Background:

DIR (Developmental Individual Relation) is a model for treating children with emotional and communication deficiencies such as autism. This model introduces elements of interpersonal communications and emotional state simulations into the treatment session in order to help children develop skills according to their developmental stage. The model encourages children to relate to others in an intimate and individualized way and teaches them how to communicate with gestures.

Children with CP (Cerebral Palsy) also show difficulties in using body language, gestures and in addition, the lag in sensory motor development has a direct effect on emotional development.

 

Purpose:

Prior to this study, physical therapy for children with CP, as well as measuring progress in such therapy, lacked an emotional component. My research aimed to determine whether linking emotional development to motor development using the DIR method might identify new ways to improve treatment and progress in subject cases in question.

 

Methods:

This case study included constructing an individual and developmental profile and introducing emotional components such as play and imagination into treatment sessions in order to reach a specific and measureable goal. DIR method was integrated into the treatment of one case study, a 13yo boy with CP (GMFCS2-Spastic Diplegia). Progress was measured over two years using the FEAS (functional emotional assessment scale) as part of a long-term treatment.

 

Results:

Individual profiling that combines motor function and emotional development proved important in identifying milestones reached during long term treatment. These milestones show progress in emotional and social developments that exceed the realm of physical abilities yet assist progress in achieving physical goals.

Analysis of treatment affirms improvement in areas such as persistence, sense of ability, self-image as well as willingness and motivation when facing physical challenge.

 

Conclusions:

DIR has been found an effective approach in improving treatment methods and assessment for children suffering from CP. Methods examined can be linked to long term improvements in motion abilities, emotional development, motivation, confidence and the ability to take on daily life activities.

 

Implications:

It is clear that emotional development is linked to physical development in terms of both acquiring new skills and measurement of treatment efficiency. Combining a developmental approach and creating an emotional and individual profile such as in the DIR method might greatly improve abilities to asses and treat children with physical, emotional and developmental deficiencies such as CP.

 

Keywords:

1. DIR 2. Development 3. Cerebral Palsy 4. Profiling 5. Treatment Analysis
6. Emotional Development 7. Motor Skills.

 

Biography:

Over 36 years of professional experience treating children. Staff manager at Tel-Hashomer medical center, DIR practitioner for the past 6 years. M.A in child development and an additional B.A in Health Management. Specializing in the treatment of children with Autism. Instructor at the Research and Treatment of Autism Association in Israel and private clinic practitioner. Qualified and practiced NDT of children with over 20 years of experience in the field.

A new approach for treating children with cerebral palsy using the DIR method

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