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Motor Control Program

Many children with motor learning problems, such as cerebral palsy or muscle dysfunction stemming from illness or injury (i.e., head injury, stroke or falls) do not know where their bodies are in space.

The program provides the child with immediate knowledge of the results of their work, which is especially helpful for children with conditions that interfere with learning, such as:

  • Hyperactivity
  • Learning disorders
  • Developmental delay
  • Hearing/vision deficits

This program’s specially constructed computer protocols and devices were specifically designed to help speed motor learning, to make it fun for children in treatment, and to quantify results. The program consists of the following protocols:

  • Minimax sitting modification
  • Head posture modification
  • Treadmill gait modification
  • Reciprocal crawling
  • Standing balance training

Surface electromyography (sEMG) helps patients relearn the use of their muscles by:

  • measuring the amount of energy or effort generated by a muscle
  • rewarding the desired constellation of motor patterns (correct sitting, walking, etc.)
  • records the amount of time the patient is able to maintain them

Most children find the program fun and will work extremely hard to watch a favorite movie. This reward tends to distract them from any discomfort they may feel as they continue to work their muscles. In the course of just one session, one can often see the child making small corrections in body position to activate the reward.

For more information, contact Jeffrey Bolek, PhD, Director of Psychology and Head of the Motor Control Program at the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital for Rehabilitation, 2801 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Cleveland, OH, 44104 or call 216.448.6171.