About NDT

The NDT/ Neuro-Developmental Treatment Definition

"NDT is a holistic and interdisciplinary clinical practice model informed by current and evolving research that emphasizes individualized therapeutic handling based on movement analysis for habilitation and rehabilitation of individuals with neurological pathophysiology. Using the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) model, the therapist applies a problem-solving approach to assess activity and participation to identify and prioritize relevant integrities and impairments as a basis for the establishment of achievable outcomes with clients and caregivers. An in-depth understanding of typical and atypical development, and expertise in analysis of postural control, movement, activity, and participation throughout the lifespan, form the basis for examination, evaluation, and intervention. Therapeutic handling, used during evaluation and intervention, consists of a dynamic reciprocal interaction between the client and therapist for activation of optimal sensorimotor processing, task performance, and skill acquisition for achievement of participation in meaningful activities."

Cayo C, Diamond M, Bovre T, et al. The NDT/Bobath (Neuro-Developmental Treatment/Bobath) Approach. NDTA Network. 2015;22(2):1.

"NDT & SI each provide important elements of the other. The result is a more comprehensive & individual treatment approach, driven by children's & families' goals (Blanche et al, 1995). Together, SI & NDT target task-related adaptive motor responses and inherent sensory processing towards improved functional outcomes. These two paediatric treatment frameworks are widely used with many children who have developmental disabilities."

Blanche E, Botticelli T. and Hallway M. (1995). Combining Neurodevelopmental Treatment and Sensory Integration Principles, an Approach to Paediatric Therapy. Therapy Skill Builders, Tucson, Arizona.

The following information is reproduced from NDT in a Nutshell by Bonnie Boenig with the author's permission.

"The Neuro-Developmental Treatment Approach was originally developed by Dr and Mrs Bobath in the 1940s.

NDT is currently based on theories of movement that support the development or learning of skill as a process that involves the interrelationship between, intrinsically, the systems of the human body, and extrinsically, influences of physical and sensory variables of the environment.

NDT principles of treatment include the use of a multi-disciplinary team approach primarily including physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology, and recognition that the emergence or learning of functional skills addressed by one therapy discipline overlaps and can impact another.

The NDT approach involves the analysing of task, problem solving to determine motor behaviours critical to accomplishing the task, and developing of goals and objectives related to individual client abilities and physical and sensory challenges.

NDT relies heavily on precise, graded, handling skills that guide the client to ultimately developing skills in motor behaviours necessary to achieve independence in performing desired functional activities."

From Boenig B. (2005). NDT in a Nutshell.Suggestions for on-the-spot explanations of Neuro-Developmental Treatment.NDTA Network March/April 2005.

Another useful reference is:

Howle J. (2002). Neuro-Developmental Treatment Approach: Theoretical Foundations and Principles of Clinical Practice.Laguna Beach, CA :NDTA. NDT is well described at the NDTA website http://www.ndta.org.