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Case Studies



Emily is a delightful young girl of 5 years old who has a global developmental delay of unknown cause.  In September 2011 she started reception in a specialist unit attached to a mainstream primary school.

Emily first presented at Hemispheres with significant difficulty walking, her balance was impaired and she was not able to walk on her feet at nearly 4 years old.  Her communication skills were immature and whilst she was able to say many words, they were never directed towards another person. Emily found all forms of focused work difficult.

The initial neurological assessment revealed a high level of activity in the early primitive reflexes of the hands, mouth and feet.  Many months of therapy focused on increasing Emily's perception of her body through movement and touch, and over a period of 4-6 months she started to walk with help. This quickly progressed to walking outside and up and down stairs. Emily is now able to walk unaided inside, but continues to need some assistance outside.

Since the primtive reflexes have begun their settling process, Emily's shared attention has improved.  She is now reading, learning to copy and imitate others.  Her fine motor skills are developing slowly, and this is opening up the possibility of pre-writing activites, so the Hemispheres Think Write Programme has been added to her programmme as the medium term view is that Emily will be learning to write. 

Communication has improved, but still remains an area which requires stimulation.  Support and guidance from a Speech and Language Therapist compliments the Hemispheres Programme.

The Hemispheres Programme continues to work towards decreasing the level of asymmetry in Emily's neurological system, aiming to facilitate a greater level of integration in her cortex or learning skills.

Whilst Emily is benefitting from the therapy she continues to attend once a month, and her programme is supported by close liaison between Hemispheres, School and other agencies involved.



Hemispheres Paediatric Occupational Therapy, Surrey, Herts & Hants.
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