Therapy for a Child with
For children with
Hydranencephaly, the main purposes of Physical Therapy are:
- to maintain or improve function
of all limbs
- to prevent deformities and
- and to help your child be as
comfortable as possible.
- to help them learn to play and
What Physical Therapy Looks
like in a child with Hydranencephaly:
Physical Therapy (PT, or Physio)
in a child with Hydranencephaly will have a number of components.
- preventing deformities by doing
range of motion exercises (called stretches or ROM).
- using splints, braces, etc to
maintain a good position in each of the limbs.
- teaching you how to position
your child to prevent deformities and to maximize comfort. This is
done using a wide variety of pieces of equipment.
- Using different methods such as
hydrotherapy, Hippo Therapy (Horse back riding), massage to relax
tight muscles and improve function
- Using medications to reduce
- Surgery to prevent or repair
damage from the spasticity.
To do that, many different
strategies can be used, including both treatment and positioning. In
this section are some suggestions based on the experiences of families
including treatments and equipment used.
Treatment is the form of therapy most often used for our children.
Physical therapy: NDT-trained
(neuro-developmental treatment), for gross motor skills. Considered one
of the mainstay therapies for cp, it is used to decrease spasticity,
strengthen underlying muscles, and teach proper or functional motor
patterns. A good PT will also teach the family/care-givers how to help
the person with cp to help themselves.
What is Neuro-Developmental
Neuro-Developmental Treatment (NDT) is a therapeutic approach used
in working with people who have central nervous system insult that
create difficulties in controlling movement. Berta and Karel Bobath of
London, England, a therapist/physician team, developed the NDT approach
in the 1940ís. Originally working with children with cerebral palsy and
adults with stroke, they believed in treating the many complex problems
with control of movement caused by central nervous system insult.
Persons having minimal to severe motor difficulties can benefit from the
Neuro-Developmental Treatment approach.
Theory of Neuro-Developmental
While the practice of the NDT approach is supported by research in
the movement sciences and psychology, the understanding of how and why
Neuro-Developmental Treatment works is constantly updated and refined.
As the understanding in the sciences changes, NDT theory is modified and
enhanced. There are currently four broad statements of belief in NDT
A personís ability to function is a result of
their many body systems working together smoothly and efficiently.
Additionally, parts of those systems such as a muscle, sensory process
or respiratory pattern assist with the movements in the personís unique
Those who use the NDT approach base efficient
movement on the study of motor control, motor development and motor
learning. There are consistent ways that people learn and lose motor
skills throughout their lives. This can be studied and compared to
people who have movement problems that interfere with learning motor
People with central nervous system insult
exhibit some predictable difficulties with their movement that results
in loss of function.
Treatment begins with an assessment of the
personís functional performance. It then focuses on building the
personís abilities while addressing the movement problems. The goal of
NDT is to help the person achieve functional skills by addressing
The Practice of
Therapists who use the NDT approach believe that early treatment can
be instrumental to success. However, the approach also works with
individuals who have long-term disabilities, but have the potential to
gain new functional skills. To assist people in learning functional
skills, the therapist first observes the movements the person can do.
They then analyze the areas in which there are movement difficulties.
The therapist observes the movement, often putting his/her hands on the
person to feel how the person moves, i.e., what muscles are working and
how they work. By guiding the correct movement with his/her hands on the
person, the therapist often finds that more functional movements can
Guidance is removed as the
person is able to perform the skill more independently and efficiently.
Carefully planned verbal instructions or other forms of guidance may be
used by the therapist to help people learn new skills.
In addition to this direct
treatment, therapists who use the NDT approach believe that the person
being treated is best served by a team. This could include their family,
physicians, other therapists, teachers, nurses, orthotists or others.
1550 South Coast Hwy., Suite 201
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
begin_of_the_skype_highlighting FREE 800/869-9295 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Other pages in this section:
Medical Treatments for Spasticity
Orthopedic Surgery links and resources
Orthopedic Surgery Personal Experiences
Range of Motion Therapy
Other Types of Therapy
Principals of Positioning
Positioning: Orthotics and Splints
Orthotics and Splints Experiences
Personal Care: Practical Information
Practical Care: Transportation
Practical Care: Carrying and Lifting