PaNDA for Kids - Physiotherapy and Neuro Developmental Assessments

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How to enrich your child’s environment to maximize their development

Your child’s environment has an important role to play when it comes to maximizing their development.

Evidence shows that enriched environments promote optimal brain injury recovery and programs that had environment enrichment improved outcomes for children with CP.

So what do we mean by a child’s environment and how can we enrich it? It is the space we can provide a child or infant to promote learning through their motor, sensory, social and cognitive experience in daily experience.

We can do this in a variety of ways by how we use:

  • toys and play
  • equipment which may be already in the family home such as highchairs or may be more specialized
  • the structure of the physical space the child spends time in such as the family home/childcare/kinder/school

Toys, equipment, and physical space is enriched to maximize the child’s development by:

  • involving the parents or carers,
  • have activities/play that are fun and motivational,
  • have tasks that lead to task success, exploration, and self-initiated movement

As a parent or carer you can enriching your child’s daily experience through their environment which is an important part of therapy. If your child has a motor impairment of developmental delay, a paediatric physiotherapist can assist in supporting you in a targeted approach to environment enrichment.

Dr Lucy E Lorefice, B.App.Sci (physio), PhD
Paediatric Physiotherapist
PaNDA for kids

References:
Morgan C, Novak I, Dale C R, Guzzetta A, Badawi N: GAME (Goals-Activity-Motor Enrichment): protocol of a single blind randomised controlled trial of motor training, parent education and environmental enrichment for infants at high risk of cerebral palsy. BMC neurology 2014,
Morgan C, Novak I, Badawi N: Enriched Environments and motor outcomes in cerebral palsy: systematic review and meta-analysis. Pediatrics 2013, 132(3):e735–e746.

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