My child needs a neuro assessment. What does this cover?
Child assessment at Birkdale Neuro Rehab Centre is fun as children learn through fun
A physio assessment should cover many areas of child development. Depending on the child’s age, the first and most important point is to make the assessment fun and detailed. Children need to feel safe and happy with the environment and only then will they feel ready to explore.
To begin with we observe them arriving in to the centre, walking around and exploring, making themselves at home and familiarising themselves with the environment. This will give us an indication of their state of mind. We can then begin the assessment.
In lying, if the child allows this, we check the position of the head and trunk, pelvis and lower limbs; how they are positioned and to what degree the child has an awareness of their body. We generally use a 55 cm air cushion to lie them down on as it is fun and gives us a lot of information about their eye movements, head and trunk reactions and balance and joint sense.
- If this is not acceptable, we use two 30 cm peanut ball which may appear more fun.
- This will allow us to test how well they roll over if at all. This will tell us about the tone in the upper limbs and if it is more than lower limbs, if the lower limbs are weight less. How the child positions their limbs is important. The correct postural position and alignment prepares the child for better hand function. Similarly the correct posture will prepare the child for walking.
- Sitting on the air cushion, also enables us to check their head and trunk balance reactions, if they have forward, sideways and backward arm support.
- We observe if they can reach outside the base and if they do, how they go about this. Is the neck fixed backwards or if they hold their breath when reaching, if the tone increases more on one side or tone increases in the lower limbs.
- Can they use their eyes to track an object sideways or up and down? Do they use their eyes to counter balance their body. Can they use their eyes and recognise a ball is approaching? Can they recognise shapes, size and categorise objects according to shape, colour and size.
- In sitting to standing, we observe how they do it and on standing how do they stand? Is their weight more forward on the toes? Is one leg extended or are both legs extended and the pelvis is pulling backwards.
- On checking the balance in standing, do they fall forward or backwards or sideways? I normally use balance mat for testing balance. This is fun for the child.
- We allow the child to play, go round on hands and knees, pull up to standing and go round the room and play with different toys on different tables around. We observe how they plan their movements and how they use their motor skills.
- BY this point the child is happy and allows us to test sensation of touch pressure, vibration and weight on the body.
- We check to see how they respond to sudden sound and if they remember to reproduce the same sound.
- The assessment will provide us with the following information:
- Movements patterns
- Sensory, visual and auditory, smell
- Sense of touch, pressure, weight and vibration
- Balance, stepping reactions
- Walking pattern and feet alignment.
- Hand and eye coordination