DMI is a comprehensive intervention that incorporates current research on neurorehabilitation, technologies, and methodologies. This therapeutic technique is used by physical and occupational therapists to treat children with gross motor impairments by improving and/or provoking a desired action with great emphasis on alignment, sensory integration, and function. The goal is to promote progress toward developmental milestones.
Regardless of level of cognition and extent of neurological deficit or damage, affected children benefit from DMI motor intervention as it pertains to stimulating neuroplasticity in the developing brain.
Children diagnosed with any type of motor delay including conditions such as; Down Syndrome, Cerebral palsy, global developmental delay, hypotonia, chromosomal abnormalities/genetic disorders, spinal cord lesions or acquired brain injury may benefit from this form of therapy. Children at risk, such as those who are born prematurely can also benefit from this therapy due to the strong neuroplastic changes that this treatment stimulates within the developing brain.
After a brief assessment, the therapist will identify areas of potential growth, which will guide treatment. The therapist will manipulate the child to encourage novel movements in a more typical pattern. Exercises are repeated until these movements become automatic, which results in improved balance and function. Exercises are conducted on a tabletop or the floor based on the child’s abilities. Exercises involve movement against gravity, progressively more challenging support, provocation of desired movements, postural and strength challenges.
1. Gross motor skills – improving gross motor skills of children from birth.
2. Gradual progression – continuously increasing the challenge to encourage the child to respond with greater independence.
3. Alignment and Postural Control - all exercises focus on optimal alignment
4. Range of Motion - muscle and joint range of motion is achieved by movement (Dynamically).
5. Balance – improved balance is a common thread through most DMI exercises.
6. Functional movements – improving actions and skills that lead to attaining milestones such as rolling, sitting, standing, walking