Emerging techniques are great for treating developmental and functional problems, including many kinds of congenital, acquired and traumatic disorders. Sadly, physical therapists who employ these ideas can be difficult to find. The emerging method is known as neurodevelopmental therapy, or NDT.
At its core, Neurodevelopmental Therapy is a way to look at impairments on a very personal level. Pediatric physical therapists use hands-on techniques and the latest machines to train patients on functional tasks. For example, imagine a boy who can't manipulate a fork might have that goal. The pediatric therapist might guide the child through picking up the hand, finding the fork and recognizing how it feels and then using the fingers and thumb to grab. It's one step at a time, and guided by touch from start to finish.
Neurodevelopmental Therapy is patient-driven, because they have to set goals. In the case of children, Mom and Dad may set the goals. For adults dealing with issues like stroke or TIB, the goal might be learning to reach above the head without losing balance. Some physical therapists who have used these strategies say that a patient's perception of treatment makes a huge difference in their healing processes.
Besides feeling like it's working, Neurodevelopmental Therapy truly works. Patients might need fewer supports while achieving an improvement in proper positioning. Goals can be set, and reached, in a variety of functions.
For children with disabilities, pediatric physical therapists can use Neurodevelopmental Therapy to help them be less dependent. They can learn to bear their own weight, maneuver stairs, or even stand up without help. Experts believe that some improvement is realistic for almost any patient, even if they have lifelong conditions.
The scientific research about Neurodevelopmental Therapy isn't very extensive, but the topic isn't hotly contested, either. Many of the studies have been done on just a few patients, so aren't widely applicable. However, the method seems to make sense and a growing number of physical therapists for kids with special needs and other specialists are trying it.
If you or a family member struggle with mobility, function or even speech and language, consider finding a Autism support groups San Diego California expert for a few sessions.