Each child is unique and presents with his or her own challenges and temperament. Part of the assessment process is determining what type of treatment is best suited to your child’s needs. As paediatric therapists we believe that it is important to have a “tool box” of varied techniques and approaches to meet those needs. We are each committed to expanding our treatment “tool box” through ongoing education and professional development.
Outlined below are some examples of treatment approaches our paediatric therapists are trained in. Sometimes a combination of techniques may be the best way to help your child.
NEURODEVELOPMENTAL THERAPY (NDT)
Neurodevelopmental Therapy (NDT) is a problem solving assessment and treatment approach for children with neurological impairments or a delay in their motor skills. Low or high muscle tone, as well as poor strength may cause dysfunction in postural control and movement. This leads to limitations in function and/or delay in motor skills. Our therapists are trained in NDT therapeutic handling, assessment, observation and movement analysis. With this information, a treatment program can be developed. Children with cerebral palsy, brain injury or developmental delay may benefit from this form of treatment.
CUEVAS-MEDEK-EXERCISES (CME or MEDEK)
Cuevas-Medek-Exercises, also know as CME or Medek treatment, consists of a series of very specific exercises designed to strongly provoke the child’s automatic righting responses, part of the postural motor control mechanism. In this way, the child learns to work against the influence of gravity, thought to be the driving force behind successful movement. As movement responses to the exercises improve, the child develops better skills such as head and trunk control, standing and walking. Children with gross motor delay may benefit from this type of therapy.
Water has many unique properties which can assist in therapeutic goals. Buoyancy reduces the amount of joint compression and muscle activity needed to work and may make it easier to participate in activities that are difficult to do on land. Viscosity and surface tension create added resistance which can help with muscle strengthening. Warm water temperature helps relax a child with increased muscle tone and Variety Village’s aquatic centre includes a large therapeutic hot pool. Water is also a unique sensory environment in which to process touch and movement. Children with neurological, orthopaedic or sensory issues may benefit from aquatic therapy sessions.
Our core muscles are the foundation for body movement and typically are an integral part of any treatment plan. Core strengthening is addressed by ensuring optimal postural alignment in all positions and creating strength and awareness of the muscle activation needed to achieve and maintain that alignment. In infants, this is developed gradually through handling techniques, specific exercises and seating supports. In older children and teens the use of breathing exercises activates the diaphragm and teamwork of muscles that maintain alignment. This can help improve postural stability and mobility during functional movement.
TheraTogs are used as a adjunct to treatment. They are made from a patented foam material that grips the skin and the underlying soft tissues, fused to a Velcro®-sensitive outer layer to which therapist can affix elastic strapping; this produces an “external muscle system” to support the child. TheraTogs are typically worn under normal clothing. Therapists are trained in the correct sizing and application of the suit and we have a variety of sizes available for trial. Theratogs are an effective and flexible option to address mobility, stability and sensory issues in some children.
Kinesio Tape® is specialized tape designed with an elastic component. It is designed to mimic qualities of the human skin and provides a stimulus via a recoil effect. This gives it the unique ability to promote tissue healing and function by reducing pain and swelling. It also can be applied to help activate weaker muscles and relax tight muscles. Therapists are specially trained in it’s unique application. Kinesio Tape® has been used effectively in children with a wide range of musculoskeletal or neurological conditions.
Paediatric Physiotherapy Associates is now pleased to offer Therapeutic Listening© (TL) as a treatment option. Two of our therapists have attended the training course for this exciting treatment. TL falls within the sensory integration (SI) approach to treating children. TL can be helpful for those experiencing difficulty with sensory processing by helping the brain better understand, modulate and organize sensory information. Children experiencing tactile (touch), movement and sound hypersensitivity may benefit, as may those struggling with motor planning, coordination and attention difficulties. TL is used in conjunction with your child’s activity and exercise based therapy program to gain best results.