SF-TOMT Guidelines provide practical guidance to the process of assessing an infant's abilities, adapting the environment to encourage infant to independently explore ways to enhance their ability to perform more complex and variable actions, and using these insights to identify learning opportunities within the family's daily routines.
SF- TOMT Guidelines are informed by the growing understanding that all infants have the ability to engage with the social and physical environment in ever more complex, variable and adaptive ways given the right opportunities and support.
SF-TOMT Guidelines take as a starting point the Task Oriented Movement Therapy principles of assessment and training.
SF-TOMT Guidelines build on insights from two strands of research and theory
The GAME approach to EI provides an evidence based set of principles to guide therapy for infants at risk for developmental delay and CP.
Solution focused coaching in pediatrics (SFC-peds) provides a theory driven approach to using parent-therapist collaboration to identify infant strengths/abilities and working together to identify goals for therapy and strategies for achieving these goals.
An important aspect of SFC-peds is the emphasis on identifying infant strengths/abilities and using these as the starting point for planning activities to enhance the infant's skills and abilities.
SFC-peds shifts clinical reasoning away from identifying problems to identifying strengths, highlighting possibilities and seeking solutions to enhance infant learning.
The SFC-peds model emphasizes the importance of therapist-child-parent/family collaboration in the process of assessment, goal identification and intervention planning.
SF-TOMT Guidelines add practical guidance for assessment with task adaptation
The GAME approach and SFC-peds model provides a set of principles to guide early intervention therapists in planning and implementing EI therapy programs. However they do not say anything about the practical aspects of assessment and selection of training activities, both of which rely on an in-depth knowledge of typical and atypical infant development and experience in designing training activities.
The SF- TOMT Guidelines fills this gap: they provides therapists with practical tools to guide assessment of the infant's progress along the different developmental pathways (supine, prone, sitting, standing, hand function, social and communication), along with ways to adapt the environment to enhance motor behavior and using these insights to identify opportunities for learning within the daily routine.
► Meeting the family and child: listen to their story, wishes for the session, goals and tasks they would like to work on.
► Observation: he infant's actions are first observed to identify abilities, strengths and difficulties and atypical movement patterns.
► Adapt the environment: trying different adaptations to the environment to encourage the infant to become more active, produce more complex and variable movements, and explore different ways of moving and interacting with the environment.
► Select: discovery of goals: parents are encouraged to use insights from observation of infant's strengths and abilities and responses to adaptations in the environment to formulate goals and select activities for practice.
► Collaborative planning, during or at the end of the session. Parents and therapist together figure out ways to incorporate learning opportunities into daily routines and dedicated practice sessions.
The SF-TOMT guidelines emphasize observation of the infant's impendent actions in different situations, allowing parents and therapist to identify the infant's present abilities and strengths and to explore how adaptations to the social and physical environment can enhance the infant's motivation, task performance and willingness to explore.
Identifying abilities and strengths encompasses all aspects of the infant's present behavior: performance of developmental tasks, motivation to move, approach/avoidance behaviors, attention, persistence, responses to events in the environment, as well as social and communication behaviors.
Observation of the infant's independent behavior, as well as their response to adaptations to the environment allows the parent and therapist to appreciate the complex nature of the infant's behavior and the many factors that influence task performance.
It also provides a starting point for discovering goals and identifying learning opportunities within the family's daily routines.
More about Task Oriented Movement Therapy