The Use of Dynamic Weight Support with Principles of Infant Learning in a Child with Cerebral Palsy: A Case Report.
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<p><strong>AIMS: </strong>Typical infant movement is characterized by a high degree of motor exploration, error, and variability. However, children with cerebral palsy (CP) often cannot create these experiences due to their neuromotor impairments. The purpose of this case study is to describe a 6-month course of physical therapy (PT) incorporating principles of infant motor learning using dynamic weight support (DWS) in a child with CP.</p>
<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>The child was a 27-month-old girl with diplegic CP who functioned at Gross Motor Function Classification System Level IV. The child received 68 PT sessions over a six-month period. DWS was used during therapy to encourage motor practice. The therapy area was arranged to encourage active exploration, motor variability, and error experience. Gross motor function, postural control, parent perception of performance, and parent satisfaction were measured before, during, and after the course of therapy.</p>
<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>Gross motor function increased during the treatment beyond the level predicted from natural progression. Postural control fluctuated and demonstrated no appreciable improvement. Parent-perceived performance and satisfaction improved on three of four goals.</p>
<p><strong>CONCLUSIONS: </strong>Using DWS to incorporate principles of infant learning may have facilitated the development of gross motor skills in a child with diplegic CP.</p>
Phys Occup Ther Pediatr