Neurological and movement based disorders impact a child’s ability to participate in daily routines. The goal of neurodevelopmental approaches is to improve performance of movement patterns during age-appropriate functional activities. Motor control and learning approaches are used in conjunction with neurodevelopmental approaches, with the focus on using cognitive strategies and repetitive engagement to assist with improving and acquiring new motor skills. Motor learning initially requires the child to become cognizant of the actions requires, however, the goal through continued practice is for the motor skill to become automatic.
Occupational therapy assists with the development of new motor patterns and strategies such as the use of visualizations to introduce new motor skills during functional activities. Therapy focuses on the development of these new skills by exploring not only the child’s needs but the impact of their surroundings on their motor patterns.
Depending on the child’s and family’s needs, various adaptive strategies can be key to successful participation in daily activities.