About ACQUIRE Therapies

The Fralin Biomedical Research Institute Neuromotor Research Clinic seeks to enable children with neuromotor impairment to make large, rapid, and enduring gains in their everyday neuromotor skills. To improve the children’s abilities, our therapists use a set of rehabilitation approaches based on intensive therapeutic dosages guided by learning principles. Broadly, we call these approaches ACQUIRE therapy. ACQUIRE therapy involves a systematic shaping of brain function and motor behavior through a cycle of movement, reinforcement, repetition, and refinement. The children work diligently to make steady improvements while engaged in fun activities, games, and self-help skills. The children also help set their own goals and the therapists provide multiple supports to allow each child to realize major gains.

To ensure long-term effectiveness, our therapists work in a homelike or community setting so new skills become part of a child’s everyday routine. The therapists educate parents about ACQUIRE and develop a transition plan that engages the entire family. We measure each child’s progress using standardized assessments to ensure we monitor progress closely.

Focused Treatments

For children with hemiparesis or asymmetry between the abilities of the two sides of their body your child’s intensive burst of treatment may involve constraint of your child’s arm and hand on the side that has more mobility (your child’s more functional arm and hand). The constraint used will be a lightweight cast, specially fitted for your child. The casting procedure is designed to immobilize the functional arm and hand in order to help facilitate use of the involved arm and hand. This intensive treatment is based on previous research surrounding Pediatric Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy (P-CIMT). The ACQUIRE Therapy model began with this form of treatment. While it now extends beyond this single form of therapy, the guidelines (beyond the constraint) were originally developed in clinical trials to inform this treatment approach.

Children are eligible for treatment when the following criteria are met-

(1) Child has demonstrated significant motor impairment attributable neurological condition which presents with asymmetry between the two sides of the body;

(2) is between 2 – 21 years of age; and

(3) does not have any serious complicating conditions or acute medical concerns (seizures must be under control).

Also, based on P-CIMT, this is a P-CIMT protocol aimed at infants under two years of age.

Infants are eligible for treatment when the following criteria are met-

(1) Infant has demonstrated significant motor impairment attributable neurological condition which presents with asymmetry between the two sides of the body;

(2) is between 8 – 36 months of age; and

(3) does not have any serious complicating conditions or acute medical concerns (seizures must be under control).

Phase III multi-site randomized controlled trial in progress: https://www.nihstrokenet.org/i-acquire/home

This protocol is aimed at helping children who have more global levels of motor impairment gain increased motor function. Successive approximation for motor skills and intensive therapeutic bursts are guiding principles.

Children are eligible for treatment when the following criteria are met-

(1) Child has demonstrated significant motor impairment attributable neurological condition which presents with motor impairments that may involve all 4 extremities;

(2) is between 12 months – 21 years of age; and

(3) does not have any serious complicating conditions or acute medical concerns (seizures must be under control).

Similar, to the above we have now worked with a variety of children with diagnoses who have delays in development that often include areas beyond just motor skills. It is important to note that we have primarily focused on diagnoses that do manifest in some manner with motor delays of limitations, but we have now successfully used our learning protocols and intensive therapeutic bursts to target other domains of development (e.g., communication, appropriate social skills (reciprocal play), and processing to follow multiple step requests/activities.

Children are eligible for treatment when the following criteria are met-

(1) Child has demonstrated significant impairments or delays in multiple areas or development attributable neurological condition which presents with some motor challenges;

(2) is between 12 months- 21 years of age; and

(3) does not have any serious complicating conditions or acute medical concerns (seizures must be under control).

NATION’S FIRST CLINICAL TRIAL FOR INFANT STROKE BEGINS AT FRALIN BIOMEDICAL

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