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ABR and the Special Needs Child

Ordinary training method for the handicapped child focuses on the structures of the muscles and the central nervous system.

But this approach overlooks the fact that children with cerebral palsy and other related disorders affecting the development of motor function exhibit clear structural weaknesses when compared to the healthy child.

These weaknesses are evident as being anchored within the connective tissue structures.

The weakness within these structures exhibits itself as a “compressional weakness”. Compressional weakness means that the body cannot resist the loads placed upon it through any type of weight bearing – whether in the lying, sitting, kneeling or standing position.

In severe cases this weakness is more pronounced – in less severe cases it is nevertheless present and in a high enough degree to inhibit a child’s general functional development.

This weakness is general and global, but can be more pronounced in certain areas of the body as seen most clearly in the case of the hemiplegic child where one of the sides is more affected. Compressional weakness is present in all of the core structures, but also in soft tissues such as the joint capsules. These are all structures that cannot be trained through physical training, but are dependant upon a technique that can initiate an automatic response.

The mechanical loading techniques supplied through ABR generate an automatic response in weakened tissues and is equally applicable for the mild or severe child.