It is often one of a parent’s great pains to see their young child at a disadvantage, especially one that is a medical disadvantage. Parents of children with Down syndrome and other disorders are often left at a loss to find a therapy that will help their children grow and progress throughout their childhood development.
But that is all in the past. Ramon Cuevas, a physical therapist who has been in practice since the 1970s in Chile, has created a viable approach for children in need of physical therapy. Now, children with movement disorders and physical disabilities that leave them unable to stand, sit, or walk on their own are finding a way to become more independent through the Cuevas Medek Exercise physical therapy approach.
The therapy works on a relationship built between the physical therapist and the child. The therapist works with the child and their parents to gather information about their disorder, and also what their motor capabilities are at the beginning of their therapy. After testing the child and building a relationship with them, the physical therapist moves into the therapy, easing their patient through a select rotation exercises — there are 3,000 in total to choose from — that are formulated to build the patient’s strength and stretch out weak muscles.
As the child progresses through the physical therapy, the physical therapist will progress to the set of gross motor skills that are imperative to that child’s development. As soon as the child is able to stand, both with or without ankle support, the Cuevas Medek Exercise therapy moves into floor exercises. These exercises, done with various pieces of equipment, were created to give the child a sense of balance and agility, helping them to grow and reinforce the physical therapy they have gone through.
The Cuevas Medek Exercise therapy is introduced to children as young as three months old to better aid the child in developing their core muscles. Through vigorous sessions on a daily schedule over the course of several months, most children see a marked improvement in their ability to stand, sit, and walk on their own.
By focusing on gross motor skills, Cuevas has created a therapy approach that helps children become independent and gain self-confidence. For over 40 years, the Cuevas Medek Exercise therapy has been tested worldwide, with a vast majority of patients improving significantly after only a few months of therapy. With this success, it is hopeful that all major therapy clinics will carry the therapy for their disabled patients.