Hans-Werner Hunziker

CI Therapy for Learning Disabilities

The principle of the Constraint Induced Therapy is the following:

If a task can be done in more than one way, people tend to use the easiest way and neglect other approaches.

A person who had a stroke will use her strong arm and thereby learn to do everything without the weak arm. In addition to the disability provoked by the stroke she will learn the "nonuse" of her weak arm - just the opposite of what she should learn.
This is where CI therapy comes in.
"Constraint induced" therapy "constrains" the good arm in a sling for some weeks so the patient is forced to use her weak arm. By this she overcomes the "learned nonuse".
Research suggests that 50-75% of all stroke patients can reach a substantial improvement.

Constraint Induced Therapy means forcing the patient to do things the hard way in order to retrain her brain.

What does this mean for the training of Learning Disabilities (LD)?
Just doing everything "the hard way" will not help - you must train you "weak arm".
If you have difficulties in reading (Dyslexia) or with calculations (Dyscalculia) it can mean that some of your brain regions are underdeveloped like in the example of the person with a stroke.
You might have "a strong arm and a weak arm" - like being good at seeing the overall form of a word, but not the single letters (or just the other way around).
How can you train your brain? How can you put "your strong arm in a sling "?

Find out which is your weak arm:
From a series of tasks (which are devised to ask for specific skills) find out which are the most difficult for you. Then concentrate on training just these tasks.

The CD-ROMs EAGLE-EYE (visual perception)and SUPER-OWL (auditory perception) contain each 30 games at two difficulty levels which have been devised especially to find out the "weak arm" of a person.
You can find information on these CD-ROMs at HUNZIKER MULTIMEDIA


References:

Liepert, J., Miltner, W., Bauder, H., Sommer, M., Dettmers, C. & Taub, E. (1998). Motor cortex plasticity during Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy in stroke patients. Neuroscience Letters, 250, 5-8.
Miltner, W.H.R., Bauder, H., Sommer, M., Dettmers, C. &Taub, E. (1999). Effects of Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy on patients with chronic motor deficits after stroke: a replication. Stroke, 30, 586-592.
Taub, E. (1977). Movement in nonhuman primates deprived of somatosensory feedback. Exercise and Sports sciences Review, 4, 335-374.
Taub, E. (1980). Somatosensory deafferentation research with monkeys Implications for rehabilitation medicine. In L.P. Ince (Ed.), Behavioral psychology in rehabilitation medicine: Clinical applications, (pp. 371-401). New York: Williams & Wilkins
Taub, E., Crago, J. E. & Uswatte, G. (1998). Constraint-Indiuced Movement Therapy: a new approach to treatment in physical rehabilitation. Rehabil Psychol., 43, 152-170.
Taub, E., Pidikiti, R.D., DeLuca, S.C. & Crago, J.E. (1996). Effects of motor restriction of an unimpaired upper extremity and training on improving functional tasks and altering brain behaviors. InJ.F. Toole & D.C. Good (Eds.), Imaging in Neurologic Rehabilitation, (pp. 133-154). New York: Demos Vermande.
Taub, E., Miller, N.E., Novack, T.A., Cook, E.W., Fleming, W.D., Nepomuceno, C.S., Connell, J.S., & Crago, J.E. (1993). Technique to improve chronic motor deficit after stroke. Archives of Physical Medicine ad Rehabilitation, 74, 347-354.
Duncan, P. W. (1997). Synthesis of intervention trials to improve motor recovery following stroke. Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation, 3(1), 1-20.

How to cite this article:
Hunziker, Hans-Werner (2000), CI Therapy for Learning Disabilities,published on November 19,2000,
retrieved on "current date" from the World Wide Web at
http://www.learning-systems.ch/multimedia/theory01e.htm

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