Early-detection-and-early-intervention-in-developmental disorders

Subject: Cerebral Palsy and Other Motor Disorders

Series: Clinics in Developmental Medicine

Publication date: 03/03/2021

ISBN: 9781911612438

Edition: 1st

Pages: 288 pages

Early Detection and Early Intervention in Developmental Motor Disorders

From Neuroscience to Participation

Mijna Hadders-Algra (Editor)

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Critically ill infants in the newborn period are at high risk of developmental motor disorders. Mijna Hadders-Algra comprehensively addresses how best to detect which infants will be later diagnosed and how best to enact early intervention to improve their quality of life. Parts I & II provide an overview of the clinical picture and neurodevelopmental mechanisms. In Parts III & IV basic principles and features governing typical and atypical motor development are explained. Part V summarises assessment methods and Part VI discusses the methods and effectiveness of early intervention.

  • Provides practical clinical strategies to improve care of children with or at risk of developmental motor disorders (such as cerebral palsy or developmental co-ordination disorder).
  • Pays special attention to the family and environmental adaptations.
  • Video-clips illustrate typical and atypical movements.
  • Consistent use of the ICF as a framework.

From the Foreword

“The combination of theoretical and practical information with some really philosophical insights provide value for clinicians and for those wanting to teach and expand the evidence base in this area for the future.”

Anna Basu

Clinical Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant Paediatric Neurologist,

Population Health Sciences Institute, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK


This evidence-based practical guidance will be useful for health professionals working in the field of early detection and early intervention including paediatricians, developmental paediatricians, neonatologists, child neurologists, paediatric physiotherapists, occupational therapists, psychologists and educationalists.

Clinics in Developmental Medicine

Mijna Hadders-Algra

Mijna Hadders-Algra (1956; MD, PhD) is professor of Developmental Neurology.  Her research focuses on 1) early detection of developmental disabilities, 2) early intervention, 3) significance of minor neurological dysfunction (MND) in children with DCD, learning- and behavioural disorders, 4) pathophysiology of motor impairment in children with cerebral palsy or DCD.  She is (co)author of >250 papers in peer-reviewed international journals and invited author of many chapters in handbooks in the field of developmental paediatrics. She frequently lectures and teaches across the world.

Other books by Hadders Algra

Author Appointments


1 Introduction
Mijna Hadders-Algra

2 Early Diagnosis and Early Intervention in the Clinic
Leena Haataji


3 Neurodevelopmental Mechanisms in Early Life
Mijna Hadders-Algra


4 Sensory, Language, Cognitive and Socio-Economic Development
Hayley C Leonard

5 Motor Development During Foetal Life and Early Infancy
Mijna Hadders-Algra

6 Motor Development Between 3 Months and 2 Years
Mijna Hadders-Algra


7 Atypical Motor Development of the Foetus and Young Infant
Mijna Hadders-Algra

8 Atypical Motor Development Between 3 Months and 2 Years
Mijna Hadders-Algra and Lindsay Pennington


9 Psychometric Properties of Standardized Tests
Barbara Sargent

10 Assessments in the Neonatal Period and Early Infancy
Alicia Jane Spittle and Mijna Hadders-Algra

11 Assessment of Infants and Toddlers
Annette Majnemer, Laurie Snider and Mijna Hadders-Algra


12 Early Intervention: What About the Family?
Peter Rosenbaum, Monika Novak-Pavlic, Schirin Akhbari Ziegler and Mijna Hadders-Algra

13 Early Intervention in the Neonatal Period
Mijna Hadders-Algra

14 Early Intervention in the First 2 Years Post-Term
Mijna Hadders-Algra

15 Environmental Adaptations
Gunilla Thunberg, Roslyn Livingstone, Margaret Buchholz and Debra Field

16 Concluding Remarks
Mijna Hadders-Algra


This is a thorough guide to how best to approach early detection of and early
intervention for developmental motor disorders. The focus is on the first 1,000
days, from the prenatal period to age 2, during which children's brains undergo
rapid, dynamic changes. It guides readers through typical and atypical motor
development with plenty of images and videos as examples. It also includes
assessment tools for clinicians and discusses methods of intervention.

The purpose is to provide a guide to the recent advances in the early detection
of and intervention for developmental motor disorders. Recently, there has been
a stronger emphasis on identifying infants that will go on to have
developmental disorders as early as possible, so that the proper therapies can
be started. In clinical practice, this can be difficult. This book aims to
teach practitioners tools for evaluating infants at risk for such disorders.

The main audience is practitioners who work with high-risk infants, in both the
inpatient and outpatient community setting. Pediatricians, neonatologists, and
neurologists, as well as therapists and those working in the neurodisability
field, will find this book useful. It is edited by a well-known expert in
developmental neurology, with contributions by professionals from various
fields including scientists, therapists, and physicians. The diversity of
specialties is evident and adds to the completeness of the presentation.

An introduction to the current clinical practices of early detection begins the
book, which gives an overview of developmental motor disorders and the evidence
that supports the importance of early detection. Part 2 is an overview of the
neuroscience of development, which helps provide important context. Subsequent
chapters go into detail about typical and atypical development, with an
emphasis on motor development, although other aspects are also briefly covered.
Plenty of images and associated videos online give visual examples of what is
being described. The book then discusses several standardized and
evidence-based formal assessment tools that practitioners can use to evaluate
infants. It also critically reviews them to help readers find the most
appropriate tool for their practice. The last part dives into early
intervention, using a multidisciplinary approach. It describes various programs
and specific interventions to address individual issues, weaving in the role of
family and the environment.

As more evidence is released that proves the importance of early detection of
infants at high risk for developmental motor disorders, there is also a need
for a comprehensive guide for clinicians to turn to. This book is special in
the sense that it is dedicated to its cause of improving access to early
intervention, and thoroughly guides readers from the neuroscience of
development through clinical assessments and practical applications. The
strength of this book is in its in-depth discussion of typical and atypical
development, with images and videos as examples. This and the discussion of
assessment tools make this book truly unique and a valuable asset to all who
care for infants.

Melanie Ortiz, MD(Nemours duPont Pediatrics)

Anna Basu interviews Mijna Hadders-Algra

In this podcast, Anna Basu interviews Mijna Hadders-Algra about their newest publication, Early Detection and Early Intervention in Developmental Motor Disorders (March 2021).

Few people would argue against the principle of early detection and early intervention to support infants with developmental motor disorders. Many are unaware of the fine print details about how to do this well, including what is known and the many unknowns. Finally, here is a book which can help!

This book focuses on enhancing and using our understanding of typical and atypical neurodevelopment in the first 1000 days to guide early assessment and early intervention in infants with developmental motor disorders. The remit, though broad and challenging, is met through having contributors with expertise in paediatric and occupational therapy, developmental neurology, paediatrics, psychology, and speech and language therapy.

The book is divided into six sections. The introduction includes key definitions and a case study to set the scene. The section on developmental neurology delves into the basic neuroscience underpinning our understanding of how neuroplasticity shapes motor development. Typical development is then covered, with a focus on motor development but also covering sensory, language, cognitive and socio-emotional domains. The next section predominantly covers atypical motor development. This is followed by an overview of the various assessments of neuromotor conditions in the early years, including a very useful chapter explaining the psychometric properties of standardised tests. The final section, on early intervention, is the raison d’être of all the preceding work. This provides a very honest appraisal of practice based on our current state of knowledge and highlights remaining questions which should be addressed with some urgency. The emphasis is family-centred and forward-thinking, critically appraising therapy approaches and embracing the use of technology to help expand the child’s access to the world.

The book is accompanied by videos, which are so clearly the best way to illustrate typical and atypical movements. The summary points at the start of each chapter are also valuable. However, what makes this book special to me is the personal touch – the broader reflections on disability, and the impact on the self-image of being viewed as a “medical case” requiring interventions. There is still much work to be done to challenge our views and assumptions about neurodiversity.

I would recommend this book to all those working with children with developmental disorders and their families and to those wanting to contribute to the evidence base in this field.

I’m going to end with a confession: this is not the first time I have reviewed this book, as evidenced by the authorship of the foreword. Please take this as a sign of a book worth reading more than once!

Anna Basu Director, EI SMART March 2021

Early Detection and Early Intervention in Developmental Motor Disorders chapter 1 (free ebook) - £0