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For infants, children with movement disorders and motor impairment,

DMI Therapy is increasingly popular option. 

WHIPPANY, NJ (Feb. 27, 2024) – For a baby or young child with a movement disorder or motor impairment condition, modern healthcare offers multiple treatment options. One that’s rapidly gaining attention is Dynamic Movement Intervention, more commonly known as DMI. A comprehensive physiotherapy, DMI emphasizes early intervention – sometimes when a child is no more than a few weeks old.


“The younger a child is when they begin treatment, the better,” explains Dr. Tim Purcell, PT, DPT, head of the physical therapy department at Springboard Pediatric Therapy in Whippany, NJ. “I definitely wish we worked with more infants. We’ll typically have better, more rapid results when we start as early as possible.”


In broad terms, DMI is a range of therapeutic techniques, all based on dynamic exercises that aim to trigger specific motor responses in children with conditions that include brain injuries, cerebral palsy, genetically acquired disorders, and even in-utero strokes. In essence, DMI is intended to stimulate neuroplasticity, with an end goal often being for a patient to achieve enhanced postural control. In many cases, this makes sitting and even standing possible.


Somewhat counterintuitively, it’s physically easier for DMI practitioners to treat the smallest patients possible.


“When you’re working with a patient who isn’t ambulatory – either because they’re unable to walk or are an infant – you’ll rely on gravity to evoke a response,” Purcell explains. “With a baby who’s only a few weeks old, this is relatively easy because of how light they are. As a child gets older and heavier, it’s more of a challenge.”


While DMI has the greatest utility with infants and young children due to their size, DMI interventions are broad-based and can be used with older individuals as well.


For an infant’s DMI therapy session, parents often will be present. This is quite beneficial, since one aim of a DMI treatment program is providing these adults with instruction.


“Parent education is an important component of DMI,” explains Dr. Jaclyn Little, DPT, a staff therapist at Springboard Pediatric Therapy. “We help them learn how to handle and work with their child. This, in turn, makes them feel less intimidated by the process and more confident.”


Speaking of parents, they often play an integral role in their child receiving DMI therapy. Many times, they’ll learn about the treatment from other parents with children who have the same or a similar condition. It’s also quite common for a parent to learn about the benefits of DMI through their own online research.


DMI therapy has roots dating back to the 1980s. It does remain something of a niche practice, but now has practitioners around the globe. And, it has become a formalized system, with therapists who are formally certified professionals. Springboard’s two-person DMI team is highly respected, with Purcell being one of only four New Jersey-based practitioners who’ve reached Intermediate A certification. Little, with an Introductory B certification, is among New Jersey’s top 30 DMI professionals.


“Beyond how effective it is, one of the most compelling things about DMI therapy is its flexibility,” Purcell notes. “For almost everything you want to accomplish, there are multiple ways to approach it. As a physical therapist, it’s wonderful to have options.”


As is the case with many types of therapy, the goal of DMI is to improve the condition being treated, increase a patient’s confidence and level of independence, and reduce the care-giver’s burden.


“You want to talk about a powerful moment?” Little asks. “When a child is taking their very first steps and there are people gathered around cheering, crying. That’s a big thing, and interventions such as DMI therapy techniques assist children in reaching some of those milestones even faster.”


About Springboard Pediatric Therapy

Based in the Morristown, NJ area, Springboard Pediatric Therapy utilizes individualized, evidence-based, outcomes-oriented treatment plans – combined with parent- and patient-advocacy – to address a wide range of developmental, social-emotional, physical, feeding, and language concerns. Additional information is available by calling 973-971-0770 or visiting

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