CIMT and Bimanual Therapy are Complementary

The Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine published research indicating that constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) and bimanual therapy for children with unilateral cerebral palsy are complementary.  Using literature and clinical insight, the authors discuss the evidence-based interventions that CIMT and bimanual therapy highlighting the time-limited, goal-directed, skills-based, intensive blocks of practice based on motor learning theory.   The authors determined the following:

  • focusing on total dosage of practice for achieving positive outcomes fails to acknowledge the influence of other critical concepts within motor learning.
  • limitations exist in the application of motor learning principles using CIMT due to its unimanual nature.
  • CIMT is effective for development of unimanual actions generated by implicit learning, but it is hard to encourage explicit learning that is required for learning how to use two hands together.
  • using bimanual therapy, object properties can be changed to trigger goal-related perceptual and cognitive processes required for children to learn to determine when two hands are required for task completion.

The authors concluded that CIMT and bimanual therapy are complementary using CIMT to focus on unimanual actions and progressing to bimanual therapy for children to learn how to use these actions for bimanual skill development.

Reference:  Hoare, B., & Greaves, S. (2017). Unimanual versus bimanual therapy in children with unilateral cerebral palsy: Same, same, but different. Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine, 10(1), 47-59.

Therapeutic Play Activities for Children Download

Do you work with young children with cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorders, developmental disabilities or delays?  Are you in search of new, creative ideas for your therapy sessions?  Do you need home exercise program sheets to encourage carry over of therapeutic activities? Do you need simple ideas that use materials that you have around your house, therapy room or classroom already?  Do you work with children who receive constraint or bimanual therapy?   Therapeutic Play Activities for Children includes 100 play activity sheets with a photo of the activity, purpose of each activity and materials list.  The 12 tip sheets include topics such as modifications, peer interaction, guided play, prompts and several specifically for children with cerebral palsy.   The play activities encourage the development of fine motor skills, bimanual skills, rolling, crawling, tall kneeling, standing balance and cruising with a strong focus on children with cerebral palsy. Find out more information.