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February 18, 1961

Evaluation and Management of Motor Disturbance in Brain-Damaged Children

JAMA. 1961;175(7):588-591. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040070046010

Damage to the brain resulting from a variety of causes in prenatal and early neonatal life produces handicaps varying in degree from mild personality aberration to total physical and mental incapacity. Suspicion of brain damage is aroused when deviations from the normal progression of changing motor patterns are seen in the young infant. Specific abnormalities in motor function such as spasticity, athetosis, and ataxia may not be seen until the second year or later. A home program aimed at stimulation of motor activity and prevention of deformity can begin in early infancy even before the full extent of the child's handicap is known. When the child is more mature, a number of physical therapeutic techniques can be used in training.