More and more attention is being paid to brain issues, from sports concussions to congenital defects. The conversation is awesome, and now new methods are coming to the fore that may help people recover. One new idea is known as NDT (Neurodevelopmental Therapy). This can be used in many kinds of therapy, including physical therapy for kids.
Foundationally, NDT is a way to look at issues on a targeted, individual level. Pediatric physical therapists use hands-on techniques and advanced machines to guide patients through functional tasks. For instance, think of a boy who can't grasp a fork might decide she wants to learn. The therapist might guide the kid through lifting the hand, locating the object and recognizing how it feels and then lifting it. It's baby steps, and hands-on from the time the session begins until the task is accomplished.
NDT is patient-driven, because the kids and other patients must set goals. For children with special needs, goals may be set by the parents. For adults dealing with problems such as TBI and stroke, the goal could involve walking, standing and more. Some physical therapists who ise these methods say that a patient's view of their own treatment can make all the difference.
Beyond the fact that sessions are encouraging, NDT truly is effective. Physical therapists say their patients need fewer assistive devices and less adaptive equipment and find it easier to get to proper positioning. Improvement is possible in eating, speech, movement and much more.
For kids with disabilities, physical therapists can use NDT to help with things that will make these children less reliant on others. This can include learning to support oneself, maneuver stairs, or even learning to crawl and grasp objects. Practitioners of this method believe that some improvement is possible for almost all people, even if they have lifelong conditions.
The scientific research about NDT isn't very exhaustive, but the subject isn't hotly contested, either. Many of the studies have been done on relatively small sample sizes, so aren't widely generalizable. But it all makes sense and a growing number of physical therapists for kids with special needs and other specialists are starting to use it.
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