About the NDTA Contemporary Practice Model

The NDTATM Contemporary Practice Model 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.

The NDTATM Contemporary Practice Model principles of treatment include the use of a multi-disciplinary team approach primarily including the child and family, 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 NDTATM Contemporary Practice Model involves the analysing of the task and critical thinking to determine motor behaviours critical to accomplishing the task, and developing of requested child / family participation level daily task goals and objectives related to individual client abilities and physical and sensory challenges.

This Contemporary Practice Model 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.

NDTATM Contemporary Practice Model intervention typically integrates a number of evidence based practices, dependent upon each child, their task/s and the environmental context in which the tasks are typically performed. 
Evidence based interventions such as:

  • Play based therapy – particularly for babies and children
  • Task specific training 
  • Targeted /and reduced physical cues & prompts   
  • Multi modal neuroplasticity based therapeutics 
  • Applied motor learning theory 
  • Strength training  
  • Coaching – that is, helping parents learn best how to help their child’s task/s performance success related to their requests - at their preferred pace, level, and timeline
  • instruction in the use of cognitive strategies 
  • Equipment, suiting, orthoses -  generally as prescribed by the child’s therapy team

The theoretical constructs of NDTATM Contemporary Practice Model intervention continue to develop & change over time, both directly through emerging efficacy research, and through the evidence resulting from these listed interventions - & from allied and associated fields of practice.
We seek how best to partner with, and address – and then celebrate with families - the new steps and achievements in their requested daily life goals for their children, or for the important goals self chosen by older children. 

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

Stamer M. Neuro-Developmental Treatment Practice Model. In: Bierman JC, Franjoine MR, Hazzard CM, Howle JM, Stamer, M, eds. Neuro-Developmental Treatment: A Guide to NDT Clinical Practice. Stuttgart, Germany: Thieme Medical Publishers; 2016:56-68.


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.