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Chapter-15 Early Stimulation

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TABLE 15.1: Key developmental milestones: Gross
motor
Age Milestone
3 months Neck holding
5 months Rolls over
6 months Sits in tripod fashion (sitting with own
support)
8 months Sitting without support
9 months Stands holding on (with support)
12 months Creeps well, walks but falls, stands without
support
15 months Walks alone, creeps upstairs
18 months Runs, explores drawers
2 years Walk up and down stairs (2 feet/step),
jumps
3 years Rides tricycle, alternate feet going upstairs
4 years Hops on one foot, alternate feet moving
downstairs
5 years Skips
HOW TO USE THIS CHAPTER
This is a manual to meet the needs of special
children. This manual empowers parents
and families by giving information about the
developmental age as well as what to do if the
child is delayed.
The rst step to use this book is to assess
your child’s developmental age base on normal
developmental activities given in Tables 15.1. to
15.4 assess your child, watch his/her activities
while he is happy and playful.
THE PROCESS AND PRINCIPLES OF
TRAINING
1. Every child has certain potentials which have
to be explored. Start the training with what the
child knows, so that your baby has the feeling
of success.
ABSTRACT: This chapter to meet the needs of special children. This chapter empowers parents and families
by giving information about the developmental age as well as what to do if the child is delayed. The rst step
is to assess your child’s developmental age based on normal developmental activities. To assess your child,
watch his/her activities while he is happy and playful. Key developmental milestones in all domains are listed
and a red ag signs that indicates alertness when to report has been mentioned. Importance of early stimulation,
parental role, newborn stimulation, touch therapy, multisensory stimulation has been discussed.
KEYWORDS Training, Early Stimulation, Key developmental mile stones, Red ag signs, Parental role, Who needs early
stimulation, Newborn stimulation in NICU, Massage, Touch therapy, Rocking, walking, and swinging, Visual stimulation,
Tactile Stimulation, Auditory stimulation, Sensory stimulation, Age appropriate toys
CHAPTER 15
Early Stimulation
Cerebral Palsy and Early Stimulation
184
TABLE 15.3: Key developmental milestones: Language
Age Milestone
1 months Alerts to sound
3 months Coos (musical vowel sounds)
4 months Laugh loud
6 months Mono syllables (ba, da, pa), ah-goo sounds
9 months Bi syllables (mama, baba, dada)
12 months 1-2 words with meaning
18 months 8- 10 word vocabulary
2 years 2-3 word sentences, uses pronouns “ I”,
“me”, “you”
3 years Asks questions, knows full name and
gender
4 years Says song or poem, tells stories
5 years Asks meaning of words
TABLE 15.2: Key developmental milestones: Fine motor
Age Milestone
4 months Bidextrous reach (reaching out for objects
with both hands)
6 months Unidextrous reach (reaching out for
objects with one hand), transfers
9 months Immature pincer grasp, probes with
forenger
12 months Pincer grasp mature
15 months Imitates scribbling, tower of 2 blocks
18 months Scribbles, tower of 3 blocks
2 years Tower of 6 blocks, vertical and circular
stroke
3 years Tower of 9 blocks, copies circle
4 years Copies cross, bridge with blocks
5 years Copies triangle
2. Proceed to the skills in which the child needs
to be trained.
3. Appreciate the child for even little efforts.
4. Reward is a must once the child masters the
skill.
5. Involve normal children of the same mental
age while training the child.
6. Anything appropriate and attractive available
at home can be used as training material. A list
of useful materials is given in Table 15.5.
7. Though a child can be trained anytime and
every time but a well fed baby in right mood
would respond better.
8. Exercise patience while dealing with a slow
child and do not get disheartened by child’s
failure. Denite response is always observed.
Early Developmental Stimulation
By early ‘infant stimulation’ programs we mean
early interventional therapy for babies at risk for
developmental delay and periodic developmental
assessment, in motor development, cognitive
functioning, language or adaptive functioning.
Why it is Important in Today’s
World?
1. All parents want their infant to develop to their
maximum potential.
2. Now a day’s advanced perinatal care have
improved chances of survival of newborns
who would otherwise have succumbed. These
survivors are identied with problems later
on. Often such problems are identied quite
late, may be at school age, when only some
rehabilitation measures can be taken which do
not necessarily bring out the best in the child.
3. Parents are adapting small family norms and
every child is precious and they want a high-
degree of quality in their child. Planned and
highly-individualistic intervention programs
after a detailed developmental assessment is
the answer to this.
Aims of Early Stimulation
1. Stimulating the child through the normal
developmental channels.
2. Prevention of developmental delay.
3. Prevention of asymmetries and abnormalities
a. To prevent wastage of muscles
b. To prevent xity of joints
c. To prevent contractures of the joint
d. To decrease and prevent the tightness of
the muscles and tendons
e. Detection of transient abnormalities and
minimization of persistent abnormalities.
Early Stimulation 185
TABLE 15.4: Key developmental milestones: Social/Adaptive
Age Milestone
2 months
3 months
6 months
9 months
12 months
15 months
18 months
2 years
3 years
4 years
5 years
Social smile (smile after being talked to)
Recognizes mother, anticipates feeds
Recognizes strangers/stranger anxiety
Waves “bye bye”
Comes when called, plays simple ball game
Jargon
Copies parents in task (sweeping etc)
Asks for food, drink, toilet, pulls people to show toys
Shares toys, knows full name & gender
Plays cooperatively in a group, goes to toilet alone
Helps in household tasks, dresses and undresses
Red Flag for Motor development
Gross Motor Milestone Concern or years
No Roll over
Does not Sit without support
No Creeping, crawling, cruising
No Walking
No Climbing up and down stairs
No Jumping
Unable to Stand on one foot- momentarily
No Hopping
7-8 months
10 months
12 months
15 months
2 years
2.5 years
3 years
4 years
Fine motor development
Fine Motor Milestone Age
Does not hold rattle
Does not hold an object in each hand
Does not Pincer grasp
Does not Puts in or take out objects
Does not Remove socks or gloves by self
Does not Scribbles
Does not Draw a straight line
Does not Copy circle
Does not Copy cross
5 months
7 months
11 months
15 months
20 months
2 years
3 years
4 years
5 years
Red ags for social/cognitive
Psychosocial Milestone Age
No social smile
Does not search for dropped object
No laughing in playful situations
No interest in peek a boo
No waving, pointing
No pretend play with a doll
No eye contact
Does not know name
Does not pick shorter of 2 lines
Does not know colors or any letters
In constant motion, does not play with other children
3 months
7 months
8 months
9 months
12 months
18 months
24 months
3 years
4 years
5 years
3-5 years
Red Flag for language development Age
No vocalization
No polysyllabic babbling
No spontaneous single words
No spontaneous phrases
No spontaneous sentences
Any loss of babbling, single words/phrases
Any loss of comprehension including responding to name
6 months
12 months
18 months
24 months
36 months
any age
any age
Cerebral Palsy and Early Stimulation
186
Importance of Early Stimulation
Early stimulation is important both for the
growing brain and body. Adequate nutrition and
the presence of both parents during the early years
are also crucial to a child’s being. All these factors
contribute towards a normal healthy adult. The
stimulation the child receives depends on life at
home the family structure.
A newborn baby’s life may appear to be
nothing but a cycle of sleep and feedings. From
this age itself, a baby’s personality begins to
evolve. Some babies are very lively, others are
slow to react. But all need to be cuddled, spoken
to gently and stimulated. Stimulation plays an
important part in child development. Various
easily available age appropriate toys are advised
and the optimum time for stimulation is when
the child is most active and playful. Stimulation
should be given to normal babies as well.
Proponents of early interventional therapy
are suggesting that multidisciplinary structured
intervention by highly-trained interveners should
be provided for infants who are at risk for neuro
motor disorders as soon as possible to minimize
future handicaps and successfully rehabilitate the
child. Early stimulation and early intervention
can be applied remarkably to infants in order to
arouse their actions and feelings ultimately giving
them a normal experience of development.
Parents of newly diagnosed children with
mental retardation often refuse to accept that
their child is not “normal”. This leads to a delay
in instituting early therapy and often results in
the child developing some set patterns, which
are difcult to change. Therefore, special schools
prefer to start a program by age 3 or 4 and may
not accept children at ages above 6 or 7. The
need therefore is to approach institutions in your
vicinity at the earliest.
Providing the Right Stimulation at
the Right time is the Key for Brain
Development
Unlike a normal baby, a baby with brain damaged
is at risk baby who requires more attention of the
family members.
These goals rest on the delivery of develop-
mentally supportive individualized care geared
to enhance the strengths of each infant and fam-
ily. This alliance listens to the language of the
infant’s behavior and uses the dialogue between
the infant, family and the professional caregiver
to guide care.
Early intervention improves not only medical
outcome but also neurodevelopment outcome
by preventing active inhibition of the central
nervous system pathways due to inappropriate
input, and supporting the use of modulating
pathways during a highly-sensitive period of
brain development.
Parental Role
1. The greatest single contributor in early stimu-
lation is the MOTHER (the key stimulator).
The real foundations regarding stimulation are
building upon her mind and her love.
2. Her enthusiasm and the thrill of discovery of
new skills of her baby are the basic building
blocks.
3. The parental attitudes especially that of the
mother has the greatest inuence on the devel-
opment of personality of the child during the
early.
4. In terms of time spent with the baby the
mother has more opportunities than the father
to inuence her child’s psychological growth
and behavior.
5. The maximum influence is exerted by the
mother/mother substitute in the first three
TABLE 15.5: List of materials
Ball (Small and large) Bell Pencil
Pellet Paper Box
Peg Board (round and square) Ring Glass
Any moving toy Plate Tray
Small beads Cup Mirror
Rattel Stick Spoon
Doll Pictures Torch
Picture book Pillow Blocks
Note: Please do not leave the child alone with objects which
he can swallow/inhale or hurt himself.
Early Stimulation 187
years of life, before the child has an opportu-
nity for play-school/pre-school experience.
6. The mother’s literacy status, her own child-
hood experiences, adolescent motherhood,
etc. are considered to be the factors that
greatly inuence development.
7. Parents need the skill to understand and
interact with their small infant appropriately.
8.. Parent participation in decision making and
actual hands on experience in caring for their
child in preparation for their role as full time
parents is recommended as essential and is the
key to successful developmental intervention.
Basic Facts All Parents Need to Know
In the rst years of a baby’s life, the brain is
busy building its wiring system. Activity in the
brain creates tiny electrical connections called
synapses. The amount of stimulation the baby
receives has a direct affect on how many synapses
are formed. Repetitive stimulation strengthens
these connections and makes them permanent,
whereas young connections that don’t used
eventually die out.
These rst years are a very important and
pivotal time for a developing young brain. This
intense period of brain growth and network
building happens only once in a lifetime. Parents
have brief but golden opportunity to help our
babies stimulate the formation of brain circuitry.
Who Needs Early Stimulation?
All babies: Need stimulation to grow physically
and even more for cognitive and intellectual
development by arousing their feelings.
All at risk babies: It is compulsory to provide
early stimulation for at risk babies in a planned
and systematic manner in order to arouse their
feelings, through interaction with the mother
and the environment and to prevent mental
subnormality setting in by anticipatory action.
At risk babies are babies who have had
problems during the pre-natal, natal and post-
natal period, i.e. before, at or after birth and are
at risk for developing some sort of developmental
problems later on. The problems may be pre-
maturity (born <37 weeks of gestation), low birth
weight (less than 2.5 kg at birth), birth asphyxia
(delayed birth cry—lack of oxygen at birth),
septicaemia (infection of the blood), seizures
(ts), etc. At a risk baby needs more attention
from the family members with the aim of trying
to prevent mental sub normality setting in by
anticipatory action. For them it has to be started
from the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit).
There should not be overstimulation. Studies have
shown that babies did better with less stimulation
in NICU.
Overstimulation
1. Babies cannot comfortably handle different
modes of stimulation all at once.
2. For all babies their neural system has to be
mature to receive the stimulus given to them.
While giving stimulation it should be essential
to note that the stimulation is not beyond their
capacity. There are cues to watch for the baby
might
a. Just close his eyes and try to go to sleep.
b. May start to stick out his tongue as an
aversion response, then yawn.
c. And finally, start to show agitation by
his body movements; arching his back,
squirming to get away, fussing, crying, etc.
3. Playing with one’s baby in ways that both par-
ent and child enjoy is the best way to stimulate
his senses and thinking. How much the parent
enjoys the activities shared with the baby is
the best stimulation for the child. When the
parent is emotionally involved in the play,
and not feeling bored or dutiful or anxious,
the infant will be more involved too.
Some Fascinating Facts that
Researchers have Discovered
1. Babies have biological need and desire to
learn.
2. The foundational networking of the brain’s
synapses is nearly complete after the rapid
brain development of the rst 3 years.
Cerebral Palsy and Early Stimulation
188
3. The more stimulating experiences you can
give your baby means the more circuitry that
is built for enhance learning in the future.
4. Babies have a denite preference for high
contrast images.
5. The amount of connections in the brain can
increase or decrease by 25 percent depending
on the environment and stimulation.
6. Visual stimulation can produce developmen-
tal advantages including enhanced curiosity,
attentiveness and concentration.
7. Your baby’s best toy is you! Interact with your
baby as much as possible!
Precautions
Things to be Remembered While Giving
Smulaon
1. Monitored stimulation with an awareness of
and willingness to decrease environmental
hazards is necessary.
2. The stimulation provided has to be develop-
mentally appropriate.
3. The smallest babies need the quietest of places
that can be provided.
4. The quality of stimulation given is more
important than the quantity of time spent.
5. Stimulation should be introduced gradually
followed by developmental assessment.
6. The younger the infant, the more disorganized
his neurological systems and the less likely he
will be able to process stimulation, whether
positive or negative.
Safety Measures to be Taken While Giving
Smulaon
1. Stimulation should be given only under strict
supervision.
2. Care should be taken to prevent the baby from
swallowing any of the small thing used during
stimulation.
3. Avoid giving paint-coated toys, it may be toxic
and avoid toys with sharp edges.
Things that Can do to Smulate Your Baby
1. Love—rst of all, remember love and affec-
tion are very real needs. Your baby is never
trying to manipulate or control you; he/she
simply has a biological need for your love...
never deny her your tender affection. This
unconditional love also creates a strong self-
esteem and increased development of brain
circuitry.
2. Talk to your baby often with a kind voice,
a wide range of vocabulary, and a lot of
expression. The so called “meaningless talk”
(baby talk) of the parents/caregiver with the
baby has lot of positive effects on the baby.
3. Respond to your babies’ requests without
hesitation. This teaches her that she can
communicate with other people and gives
her a strong sense of trust and emotional
stability.
4. Touch your baby. Researchers discovered
that premature infants that were massaged
grew faster, cried less, and were released
earlier from the hospital than those who
weren’t.
5. Encourage imitation. Your baby is constantly
analyzing you and figuring-out ways to
mimic your voice and facial expressions.
6. Let your baby experience different
surroundings—go for walks, take her places,
and show her the sites!
7. Let your baby explore different textures and
temperatures (not too extreme, of course).
Provide a safe environment for your baby
to explore. She also needs time to discover
things for herself.
8. Read books—even though your baby can’t
follow the story, she loves the pictures and
the sound of your voice.
9. Play music for your baby.
10. When you get frustrated because your baby
keeps dropping objects or pours the box of
cereal on the oor, remember, she is trying
to gure-out how the world operates.
Newborn Stimulation in NICU
Early stimulation should start as early as
possible in the NICU with a special emphasis on
incorporating both the parents and medical people.
Early Stimulation 189
Intervention in Neonatal Intensive
Care Unit—Parents
1. Emotional support.
2. Problem-solving
a. Practical help
b. Verbalization of feelings (anger, fear, guilt,
etc.)
c. Dealing with the care and procedure.
3. Communication
4. Support from other parents and staff.
Infant has limited, individual but improving
capacity for input ltering and perceptual analysis
and state control. In NICU the child experiences
often painful procedure, handling, noises, lack
of comforting mechanisms. Infants toleration of
and need for different modalities of stimulation
can be estimated sequentially and it should be
individualized and changed over time.
Modications that can be Made in
NICU
1. Individual lightening units can be dimmed and
adjusted (especially during night).
2. Reduce the unnecessary noises from the neo-
natal environment that is not soothing for the
newborn. Heart beat sounds, mother’s voice
and music can be recorded and put the tape
nears to the baby with less volume.
3. Gentle massage and soft-bedding promote
tactile stimulation.
4. Try to promote bonding whenever possible
through kangaroo method.
5. Rocking and oscillating waterbeds can be
introduced.
6. Passive exercises for the joints in order to
prevent muscle spasms. Each individual has
his own individual reactions and a multisen-
sory combination all the above can be applied
accordingly.
After Discharge
The Waing Guest
Bringing the baby home from hospital is a time
that the mother, the family and friends have
been waiting for. However, it is important to
remember that all this attention and love can be
overwhelming.
Babies Need Peace and Quiet
Babies may exhibit distress when they are being
overwhelmed. It can be difcult to explain to
those who wish to see the baby, after weeks and
months in hospital, that the baby may become
tired very quickly. However, it is important that
the mother and the baby are given a chance to
truly get to know each other.
Infant Stimulation Programs in NICU
Newborn Sensory Smulaon
Attempts to mimic intrauterine experience-heart
heat sounds. Attempts to promote—kangaroo
method (prolong lactation). Supplemental
or comforting experience-suck stimulation
during gavage (palada), non-nutritive suck
during procedures, additional stimulation.
Tactile – lambskin bedding, hammocks,
massages. Auditory- mother voice, sweet music.
Kinaesthetic/vestibular-rocking, oscillating
waterbeds. Multisensory, combination of above.
Nearly all studies show some positive short-
term effects on weight gain, length of gavage,
behavioral organization (apnea + bradycardia,
sleep, crying) which are small, transient, and not
universal.
Babies Need ‘Walls’ Around Them
After discharge from the nursery, babies may be
fussy difcult to settle. Full-term babies in the
womb spend a lot of time curled up in a ball, legs
and arms tucked in. If one’s child is agitated, one
can put him on his tummy on one’s shoulder, and
help get his legs and arms tucked in, his hands to
this mouth, and wrap him in a blanket.
Understand her/his ‘Cues’
At home the mother should be able to recognize
additional individual signs of stress or distress.
Being able to recognize and respond appropriately
to these cues will help the mother become closer
to her baby. It will also be very useful should the
baby need to go back into hospital, as she will
Cerebral Palsy and Early Stimulation
190
then have this extra knowledge about caring for
her baby.
Newborn Stimulation at Home
Keep in Mind that
1. New born babies are surprisingly alert. When
the tummy is full, the bottom is dry and the
body rested, newborns are busy looking, lis-
tening, and learning about their new world.
2. Babies are hard-wired to learn. If parents
understand the wiring a little better, they can
target early play to help their newborns learn
and develop. Keep the play gentle and the
playtime short—just a few minutes at a time
is probably plenty.
3. Subtle environments; pastel colors, a feather
on a string spinning in the breeze, a sh tank
to watch, curtains blowing, lying under a tree,
a candle ame, these foster deep attentiveness,
long curious staring and wondering, which is
good for development.
The following are some ways to begin playing
with a newborn. Remember though that it is easy
to overstimulate a newborn.
Vision
Vision is one of the most primitive senses at birth
newborns can only focus about 8 inches away,
and their sight is two-dimensional. Because
vision develops so quickly and so dominates the
human sensory experience, it soon becomes the
major means through which children learn about
the people and properties of their world. The
following are some ideas to stimulate the baby’s
developing sense of vision.
Bold Paerns with Strong Contrast
1. Newborns are attracted to the edges of patterns
where light and dark meet.
2. Babies tend to look at the edges of shapes, so
a baby is likely to scan one’s hairline rather
than gaze into one’s eyes.
3. Start with simple shapes—squares, circles,
and bold black and with face shapes. Paste
these shapes by the changing table, or cut
them out and make a “Nursery Novel”, a
little book made up of different patterns.
The newborn’s eyes examine the edges and
his brain learns to process simple visual
information.
Making Faces
1. The most intriguing object of newborns is the
mother’s or father’s face.
2. Try to catch the baby’s attention and make a
face one can stick about the tongue, make an
‘O’ with one’s lips, or raise and lower one’s
eyebrows
Newborns can mimic expressions.
Remember to vary the expression: new
babies have very short attention spans.
Moving Objects
1. Vision involves the complex process of track-
ing objects as they move through space.
2. Lay the baby on the lap. Take a toy, small
picture, or one’s hand and slowly move it in
an arc from your baby’s left to right, and then
back again. Newborns cannot track the object
as it moves across their center line—this will
develop in the rst few months.
Hearing
At birth the sense of hearing is considerably
more advance than vision. Although it is more
advanced, hearing develops gradually.
Playing Music
1. Music stimulates more than just the auditory
brain centers and connects powerfully to the
baby’s emotions.
2. Test how music affects the baby—play a
lively, fast-paced song, then a slow, soothing
song.
3. Babies have an innate response to music,
which can be very useful when trying to
soothe an over tried, overstimulated or colicky
newborn.
4. Classical music is particularly good for the
baby’s developing brain; it is closely-linked
with an improved ability to solve spatial
problems. Playing classical strains to the
newborn could help lay down important
spatial reasoning pathways, as well as
connections within the auditory system.
Early Stimulation 191
Talking and Imitaons
1. Language development begins from the
moment the baby rst hears voices.
2. Talk to the baby often when changing him,
feeding him, or walking with him. Listen
carefully to his little noises and repeat them;
one can have baby ‘conversation’ this way,
each taking a turn.
3. Read to the baby—look for books with
rhythmic, rhyming language.
4. Even tiny babies will listen attentively to the
sing-song cadences of poems and nursery
rhymes.
Touch
Every time a baby is touched or cuddled, it shapes
his growing brain. Touch experience is essential
not only for the development of touch sensitivity
but for general cognitive development as well.
Baby/Body Massage
The purposive, non-repetitive contact with human
hands on the baby’s skin is a soothing way to
stimulate the baby’s sense of touch. Routine
massaging the baby is essential for her optimum
growth and development. Ideally it should be
done by the mother, father or grandparents. The
massager should be relaxed and unhurried and
won’t be interrupted. Don’t massage the baby
when he is hungry or full of stomach.
Seng
Parents to sit relaxed on the oor with baby on a
towel or rubber sheet. Newborns like massaging
for about 2–5 minutes and children over 2 months
of age will like even more time.
Technique
Application of oil before massaging reduces
friction. Gentle rm strokes can be used. Apply
at least 12 strokes to each area. Do not kneed or
squeeze. The stroke should not be too light or else
they will cause a tickling sensation to the baby
that may be discomforting.
1. Make tiny circles on the face, then smooth the
baby’s forehead with both hands at the center,
gently press outside as if stroking the pages of
a book. Make small circles around the baby’s
mouth may comfort him during teething.
2. Rub the hands to make them warm and gently
stroke the baby’s chest as if stroking the pages
of a book.
3. Stroke each arm alternately from central
outwards, open the palms and massage each
nger separately.
4. Massage the tummy from baby’s right side to
the left in a clockwise direction
5. Stroke and massage each leg and foot sepa-
rately.
6. Stroke the baby’s back rst back and forth
across, then in long, sweeping lines from
shoulders to feet. Always keep one hand on
the baby.
7. Stroke the buttocks in a circular motion.
8. Gentle passive exercises can be given in the
joints of both hands and legs by bending and
stretching. Make sure the baby is enjoying
the stimulation. Reassure him if he cries or
protests and restart gain. Continue massag-
ing according to his wish and end up with a
kiss.
Touch Therapy—What is it?
Touch therapy is purposive, repetitive, non-
medical contact with human hands on an infant’s
bare skin administered with a view to stimulating
nature and stimulating normal growth and
development. It is recommended that mothers and
fathers participate for best results. In its broadest
sense it involves massage (tactile-kinaesthetic
stimulation), non-nutritive sucking and skin
to skin contact in any form. It is an appealing,
pleasurable, culturally acceptable easily taught
and understood form of interventional stimulation
to the preterm infant but can be administered to
term infants equally effectively and there is no
cost involved.
The Basic Lessons all Parents has
to Understand
1. Early experiences affect how brains are
“wired”.
2. The young brain is a work-in-progress.
Cerebral Palsy and Early Stimulation
192
3. Every child is unique.
4. Children learn through relationships.
5. Care givers are only caregivers.
6. “Small talk” has big consequences.
7. Children need many kinds of stimulation.
8. Prevention is crucial.
9. The effort has “power”.
10. The cradle will “rock”.
Playing with your baby in ways that you both
enjoy is the best way to stimulate her senses and
thinking. How much you enjoy the activities you
share is the best stimulation for your child. When
you are emotionally involved you’re neither play,
nor feeling bored or dutiful or anxious, your
infant will be more involved too.
Rocking, Walking, and Swinging
1. Why is it that babies calm down when they
are rocked or gently bounced? Closely-related
to the sense of touch, the baby’s vestibular
system tells the baby where his body is in
space—if he is reclining, sitting upright, or
moving.
2. Every time the baby is walked, rocked, or
swung, the vestibular system is stimulated.
3. Infants who are comforted through vestibular
stimulation show greater visual alertness than
babies comforted in other ways. It is during
these periods of quiet alertness that babies
do their best learning, when they can most
effectively absorb information about the world
around them.
Baby swings are a good way to stimulate the
vestibular system. If the baby is in a sling or
front carrier, the natural motion provides plenty
of vestibular stimulation. Sometimes the motion
will help a baby to sleep, but often the baby will
become quiet and watchful. This is an excellent
time to talk or sing to the baby.
TRAINING PROGRAM
Infants Below Six Weeks
1. Visual stimulation.
2. Tactile stimulation.
3. Auditory stimulation.
4. Sensory stimulation.
5. Head movement.
6. Holding head.
7. Babbling.
Visual Stimulation
1. Hang brightly-colored clothes (red/orange/
fluorescent), shining mobiles, color balls:
black and white-striped cloths, etc. across the
crib. Don’t interchange them frequently.
2. Put the baby in a well-ventilated room having
good light.
3. Hang a mobile toy on right and left side of the
crib, so that the child can turn his/her head on
either side.
4. Talk to baby keeping your face 6–8 inches
away.
5. Occasionally use a patterned sheet on child’s
crib or tie bright-colored ribbon and hang over
the crib.
6. Show the child his hands and feet and move
them together.
7. Hold a mirror 7–8 inches away from his eyes.
Tactile Stimulation
1. Frequently change child’s position. Put the child
on his sides, on his back, on his tummy, etc.
2. Put the baby in different surfaces like soft
mattresses, form rubber mat, on soft clothes,
on mother’s lap, etc.
3. Touch and handle in a loving gentle manner.
4. Hold the baby while feeding.
5. Puff powder using a cotton ball.
6. Pad body lotion.
7. Provide furry/or plastic play toys.
Auditory Smulaon
1. Sing to your baby some poems or nursery
rhymes.
2. Make the child listen to different sounds such
as squeeze toy, rattle, bell, music, high-pitched
and low-pitched human sounds, etc.
3. Always humming in a soft-low voice.
4. Talk or sing while giving a wash or dressing-up.
5. Tie a bell to baby’s bed.
Early Stimulation 193
6. Give blocks with bells.
7. Play radio or record player but do not play
music constantly.
Sensory Smulaon
1. Hold the baby in your arms and walk around
the room.
2. Gently rub on head.
3. It is not always necessary to pick up the baby.
Gently pat while you talk as the child lies in a
crib.
4. Turn baby over and rub on back or tummy.
Head Movement
1. Use a toy or a bell to make a sound in front of
the child.
2. Sit behind the child and make a sound.
3. Be sure that other auditory distracters such as
radio are not present.
4. If the child responds to toy by turning his head,
give a toy for few seconds as a reward.
Holding Head
1. Use a pillow, under the child’s shoulder to
hold head.
2. Place a colorful toy in front, so that the child
holds head up to see it.
3. Place the child on belly and help support the
head with your hand.
4. Gradually reduce the support you give.
5. Talk to him only when the head is being sup-
ported.
Babbling
1. When child babbles, Ma, Pa, Ba, repeat the
sound.
2. Use musical toys of basic sounds.
3. Sing a song or play music while playing.
4. Talk to him while feeding and bathing.
5. Repeat sounds a number of times.
Acvies
1. Always try to maintain eye-to-eye contact
while communicating with the child.
2. Cuddle the baby closely, making it a joyous
interaction with the mother and the baby.
3. Talk and sing to baby when you bather him,
dress hi, and when you feed or rock him.
4. Encourage and help the baby to turn his head
towards the source of sound and sights.
Infants Above Six Weeks
Motor Development
1. Reaching for object.
2. Rolling.
3. Sitting.
4. Crawling.
5. Standing.
6. Walking and running.
7. Eye, hand coordination.
8. Jumping.
9. Imitate a circle.
10. Walking upstairs and downstairs.
Reaching for Objects
1. Place the child on belly on the oor and start
speaking to divert his attention.
2. Suspend a toy from ceiling.
3. Play with colorful toys in front of baby, e.g.
blocks, ball, rattle.
4. Demonstrate these activities so that the child
gets the idea of reaching.
5. Help the child to reach and grasp the object.
Rolling
1. Place the child on back in the crib or oor.
Talk to him ring the bell to get his attention.
2. Physically guide the child in rolling from back
to side.
3. Place a musical toy close to side of the head
so that the child will roll over.
4. Help to roll back and forth to imitate move-
ment.
Sing
1. Grasp the child’s hand and help to sit up.
2. Place pillow around the child and keep pillow
high on sides/put the child in basket so that he
can get support.
3. Place the child between your legs and place
the arms on your legs for support.
4. Gradually reduce the support by giving a toy
in hand.
5. Once the child sits in any corner give a toy
in hand and keep talking to him to maintain
Cerebral Palsy and Early Stimulation
194
sitting during a variety of daily activities
(bathing, eating, dressing and playing).
Crawling
1. Place the child on your extended legs so that
his tummy is touching your legs.
2. Help to move by moving the child’s arms in
a swimming fashion.
3. Place the child on the oor and move one of
the child’s arms forward.
4. Keep a colorful toy in front of him and pull
him towards you.
5. Gradually increase the distance between the
toy and the child.
Standing
1. Place a toy on a low chair, table or bed.
2. Physically pull the child up and place his
hands on edge.
3. Let the child put one foot at on oor and
weight on one knee.
4. Show a toy above child’s head so that he is
able to pull himself.
Walking and Running
1. Support the child’s shoulders from behind and
help him to alternate his feet.
2. Hold both hands of the child’s and encourage
him to walk forward.
3. Encourage the child to push walker.
4. Hold a toy and ask him to come to you. Make
the child stand against wall. Be ready to catch
him.
5. Encourage the child to walk independently
and run.
Eye-Hand Coordinaon
1. Make a peg board out of shoes box.
2. Help him to put in and out, encourage him to
do it independently.
3. Make a form board with three holes, circle,
square and triangle.
4. Help him to x the pieces.
Jumping
1. Stand in front of child and hold both his hands.
2. Bend his knees and lift his hands up.
3. Reward him and verbalize jump.
4. Use bed as base of jumping.
5. Encourage him to jump a number of times.
Imitate Circle, Square and Triangle
1. Show a child how to make a circle.
2. Take the child’s hand and guide him in making
the circular movements.
3. Help the child to trace the square and triangle.
4. Use newspaper to draw and trace all the gures
in large size and gradually reduce the size.
Walk Upstairs and Downstairs
1. Hold the child’s, begin with the two bottom
steps.
2. Walk up the step and gently pull child’s one
hand placing his other hand on railing and
encourage him to step up.
3. Move his legs up and down in a marching
fashion.
4. Place one leg on a step, your hand behind his
knee and move his leg up to the other step.
5. Walk downstairs backwards in order to avoid
fall, encourage him to move one foot down.
ADAPTIVE DEVELOPMENT
1. Places the object.
2. Performs simple gestures.
3. Points to pictures.
4. Draws vertical and horizontal line.
5. Completes three forms.
6. Matches colours.
7. Completes puzzles (six pieces).
8. Block building.
9. Draws a man.
10. Points to missing part of picture.
11. Names days of the week.
12. Counts 1 to 10.
Placing the Object
1. Show the child how to take out the object from
a cup.
2. Physically guide his hand to help him to
remove the object and say “out”.
3. Physically help child place object in cup and
say “in”.
Early Stimulation 195
4. Ask the child to put the object in the cup and
out of it. Encourage him to do it several times.
5. Reward him for each step.
Perform Simple Gestures
1. Show the child how to do simple gestures, e.g.
clap hands, pat a cake, peek a boo.
2. Take the child in your lap. Put your arms
around him and help him to clasp his hands.
3. Encourage child to imitate gestures such as:
i. Pretend to drink from a cup
ii. Hold a block in each hand and hit them
together
iii. Make a coughing sound or say bye bye.
Points to Pictures
1. Show a family photograph or children’s book
with large picture of common objects.
2. Name a picture and guide him to point it.
3. Ask the child where is the ball.
4. Praise and say that is the ball.
5. Present two pictures at a time and ask him to
point him to pint to one.
Draw a Vertical and Horizontal Line
1. Take paper to a wall. Let your child watch you
while you draw a vertical line.
2. Hold his hand while he uses chalk, crayons,
colored pencils or magic slate and help him
to draw a line.
3. Let him imitate without support.
4. Give verbal instructions to draw vertical and
horizontal lines.
5. Similarly teach him to draw a circle, square
and triangle.
Complete Three-form Board
1. Show the child how to remove these three
shapes from the board.
2. Physically guide to put circle, square and
triangle in the form board.
3. Encourage him to x the circle.
4. Let your child watch you while you put the
shapes in the form board and ask him to do
that.
5. Encourage him to x all the tree shapes inde-
pendently.
Matches Colors
1. Begin using two colors, red and yellow.
2. Mix colored circles, pegs and beads.
3. Make tow row one red and one yellow in front
of child.
4. Help him match circles, colored pegs and
beads.
5. Reward correct match with praise.
Complete Puzzles (Six Pieces)
1. Give some knobs on puzzle pieces for easy
handling.
2. Take out one or two puzzle pieces to begin
with.
3. Make the child feel the shape of a puzzle
piece.
4. Guide the child’s hand to help him t the piece
in the hole. Similarly remove the pieces.
5. Tell him to look at the puzzle to nd out where
it goes.
Block Building
1. Show the child what to do. Place two blocks side
by side and third on the top of the other two.
2. Give him one block at a time showing him
where to place it.
3. Withdraw help and leave the bridge to copy.
4. Encourage him to make train of cubes inde-
pendently.
5. Teach him to build pyramid of 10 blocks.
Draw a Man
1. Draw a man by using circles and lines.
2. Make child draw each line after you make one.
3. Use simple spoken directions.
4. Talk about body parts as child draws.
5. Give him clues for incomplete body part.
Points to Missing Part of Picture
1. Make the child nd the missing parts of the
picture.
Cerebral Palsy and Early Stimulation
196
2. Begin by using familiar pictures like horse
without head and house without roof.
3. Show him the complete picture; let the child
compare the tow to nd the missing part.
4. Encourage him to do it without the complete
picture.
5. Reward him for the correct part of the picture.
Name Days of the Week
1. Hang a calendar for the child in his room.
2. Draw a picture on various days on calendar.
3. Say the names of the days to the child.
4. Make him repeat them back to you.
5. Make him familiar with the order of the days.
Count One to Ten
1. Show the numeral 1 card.
2. Tell the child this shows one.
3. Ask the chid to point to the dot on it and say
one.
4. Then put one pebble on the card. Continue in
the same way up to card 5.
5. When the child can recognise the numerals 1 to
5 and count the corresponding dot and pebbles
accurately, move on to the card 6 to 10.
LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT
1. Repeats sounds made by others.
2. Carries out simple directions.
3. Answers simple questions with non-verbal
response.
4. Uses a single word meaning.
5. Says 5 different words.
6. Follows 3-step directions.
7. Points to 3 body parts.
8. Uses simple sentences.
9. Answers simple questions.
10. Tells sex and name.
Repeats Sound Made by Others
1. Choose the sounds
a. Spontaneously made
b. Sound that goes with physical activity and
game
c. Various vowel sounds
d. Sounds like Ha, Aa, Ba, Da.
2. Say it with him and reward the child with
praise and clap hands.
3. Say each one several times and allow the child
to repeat.
4. Smile and make the activity enjoyable.
5. Pick up, hug while doing the activity.
Carries-out Simple Directions
1. Give the child your direction in words.
2. Show him what you mean.
3. Repeat the directions and show him again.
4. Activities might include
a. “Give me your hand”
b. “Throw the ball”
c. “Close the door”.
5. Praise the child on performance of activity.
Answers Simple Questions with
Non-verbal Response
1. Teach the body parts by touching and pointing
to the child.
2. Take the child’s hand and, ask where is his
nose.
3. Place his hand or nger on his nose.
4. “Here is your nose”, “Very good”.
5. Reduce the help given as the child learns.
Use a Single Meaningful Word
1. Name two to three familiar objects (mild,
water, toy).
2. Ask the child to name them when you point
to them.
3. Hide objects in the room and ask to nd them
and name the object.
4. Repeat this activity several times.
5. Praise and reward the child when it is done
independently.
Say Five Different Words
1. Name different objects which child often sees.
2. Encourage the child to use the words.
3. When the child says “Pa” you say; “ Yes” that
is Papa.
Early Stimulation 197
4. Child may point and say Pa you say “Yes” Pap
is there.
5. The child may point to the object and say Pa
you say “Yes” that is Papa’s shoe.
6. Encourage the child to use the words again
and again.
Follow Three-step Directions
1. Begin with direction using one object, e.g. get
your shoes, sit down and put on.
2. Ask the child to repeat the direction before he
starts.
3. Gradually increase the difculty.
4. Add activities to the request.
5. Praise the child each time when the directions
are followed.
Points to Three Body Parts
1. Begin by showing mothers’ nose, similarly
with the child’s nose.
2. Ask where is the Doll’s nose?
3. What is that pointing at the nose?
4. If the child is having difculty, give him clue
that involves action of the body part.
5. Teach new body parts.
Use Simple Sentences
1. Hold up the familiar objects?
2. Ask the child what is this?
3. Give him time to answer?
4. If the child does answer, answer for him and
ask to repeat.
5. Continue until the child begins to use simple
sentences.
Answer Simple Questions
1. During daily activities ask the child questions
such as how to open the door, how to go to the
toilet.
2. If child does not answer, answer for him.
3. Child should answer in two to four words.
4. Gradually increase difculty of questions.
5. Use stories and pictures and ask questions on
various points.
Tells Sex and Name
1. Give toy and clothes to the child to play and
tell the sex.
2. Tell the child here is a boy like daddy, girl like
mama.
3. Say things like you are a nice boy or a pretty
girl.
4. Ask child about his sex while you give a
candy/toy to him.
5. Keep on asking the same.
PERSONAL AND SOCIAL
DEVELOPMENT
1. Watches persons.
2. Smiles.
3. Reaches to his own name.
4. Drinks from cup.
5. Brushes teeth.
6. Hold out arms and legs while being dressed.
7. Sits on potty.
8. Pulls off socks and takes off trousers.
Watches Persons
1. Make the child sit so that he is able to view
the surroundings.
2. Walk across his line of vision and see if the
child follows your movement.
3. Talk to child or use noises which stimulates
looking behavior.
4. Gradually move across and try to maintain eye
contact.
5. Keep praising the child.
Smiles
1. While feeding, playing, changing, talk softly
and smile off.
2. Gently tickle the stomach to evoke a smile.
3. While picking the child after nap or going to
some place always give a smile to the child.
Cerebral Palsy and Early Stimulation
198
4. Physically prompt the child by gently taping
his nose or lips.
5. When the child smiles respond back by smile.
Reaches for a Familiar Person
1. Hold your arms out to the child and ask him
if he wants to come to you.
2. Encourage all the family members to do the
same.
3. Talk to the child and offer a toy.
4. When he start to reach for it give a smile.
Claps Hands and Says Ta Ta
1. Take child’s hand and clap them.
2. “Say pat a cake”.
3. Encourage the child to imitate you.
4. Encourage the child to imitate clapping
sequence independently.
5. Take the child’s hand, wave and say “Ta Ta”.
Responds to His Own Name
1. Say the child’s name often.
2. Use a puppet to talk to the child.
3. Place the child in front of the mirror.
4. Have one person call the child’s name.
5. Reward the child for turning in your direction.
Drink from Cup
1. Use one cup with handle.
2. Help the child to bring the cup towards his
mouth.
3. Encourage him to take a drink.
4. Praise the child as he improves.
5. Use a regular plastic cup—when the child
becomes perfect.
Brushes Teeth
1. When you brush your teeth take the child with
you.
2. Help him to brush his teeth at the same time.
3. Use child size tooth—brush and hold it under
the water.
4. Encourage him to do it regularly.
5. Reward him for good brushing.
Hold-out Arms and Legs While
Being Dressed
1. Use a big size dress and begin with as short
sleeved.
2. Help the child to put one arm reach behind
with other arm.
3. Gradually reduce the support.
Sits on Potty
1. Allow the child to watch you use the toilet.
2. Watch the time carefully, when the child may
be ready to do.
3. Place the child on the potty.
4. Do not make the child sit for linger time.
5. Use the same words each time such as potty.
Encourage and praise if the child is success-
ful.
Pulls-off Socks and Takes-off
Trousers
1. Show the child how to pull off socks and take
out trousers.
2. Help the child as he tries to pull off socks and
take off trousers.
3. Help him whenever he has difculty.
4. Gradually reduce the support as he becomes
perfect.
5. Praise him whenever he does correctly.
After going through and using these manual
parents must have realized that the stimulation
exercises are simple and exible. More so parents
can use their own modications for the same
purpose and no special materials are required.
The aim is to take the child from his/her level
to the maximum level which can be achieved.
Patience and repetition of the tasks is the key
and success will always bring smile to you and
your baby.
Early Stimulation 199
Auditory Stimulation
Two-to-Four Months
Sound producing toys are suitable for this age.
Noisy toys/squeaky rubber toys etc. can be given.
Parents should spend more time with child;
keep on talking with the child, pointing out the
name of objects shown will help the child to use
more words when he starts talking
Four-to-Six Months
Babies will turn their head towards the source
of sound at this age. Shake a bell or a squeaky
toy over his head. Then slowly shake it near to
the side of his head. Encourage him to turn his
head and nd the sound. Repeat on the other
side also.
Visual Stimulation
Two-to-Four Months
Hang brightly-colored objects/shiny mobiles
about 12–15 inches above the crib, this will
enable the child to watch it constantly and slowly
starts to babble.
Maintain eye contact while talking with the
child
Show brightly-colored clothes when the child
is awake.
TOYS TO ENCOURAGE STIMULATION
1. In the rst few years babies learn to use his
hands and develop eye-hand coordination by
simply watching and moving his own hands
and ngers. Good and age-appropriate toys
will help practice and perfect these newly
acquired skills.
2. When you are making or buying toy to encour-
age your child to learn things, follow the BBC
code, i.e. Big, Bright and Colorful.
3. Big toys are easier for young babies to see.
Older children can use magnication of small
objects.
4. Bright means presenting toys and play materi-
als in the best possible light.
5. Colorful means choosing toys with good strong
contrasting colors and making sure they do not
merge into the background. Putting a nappy or
cot sheet over a heavily patterned carpet may
be useful. Some children nd shiny surfaces
attractive, others prefer mat colors. Children
usually show by their reaction, which they
prefer and will not be bothered with toy if they
do not nd it interesting.
Points to Remember During the
Selection of Toys
1. Toy should be age-appropriate.
2. Toys should be safe—no sharp points and
cutting-edges.
3. Colored toys—the paint should be non-toxic.
4. Components of the toy should not be so small
that the baby is able to push them into the
mouth, nose and ears.
5. The child’s interest, needs and abilities should
be considered.
6. Washable and study enough to withstand
rough handling.
VISION AND HEARING STIMULATION
IN EARLY INFANCY
Instruct the parents to provide stimulation for
their children that would otherwise have been
missed, by giving emotional support, sensory
input and by play methods. Encourage the
mothers to show love, to handle and talk to their
children more, to help the children to acquire
independence all of which help to improve
language and communication later on.
Vision
Vision is the Primary Data Gathering
System of the Human Organism
Of all the senses, vision provides the most
information to the brain. It is both a near and
distance sense, and can integrate the information
it gathers. Only vision can perceive shape, size,
color, distance and spatial location all in one
Cerebral Palsy and Early Stimulation
200
glance. The other senses together cannot provide
equal information to the brain.
Vision is the Feedback System for All Other
Developing Systems in the Young Child
An infants’ early development depends on vision,
since all the other systems require visual feedback
for practice and refinement. When the visual
system is impaired or dysfunctional, the other
systems do not have a monitoring tool to assure
their smooth and timely development.
Signs and Symptoms Suggesve of Visual
Abnormalies
1. Lack of eye xation.
2. Not preferring lighted area.
3. Wandering eye balls.
4. White spot in the pupil.
5. Strong family history of visual impairment
6. Persisting squint.
7. Holding objects very close to the face.
Early Detecon of Visual Abnormalies in
Young Children
1. Check for eye xation—note whether the baby
is watching when one is looking at his face
and when one talks or plays with him.
2. Hold the baby in such way that the baby faces
the window, and then slowly turn him towards
the darkest side of the room.
3. Observe whether the baby is turning his head
towards the window.
4. Observe whether the baby’s eyeball wanders
from one corner of the eye to the other while
awake (after 6 weeks).
5. Check for cataract (a white spot seen in the
pupil).
6. Note whether the baby has a strong family
history of visual problems.
7. Be cautious if a squint persists even after 6
months of age.
8. Holding objects very close to the face while
examining or looking at something is a warn-
ing sign.
TABLE 15.6: Age-appropriate toys
Purpose and function of Toy Toys suggested
First 3 months
Bright objects to look at Colorful toys to be hung across baby’s crib/cot, Soft sound
producing toys can also be used.
3 to 6 months
Sound making toys, Toys to hold, suck and chew Plastic rattle, music producing toys. Small soft washable toys made
of rubber or rag material, such as small animals, balls, dolls, big red
rings and teething rings.
7 to 12 months
Toys and other articles to handle roughly, make
noise with, bang, and drop. Toys to pull apart join,
put things into and take out.
Squeezing toys, drums, household pot and pans, sponge blocks,
piano, rubber and rag material. Sets of plastic glasses of dierent
size, ring sets; empty cardboard containers, bouncing balls, rocking
toys.
12 to 15 months
Toys to build small towers. Toys to push along. Toys
to call his own
Simple building boxes, toddle truck, big wheeled truck, bus and
other such toys, baby crockery set, baby telephone, picture book,
crayon and paper.
15 months to 2 years
Toys to push and pull. Toys to ride in. Toys to take
apart and put together
Push cart with big wheels, A wooden animal toy on wheels with
string to pull on. Simple take apart toys and toys with detachable
and rettable parts.
Early Stimulation 201
Goals of Smulaon for Visually Impaired
1. Motivate the child to make the best use of the
vision.
2. Integral part of play and therapy.
3. Help to identify those situations when the use
of another sense would be efcient.
4. Pairing with other senses (touch, hearing,
smell) make better sense of visual image.
Visual Smulaon—Why Early?
1. Visual impairment affects the development
of the brain. If vision is not dominant as the
avenue of information, it does not get its
normal representation in the brain cortex.
2. Visual stimulation seems to be more useful
during infancy and very early childhood.
3. It may be more helpful to children with certain
cases of blindness than for other children.
4. Pairing the visual stimulation with other
experiences is more useful. Incorporation of
all the senses (touch, hearing, and smell) into
visual experiences helps the child make better
sense of visual images.
5. The ultimate goal of visual stimulation is to
motivate the child to make the best use of the
vision he has and to identify those situations
when the use of another sense would be more
efcient.
By early stimulation of vision it means use of
strong visual stimuli to make an infant or child
aware of vision, since these children usually have
very limited visual capabilities and no visually
guided functions. Tactile and visual stimuli can
be used simultaneously. If the infant gets strong
visual stimuli can be used simultaneously. If the
infant gets strong visual input and at the same
time tactile information is used to explore the
surface qualities and form of an object. Picture
perception is one of the most difcult concepts
to develop in visually impaired child.
Visual stimulation is an integral part of
play and therapy situation. The concept of the
stimulation is the same as for normally sighted
children but the visual information is clearer
with a good contrast so that it can be used for
eye-hand coordination, eye-foot coordination,
and development of spatial relationships. In
these training situations the visually impaired
infants often use tactile information for quite
some time to explore the surface qualities and
form of objects. Picture perception is one of the
most difcult concepts to develop in a visually
impaired child.
In some visually-guided motor functions the
child may not reach the usual milestones so these
motor functions need special training. Visual
stimulation and training are integrated in the
child’s early stimulation program.
Smulaon Techniques for Visual
Impairment
1. Explore and utilize other senses.
2. Encourage exploration.
3. Body image (Promoter the concept).
4. Maximum assistance for gross motor develop-
ment.
5. Proper concept development.
6. Object permanence.
All children need to be encouraged to use their
eyes and to think about what they see. For those
who nd it difcult to concentrate, or those who
appear to take little interest in their environment,
a special effort must be made to try to provide
them with things they will really want to look at,
as interesting things they need time to explore.
Many a child has natural curiosity a delight
in the ridiculous and intense concentration when
his attention has really been capture. Ehen he is
shown a pretty thing which may be precious or
old, has been taken to visit an interesting place,
or simply has his attention drawn to a spectacular
sunset, he may be building associations and
memories which might inuence his life more
than can perhaps be imagined.
Arrange a room that is bright, stimulating,
and colorful—full of toys and materials that are
both interesting and attention grabbing. Some
decorative items for a room are helpful for
increasing visual awareness.
Cerebral Palsy and Early Stimulation
202
Intervention to Promote Eye Focus
and Following
Place the child supine. Help him to keep his head in
the midline. Hold both his shoulders forward. Place
shiny, colorful, noisemaking toys or a torch light
close to the childs’s eye. The mother can attract his
attention by face to face singing or talking.
Senses as Learning Tool
1. In a visually-impaired child other senses
are potentially at a maximum (touch, taste,
smell, and hearing). So, provision of an
environment where the child can explore
things and utilize his existing good senses
is very important.
2. Provide opportunities for the child to grasp
information by touching with his hands and
skin; hear a lot using his ears, to smell using
his nose and to taste with his tongue.
3. A blind child needs to be taught a lot. A child
with partial visual impairment can perceive
a whole lot of unclear images, but in a child
with complete visual impairment the stimu-
lation is very difcult.
4. The child learns about his world through
talking and touching mainly. ‘What is the
object made of? What is it for? How is it....?
What happens if .....?’ he learns through
hearing information related to it.
5. Shake the baby’s arms and legs and keep
repeating the name of the parts you touch.
6. Music boxes or wind up toys coming toward
the child from a distance may help perk-up
attention to an approaching object. Balls
with electronic sounds that don’t roll very
far are available. A ball with a sound that
continues to play is very helpful for seek
and ne.
7. A toy that rolls away should have a sound so
the child can remember where it went.
8. Toy with music and sounds activated by
pushing a button are useful.
9. Allow the baby nger play with dough.
10. Place the baby on different surfaces, hold
him frequently, lay him on the ground over
a mat all these help.
11. Hang small bells around the crib.
12. Textured balls, large push and bump toys
like cars, trucks and walking push toys can
be made use of.
13. All young children with some vision enjoy
mirror play, but watch out for glare. Use
them in diffused lighting.
14. Provide him with opportunities for hearing
other people’s speech also. Put the baby on
his mother’s lap while she is communicating
with others.
15. Spread sound making toys in the child-proof
room where he is playing.
16. Provide the child with the sensation of
different textures. Make the child walk
barefoot on grass, on gravel, on sand, on the
road, etc.
Encouraging Exploration
1. Gently guide the baby’s hand towards the
sound of a toy and keep decreasing the amount
of help offered.
2. Use toys that light up or objects with reective
surfaces if light perception is present.
3. Change the position of the baby frequently,
put him on his back, turn him onto his sides,
on his tummy, etc.
4. Don’t put baby always in the crib.
5. Hung strings of Christmas light in baby’s
room to encourage visual attention.
6. Hang noisy toys over the crib and guide his
hands towards it. Assist him to reach for and
then grasp it.
7. Ask the mother to keep the child at her side
and to keep on talking to him as she does her
work.
8. Attach different textures on the lower portion
of walls to encourage the child to explore the
walls.
9. Make the child sit on rocking horse or rocking
chair.
Early Stimulation 203
Body Image
1. Draw the child’s attention to different body
parts. Place a small pillow over his legs and
encourage him to knock it off.
2. Place an oversized plastic ring on the baby’s
wrist or ankles and encourage him to remove
the ring.
3. Guide the baby’s hand to each part of the body
as related nursery rhymes are sung.
Object Permanence
1. Help the baby hold on to the spoon while
feeding, this will help him to learn to hold it
and feed by himself later.
2. Guide the baby’s hand to a hidden toy or tap
the toy on the oor to give him a clue.
3. Peek a boo games, pulling scarf off a hidden
musical toy, etc. can be made fun.
4. Encourage independent mobility at home.
HEARING
Early Stimulation for Hearing
Impairment
Without adequate sound stimulation in infancy
and early childhood, speech and language
development will be compromised. Later
treatment may never fully compensate for this
early deprivation. The critical period for language
and speech development is the rst 2 years of life.
Techniques
1. Encourage him to produce new sound by
imitation or by continuous repetition of
words.
2. Maintain face-to-face conversation while
talking him.
3. The child could sing thorough mouthful of
cereal ‘mum-mum-mum’ and think that he
is at least saying Mom. The mother could
reward him with a smile and cuddles.
4. Make a variety of sound in the environment
patting plastic chairs, banging a wooden
table, banging the rattle across the wall,
banging a cup and spoon together. The child
will gradually begin to associate certain
sounds with a sequence of events.
5. The ding-dong of the doorbell, the sound of
the bath water running noises of family pets-
such sounds will contribute to the baby’s
idea of home and security.
6. Provide plenty of noisemakers for the baby
to shake, bang, kick, hit or drop.
7. Have a code sound for a certain activity, e.g.
using a little rattle to announce mealtime,
or splashing a hand in the water before
bathing.
8. Speak to the baby as much as possible. All
young babies need to listen to speech for
many months before they can sort put and
imitate the sound of words. With a hearing
impaired child this listening stage often last
for a long time and because the child does
not appear to respond, it can be very easy to
forget to talk to him.
9. Make the child listen to record players, the
radio and the TV, etc.
10. Making sound pictures rst think of a situation
and then create the appropriate noises, which
will conjure up that image. An easy one is ‘a
walk down the street’. This includes trafc
noises, scraps of conversation, footsteps of
different people, a police siren, sound from
different shops, supermarkets, etc.
General Activities
1. Don’t overprotect the child. Treat him like a
normal child.
2. The anticipatory movements should be accu-
rate, e.g. call the baby to lift his head while
holding his shoulders and axilla.
Encourage moments of experimentation in
everyday situations, which create sounds and
sensations.
Warning Signs Suggestive of
Hearing Abnormalities
1. Not responding to
a. Loud noises
Cerebral Palsy and Early Stimulation
204
b. Clapping sound at one foot distance.
c. Sound of a rattle.
2. Not locating the sounds.
3. Absence of cooing and babbling even at 1
year.
4. Absence of spontaneous vocalization.
5. Inability to understand simple commands even
at 18 months.
PLEASE PAY ATTENTION
Parents need to understand the importance of
the early stimulation.
It is an attempt to enrich and promote the
growth of infants.
Earlier the intervention, the better is the
outcome.
However, there are limitation that certain
functions may not be developed even after
successive efforts for various reasons.
Parents need and must ensure their well-being.
The resources of the parents need to be
preserved with normal routine activities.
Role strain need to be avoided by parents
(should not overburden).
Parents must pay attention to the normal
siblings of the affected children.
Family as a UNIT must work together, taking
turns, so that one person is not over stressed.
Parents need not feel guilty to experience joy
when there is child with problem.
Utmost care of caretakers must be ensured, as
their well-being can inuence directly with
the training.
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