The First Steps Method
Our Children’s Program provides specific, intensive, activity-based therapy programming for children with neurological conditions or acquired brain injuries that have created any developmental delays. Our program is designed to work with the child as a whole to improve motor planning, body awareness, independence, and quality of life.
The goal of our Children’s Program is to eliminate pathological reflexes and establish new, correct, and functional movement pathways. We have combined highly reputable programs to take a new approach on how to create changes in the body that are associated with brain injury, trauma, and developmental delays. The TheraSuit Method®, MNRI®, FES, and activity-based therapy are shown in research to be the most effective and time worthy approaches for providing muscular and neurological retraining. By combining the above therapies, the child is provided with the best possible resources to succeed with motor and sensory functioning such as coordination, balance, strength, and endurance to create functional movements.
Therasuit Method® targets overall body alignment, strength, and coordination while improving the motor and sensory feedback received by the body.
Masgutova Neurosensorimotor Reflex Integration (MNRI)® is a method directed towards developing the neurosensorimotor system by integrating primitive motor reflexes. Primitive reflexes create the foundation for human movement and survival. When the central nervous system, sensory system, or motor system is compromised, the ability to produce movement is hindered. By integrating these reflexes, the body can gain the ability to move in a more efficient and effective way.
Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) is used to activate deconditioned or paralyzed muscle groups. By using this safe, low-current electrical stimulation, it can assist in creating functional movement. This is a method used in a wide range of therapeutic indications.
Activity-based therapy is used to target the activation of the nervous system to promote recovery and rehabilitation of motor function for specific tasks after a traumatic injury.
Everyone is born with pre-programmed reflexes that help strengthen and train our bodies to be able to perform movement patterns against gravity. Due to differences in severity of injury, children with neurological conditions will experience varying degrees of difficulty progressing through developmental stages due to disruption of these reflex pathways.
Our program has the goal of providing intensive and directed therapy to help accelerate and guide the child’s development in the direction that it would naturally take. The combination of programs allows the body to reach a functional goal and produce a movement correctly in a shorter amount of time (4-12 weeks) than when compared to traditional therapy (12 months).
- Re-trains central nervous system
- Provides external feedback and stabilization
- Normalizes muscle tone
- Aligns the body to as close to normal as possible
- Provides dynamic correction
- Assists in proper gait patterning
- Provides tactile stimulation
- Influences the vestibular system
- Improves balance
- Improves coordination
- Decreases uncontrolled movements
- Improves body and spatial awareness
- Targets weak muscles
- Provides resistance to strong muscles to further enhance strengthening
- Improves head control and trunk control
- Promotes development of both fine and gross motor skills
- Provides load bearing for bone health
First Steps Wellness Centre (FSWC) is a non-profit organization with charitable status. We opened our doors in 2010 and have become the leading facility in Canada for spinal cord injury and neurorehabilitation. We provide innovative activity-based therapy (ABT) for people with spinal cord injuries and associated disorders.