The Medek method was invented in Chile by Ramon Cuevas, a physiotherapist in 1971. He became responsible for the reorganization of physiotherapy within the Venezuelan Association of Parents and Friends of Exceptional Children, and worked on an approach to CME physiotherapy. In 1976, he presented a report entitled Dinamico d'Estimulacion Metodo Motriz (MEDEM), which became three years after MEDEK (dynamic method of kinaesthetic stimulation), then in 1999, CME (Cuevas Medek Exercises).
Main objectives of the method
The method is based, like many others, on the possibilities related to brain plasticity. For Ramon Cuevas, the brain can reshape itself if it is provided with the right learning conditions.
The objective is to cause the appearance of automatic motor functions absent from the brain, to expose the child to the natural influence of gravity to cause antigravity control, to mobilize the specific joints. The child is put in a position to perform movements that he or she cannot perform by himself or herself in order to achieve the fastest possible functional improvement.
Specificities of the method
It is a method that does not depend on the child's motivation or cooperation, so it can be used from an early age and even if the child does not respond to instructions or has difficulties such as vision or communication disorders, does not respond to instructions....
The method is practiced both in the form of intensive therapy sessions with a practitioner and with parents on a daily basis at home.
Following an evaluation that defines short-term objectives, an intensive program is defined (usually with 8 to 9 exercises to be repeated for 20 to 45 minutes each day for 2 months).
Each exercise corresponds to the child's level of motor development and awaits his "active response" to cause the appearance of automatic motor functions absent from the brain:
The child is constantly active. Each exercise consists of a request from the therapist that generates an active motor response from the child.
The method uses very precise equipment and the therapist uses it to induce very active maintenance during the session
The therapist seeks to stimulate postural abilities and movement control.
He repeats the exercises until the brain's reaction becomes automatic
The child is exposed to the natural influence of gravity:
The therapist seeks to induce an absent anti-gravity check by keeping the child as low as possible on his body. The child is gradually exposed to gravity. The aim is to compensate for the absence of motor reactions that are normally automatic.
The method does not necessarily respect the child's developmental stages (e.g., standing up even if the child cannot do it alone)
The therapy is not based on learning by oral instructions
The therapist never gives the child specific instructions such as "sit up straight", "push your leg". Children are placed in a position where their natural recovery instincts are put into effect and the child can then complete an action in his or her own way.
Particularly relevant for some children: for example, cases of intellectual disability, visual impairment, not interested in games....
Who is this method for ?
The method is intended for children with cerebral palsy, hemiplegia or hemiplegia, who have motor acquisition delays.
This method is ideal for children who cannot follow oral instructions.
What parents say about it
This is one of the most common complementary methods used by families.
"The exercises are not violent but intense. To do it right, you need to do two 45-minute sessions a day, six days a week. It is the repetition that allows the child to create cerebral connections, allowing him/her to improve his/her motor development. I decided to start this method for Youna, because I would like to test everything that exists to help her acquire walking. After the check-up, the physiotherapist tells us that she has the motor development of a 5.5-month-old child. For 2 months, we carried out the ten exercises planned and went back to see the specialist in April. Youna now has 7.75 months of motor development." Youna's mother
A very technical method:
"Forcing the child to become aware of his body", "making the child feel gravity when he doesn't perceive it"
"The child is put in a situation to get motor responses"
"The material is designed for very specific purposes and very specific technical gestures but very affordable to parents to learn"
"There is a lack of explanation and pedagogy, Medek therapists specialize in neuro-motor disability and have provided me with a lot of explanations and advice."
An intensive method, which pushes the child:
"We were told all the time: "You have to take it easy" "at your own pace" "don't rush the steps" but we were convinced that he could do a lot more."
"In the classic method, if the child is reluctant, we stop, with Medek he is put in a situation of difficulty but not of failure"
"We should stop talking to us about our children's "fatigability" and look at what they are able to do, individually."
"Apprehension to try but progress appeared within the first few days and despite the difficulties my daughter was asking to go back"
"Sometimes difficult, the child may cry, but the child is usually demanding."
"Filipino was not receptive to solicitation through play with the physiotherapist, not interested in what was being offered to her."
"Whatever the level of participation of the child (reaction to the instruction, reaction to solicitation, to play...), Medek will work"
Few studies have been carried out on this method.
To know more about the topic
Testimonials from parents and physiotherapists on the method:
Any remarks or comments ?
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