New Webinar on Motor Learning
On April 12, we hosted a webinar, Progressive Gait Training: Motor Learning Strategies and the Research, discussing motor skill acquisition through practice, feedback and prompt reduction. It concluded with a demonstration of the Rifton Pacer and tips for therapeutic and functional use of the Pacer emphasizing the benefits of dynamic support and the reduction of physical assistance to increase...
Intervening Early for Better Mobility in CP
I recently attended the annual American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting (APTA CSM) in New Orleans. Among the wealth of great programming, I chose a course looking at early intervention for children with cerebral palsy (CP), and I’d like to share a few points I took away.
For therapy purposes, early intervention means providing services to a child before two years of age...
Getting Better Seat Positioning for the Child with Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy is a result of early damage to the parts of the brain that control muscle movements. Coordination and posture will be affected to varying degrees and symptoms can range from mild to severe physical disability (1). Some children with cerebral palsy can have mental retardation, seizures, or speech/hearing deficits as well. Although it is not progressive, cerebral palsy is a permanent condition...
Benefits of Early Mobility
Early Gait Training: Positive Outcomes for the Long Term
Think about it. The more you practice, the better you get – at anything. As author Malcolm Gladwell explains in his book “Outliers,” the one point that distinguishes a violinist from a virtuoso is practice- at least 10,000 hours of it. This applies to any field regardless of nature or nurture. So with early gait training, a child...
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...