What is NDT?

NDT is a holistic approach used by multiple disciplines to help in the development of children with neurological conditions, such as cerebral palsy. OTs at MPPT use NDT strategies and  therapeutic handling techniques to promote functional movement.

What is the NDT process?

The NDT process is a continual process of assessment and intervention.

Assessment: Initially, the therapist assesses the child’s ability to participate in their environment for play, exploration and daily living skills. The therapist observes the child’s postural and motor development and determines if there is anything hindering the child from participating in meaningful activities.

Intervention: Through the use of therapeutic handling techniques, the therapist fine tunes the child’s movement patterns and guides them through movements to aid in learning new motor skills.

What is the goal of NDT?

With the utilization of handling techniques, the child increases independence through the facilitation of movement patterns repeatedly in a functional way. This leads to motor learning, meaning the child has mastered the ability to plan and produce the desired movement. NDT is used to help patients engage their postural muscles and move in a variety of functional ways.

How are NDT strategies used by OTs at MPPT?

Together, the child and therapist (or trained parent), engage in the child’s interests through the use of movement. For example, when a child is reaching for a toy, the therapist works with the child to facilitate the movement to acquire the toy. The child then finds the movement rewarding and continues to engage with therapist support, as needed, in that movement.

In this approach, with the guidance of the therapist, the child continues practicing the following:

  • Static postures (i.e. sitting)
  • Dynamic postures (i.e. weight shifting when seated)
  • Movement patterns (i.e. crawling)
  • Transitional movements (i.e. moving from sitting to crawling)

This continual practice results in the child acquiring the ability to navigate and interact with the world around them, benefiting their overall development.