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Neuro- Developmental Stimulation

The basis of Neuro-Developmental Stimulation (NDS) is Neuro-Developmental Therapy. Tests and exercises are based on the psychomotor development of the child and are adapted to be well-suited for use with larger groups of children.


Professionals such as speech therapists, psychologists, educators, and special educators can work with Neuro-Developmental Stimulation after successfully completing an introductory theoretical course and a follow-up practical course on Neuro-Developmental Stimulation NDS Learning through Movement at the Cortex Academy.


The program is divided into 30 weeks, but it is possible to continue the exercises for a longer period if necessary. The exercises are done every school day, for approximately 5-10 minutes (for example, before starting the regular lessons). The NDS program is suitable for entire classes, not just for children with obvious learning difficulties. It is beneficial for children who can handle schoolwork and are not recognized as having persistent primary reflexes or impaired sensory integration, but who still benefit from the exercises. If a child does not have persistent primary reflexes, it is not possible to evoke them again through exercise. However, the exercises automatically strengthen the deep stabilizing system, which is beneficial for everyone, including children without difficulties. The exercises are varied, ranging from simple head lifting to crawling and using all parts of the body at once. The exercises are done in a smooth and controlled manner.


The exercises often mimic the movement patterns of a two- to nine-month-old baby, which form the basis for all subsequent targeted movements, such as fine motor skills. Many exercises are done lying on the floor, which helps develop proper head and body posture, as this is the foundation for proper body posture in later years. The exercises improve the ability to use and distinguish the left and right sides of the body, as well as the upper and lower parts of the body (which is a basic requirement for proper coordination).


One of the most important principles of NDS is to first develop balance in children and combine inhibition of primary reflexes with improving sensory integration, and only later add additional skills.


Another important principle is that NDS utilizes the natural craniocaudal direction of development, meaning from head to toe. Without holding the head correctly, other movement patterns will not develop properly. The exercises must be done in a certain order. Once all the children can perform the exercises completely automatically, the group can move on to the next set of exercises. The exercises are practiced as precisely as possible. However, with younger children, exercises can be performed more dynamically (faster).


Each day, one exercise is usually performed for balance or propriocepcion (body awareness), followed by one exercise for primary reflexes in prone and supine positions, and the last exercise is for calming or strengthening sensory integration


However, it is important to emphasize that this program lasts approx. 30 weeks. Exercise takes approximately 10 minutes each (school) day. If exercises are not done daily, the results will not be as satisfactory.


Neuro- Developmental Stimulation is provided by professionals such as speech therapists, special educators, teachers, psychologists, physiotherapists, and others who have completed courses at Cortex Academy®. Currently (2021), more than 600 professionals have completed NDS courses. As a guarantee of the quality of the services provided, certified NDS centers have also been established. The list of certified facilities can be found on the website www.cortexacademy.cz/certifikovana-pracoviste.


Article author: PhDr. Marja Volemanová, PhD.

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