NACD – Doing What Works for Cerebral Palsy
If your child or a child you know has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, you have probably already heard some of the standard advice from doctors and therapists. Cerebral palsy, which results from damage to parts of the brain in charge of motor control, has been treated by therapists the same way for decades. Therapists tend to work with limbs attempting to get better function. They also work with bracing strategies to help the child become more mobile. This would all make perfect sense if Cerebral Palsy were a disease that attacked the limbs, but it is not. Cerebral Palsy is a problem caused by something that has happened to the brain, not the arms and legs. The full understanding of this is what makes the NACD approach different.
NACD evaluates all children using a neurodevelopmental assessment tool that tells us how the child is functioning in areas of tactile processing, auditory and visual processing, language, manual competency and mobility. Using the results of the assessment, the NACD staff generates a program of activities designed to move the child forward in each area. The child is moved progressively through the steps of typical development by giving the brain specific and relevant input. All movement that is taught follows the guidelines of typical development. The same principle is applied to the program pieces that address visual processing and function, oral motor function, auditory processing, language development and manual function.
NACD also addresses the child’s educational development. By being able to accurately assess the child’s processing abilities, NACD is able to design a program to target exact means of instructing the child academically to produce the best results. The program also addresses strategies to improve the child’s overall cognitive functioning.
The NACD approach is eclectic. Constantly seeking better ways to work with children, to move them toward a successful future, NACD continually adopts new strategies that work. As we learn more, we teach parents what we have learned. As an organization of parents as well as professionals, NACD trains parents to work with their own children and empowers them with information and a program specifically designed for their unique child.
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