Grinde recently published a national study on the results of constraint therapy after following 19 children, aged 14 months to 6 years.
Children enrolled in Children’s Minnesota’s Comprehensive Program do six hours of intensive therapy each day for four weeks while wearing a cast.
âThe changes they would make in a month would be like going in therapy for a year or more,â Grinde explained. “It really changes the lives of these children.”
Grinde said the therapy originated in Alabama. She brought the program to Children’s Minnesota after witnessing the improved outcomes and decided to start her own study about it.
âThe full program is very rare across the country. We are one of the few in the United States that I still know who does the full program, so we get people coming from other places just for that,â said Grinde. noted.
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS visited the Minnesota Children’s Rehabilitation Clinic in Minnetonka on Monday to see how the therapy works.
Brinley Arvidson, five, of Alexandria, was working there with an occupational therapist on fine and gross motor skills as part of the program.
Her mother, Nicole Arvidson, said her daughter suffered two brain hemorrhages after being born 10 weeks preterm and was diagnosed with quadriplegic cerebral palsy.
She said the 5-year-old was never able to use her right arm.
âBasically, she has to learn that she has a right arm,â said Nicole Arvidson. “Her right arm was hanging down and sitting next to her or she was dragging him as she crawled or he got stuck behind her. It was like she had no feeling in it. Nothing.”
Brinley is now in week four of stress-induced movement therapy. Her mother said having her left arm in a cast made a huge difference in learning Brinley to use her right arm.
âIt’s crazy. The simple act of throwing that arm has forced her to use the one that’s weak and really brings those brainwaves and the reconfiguration of her brain to life,â said Nicole Arvidson.
She said her daughter was now able to perform daily chores, such as putting a cap on a marker and folding clothes, noting these were things she never thought Brinley would be able to do .
âWe were basically told she wouldn’t do much. They didn’t know if she would walk, they didn’t know if she would talk or do anything with the severity of the bleeding brain, and here we are, she. moves mountains, âsaid Nicole Arvidson.
Minnesota Children’s said 130 children have completed the stress-induced movement therapy program.
They also offer a modified program that involves less time commitment on the part of families.
Grinde said her study has shown that the improvements children make in therapy tend to last.
“Previously, if we had worked with them in weekly therapy and they were a few years old, we would have been like, ‘OK, if they don’t use that hand as much, it’s kind of there. where they’re going to be. ‘ But now we’ve learned that there’s a whole new perspective for these kids, “said Grinde.” It’s exciting to be able to see the changes the kids make at the end. “
To learn more about Children’s Minnesota’s Stress-Induced Movement Therapy program, click here.