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Change the environment, not the child
Date:8/17/2011

urs in about two of 1,000 babies.

During the study, parents in both groups received general information and education about their child's disability as well as specific strategies to practice at home.

In the child-focused approach, therapists identified the underlying impairment tone, posture, range of motion and provided therapy to improve the child's skills and abilities.

Emphasis in the context therapy approach was on changing the task or environment. For example, one parent's goal was for their child to finger-feed himself Cheerios independently. The therapist experimented with putting peanut butter on the tips of his fingers so that the Cheerios would stick to it. The child was successful in one intervention session, even though he did not have the fine grasp to pick them up without it. Having experienced success, the child went on to be able to finger feed Cheerios by himself.

"This study provides evidence that each intervention approach yields equivalent important change after a six-month intervention," Law said. "We also found no difference between the therapy approaches for the outcome of parent empowerment."

If both approaches are equally effective, Law said therapists and families are able to discuss the treatment approach that best fits the intervention goals for their child and their family situation.

Law is co-author in a second article in the same journal, describing the context-focused approach with lead author Johanna Darrah, a professor of physical therapy in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Alberta. Darrah said the experience with context therapy was positive: "The benefits of working in the child's natural environment were striking."

Darrah added researchers found this approach was more challenging with children who have a severe disability, as some therapists felt that by not providing hands-on treatment, the approach is not true therapy. However, the st
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Contact: Veronica McGuire
vmcguir@mcmaster.ca
90-552-591-402-2169
McMaster University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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