The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image source: Art Resource, NY In preparing for a presentation on disability history I gave two weeks ago to Ministry of Health and Social Service officials in Russia, I stumbled across the research of John M. Starbuck, who examined the depiction of people with Down syndrome in ancient and medieval art. His entire paper is worth looking at but one...
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