A growing amount of notice is going toward brain issues, for soldiers, athletes and car crash victims. The attention is fabulous, and now innovative methods are becoming available that may help victims. One new strategy is known as NDT (Neurodevelopmental Therapy). This can be used in a variety of therapeutic disciplines, including pediatric physical therapy.
Basically, Neurodevelopmental Therapy is a way to look at issues on a very personal level. Pediatric physical therapists use hands-on methods and advanced tools to train patients on functional tasks. For example, think of a child with special needs who is unable to walk due to the problem might set little goals. One would probably be moving the feet from the footrest on a wheelchair using the patient's own strength. In this case, the pediatric physical therapist would help the patient hands-on.
Neurodevelopmental Therapy is patient-driven, because each patient has set goals. For kids with disabilities, goals may be set by the parents. For adults dealing with injuries or stroke, the goal might be learning to reach to the side without losing balance. Elite physical therapists who try these methods say that a patient's view of their own treatment is very important.
Besides the intuitive sense that it works, Neurodevelopmental Therapy truly gets real, powerful results. People treated with it need fewer assistive devices and less adaptive equipment while achieving an improvement in proper positioning. Goals can be set, and reached, in speech, eating, movement and other occupational therapy tasks.
For kids with disabilities, physical therapists can use Neurodevelopmental Therapy to help them be less dependent. This can include learning to support oneself, learning to climb stairs, or even crawl or stand. Practitioners of this method believe that some degree of improvement is within reach of almost everyone, even those with the most serious conditions.
The research about Neurodevelopmental Therapy isn't very extensive, but the topic isn't really being challenged. Many of the research papers were about just a few patients, so aren't widely applicable. But it all makes sense and a growing number of physical therapists for children and other specialists are trying it.
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