Early Detection and Early Intervention in Developmental Motor Disorders

From Neuroscience to Participation

Product Type: Print Edition (Complete Book)

ISBN: 9781911612438

Series: Clinics in Developmental Medicine

Edition: 1st

Publication date: March 2021

Page count: 288

Buy now from Mac Keith Press


You can download chapters or sections from this book

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 (Editor)

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.




  • Author Appointments
  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • 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
  • Index

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

-Video Book Reviews-

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).