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Child Referral Criteria

Constraint induced movement therapy is suitable for children with hemiplegia.

Our CIMT programmes are suitable for:

  • Ages 18 months and up: Although some research has been carried out successfully on young ages, we find that the intensity of the programme would be too much for a child younger than 18 months and therefore have set this as our lowest limit.
  • No upper age limit: There is no upper limit on the age of the child. Improvements can be made no matter how old the child is, or how long ago the neurological event occurred. There are pros and cons of undertaking a CIMT programme at each age group, depending on their developmental level and tolerance to therapy. The CIMT therapist will be able to provide you with advice as to when the best time may be for your patient.
Child sits patiently while his arm cast is applied
  • Hemiplegia presentation: Constraint induced movement therapy is a rehabilitation tool for children who have one affected upper limb and one unaffected upper limb. It is not an appropriate treatment when both upper limbs are affected. The child’s mobility or any other complications of their condition does not affect the CIMT programme. We have worked with children who are immobile, PEG fed and who cannot verbally communicate.
  • Some activity in the upper limb: The aim of a CIMT programme is for the child to have a positive experience in using their affected upper limb. Therefore, the child would need to have enough activity in their arm and hand to engage in a therapy session in a positive manner. If the child has no movement at all in any of their shoulder, elbow, wrist or hand, then it is unlikely that they will be able to participate and enjoy the session.
  • Ability to participate in therapy: Younger children will be assessed on their tolerance to therapy input and handling. They need to be able to engage with a therapist to a certain degree – however our team are used to dealing with children who might pose a challenge! Older children need to be able to follow instructions and engage in a session. The more a child can engage, the more benefits they’ll receive from the programme. Our CIMT therapists will assess their level of participation before recommending a programme.

There are many conditions that can cause a hemiplegic presentation. To find out more information about conditions that CIMT can help, see conditions.

If you are not sure whether CIMT would be suitable for you patient, contact us for a free telephone consultation with one of our specialist therapists who’d be happy to discuss the treatment further with you.

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Call us on 0330 223 0077 or email to speak to one of our specialist CIMT therapists.

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