Neurodevelopmental treatment (NDT) is a hands-on treatment approach used by physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists. NDT was developed to enhance the function of adults and children who have difficulty controlling movement as a result of neurological challenges, such as cerebral palsy, stroke, and head injury. This therapy uses guided or facilitated movements as a treatment strategy to ensure correlation of input from tactile, vestibular, and somatosensory receptors within the body.
NDT was developed with the understanding that patients with brain injuries have a limited repertoire of movement patterns. During treatment interventions, repeated experience in movement ensures that a particular pattern is readily accessible for motor performance. The more a patient performs certain movements, the easier these movements becomes. Without NDT interventions, the patient likely will develop a limited set of movement patterns that he or she will apply to nearly all tasks. NDT should begin before such generalized movement synergies become hard-wired in the patient's brain.
Therapists trained in NDT have completed advanced training that enables them to properly assess and treat the variety of neuro-motor problems experienced by these individuals and help these individuals become as functional and independent as possible. NDT-trained therapists work collaboratively with patients, their families and caregivers, physicians, and other members of the rehabilitation team to develop and implement a comprehensive treatment program for each person that is based on scientific principles and current research.
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