Neuro-Developmental Treatment Approach
Neuro-Developmental Treatment (NDT) is a philosophy of treatment emphasizing functional gains in individuals with neurological challenges. It is used for habilitation and rehabilitation in a team approach looking closely at the participation and functional abilities and challenges for unique individuals. Typical development is used for comparison when addressing the needs of individuals with developmental challenges such as cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, developmental delay, etc. with the anticipation of prevention of potential secondary deformities. The most current theories of movement science are used to understand and assist in treatment. NDT is used for clients of all levels of functional abilities and challenges with emphasis on independence or assisting the caregiver to help the individual as the level of ability demands.
NDT is taught at all levels of instruction from entry-level university programs to continuing education offerings and certificate courses in pediatric or adult assessment and treatment. Active instructors of this approach are members of the NDTA Instructors’ Group and as such, are committed to ongoing continuing education and the latest evidenced-based practices.
Early in 2016, the long-anticipated book, Neuro-Developmental Treatment (NDT) in Action, edited by Judi Bierman, Marcia Stamer, Mary Rose Franjoine, & Cathy Hazzard, is expected to be available for purchase. Please visit www.ndta.org for more details. This second book on current NDT includes case reports of all ages and across PT, OT, and ST
disciplines, updates from the first book, a schematic of the NDT practice model of care delivery and much more. There will also be a web-based component to the book.
Water has been a useful and enticing medium for relaxation and healing for centuries. There is documentation that the Hindus used water to combat fever as early as 1500 BC. Throughout history, the use of water has vacillated between passive use, such as drinking and sitting in water, to therapeutic use in treatment modalities such as whirlpool baths and underwater exercises by the early 1900’s.
Simon Baruch, MD, was one of the first Americans to devote his life to researching hydrotherapy and was later the first professor and chair of hydrotherapy at Columbia University in New York, NY. His classic books, An Epitome of Hydrotherapy, The Uses of Water in Modern Medicine and The Principles and Practice of Hydrotherapy, both published in the late 1800’s, represent some of the first discussions of the use of water in medicine.
Currently, water is routinely used for exercise, healing, fitness, and cross training and continues to gain popularity in the world of habilitation and rehabilitation. When used with critical thinking towards an identified functional goal that is meaningful and challenging to the client, the opportunities for growth and change are endless! In order to reap the most benefits from therapeutic aquatics, it is imperative that therapists understand and utilize the physical properties of water. Once the client has been assessed with regards to their functional goal(s), the therapist must compare and contrast the client’s challenges and needs to the typical performance of the goal. Using task analysis, critical thinking, and problem-solving, an effective and efficiently sequenced treatment session can be executed towards the functional goal, using the water to advantage.