Hand-arm bimanual intensive therapy and constrained-induced movement therapy have shown evidence of effectiveness in improvement of upper extremity use in children with unilateral spastic cerebral palsy (CP). The effectiveness of interventions that are based on intensive practice of activities that combine UE and LE functions has not been reported. We propose that bimanual UE activities that simultaneously require trunk and LE postural adaptations uniquely address motor control limitations of children with unilateral spastic CP. The aim of this perspective is to present such an approach Hand Arm Bimanual Intensive Therapy Including Lower Extremities (HABIT-ILE). HABIT-ILE is unique in selection of tasks and activities that require simultaneous control and coordination of UE and LE movements. It is a motor-learning-based approach using problem solving and highly structured practice. During the intervention, activities and tasks are progressively graded toward more complex bimanual coordination for the UE and increasing demands of the LE. HABIT-ILE is provided in small groups for 90 hr using a camp model. Future research (randomized controlled trial) is needed to determine the effectiveness of HABIT-ILE.
Keywords: Cerebral palsy; gait; motor control; theoretical models.