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Continuing Education

What is Neuro-Developmental Treatment (NDT)?

A nurse helping patients to improve their functional activities

Definition of the Neuro-Developmental Treatment Approach

NDT is a holistic and interdisciplinary clinical practice model informed by current and evolving research that emphasizes individualized therapeutic handling based on movement analysis for habilitation and rehabilitation of individuals with neurological pathophysiology. Using the ICF model, the therapist applies a problem-solving approach to assess activity and participation to identify and prioritize relevant integrities and impairments as a basis for the establishment of achievable outcomes with clients and caregivers. An in-depth understanding of typical and atypical development, and expertise in analysis of postural control, movement, activity, and participation throughout the lifespan, form the basis for examination, evaluation, and intervention. Therapeutic handling, used during evaluation and intervention, consists of a dynamic reciprocal interaction between the client and therapist for activation of optimal sensorimotor processing, task performance, and skill acquisition for achievement of participation in meaningful activities.


Instructors Group of the NDTA.  (2016, May 27).  The NDT/Bobath Neuro-Developmental Treatment Definition 


Additional Information:

Neuro-Developmental Treatment is a hands-on treatment approach used by physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists. The approach was developed to enhance the function of adults and children who have difficulties in controlling movement resulting from neurological challenges such as stroke and head injury.


NDT Trained therapists have completed advanced training in NDT to enable them to assess and treat the neuro-motor problems experienced by these individuals, helping them to become as functional and independent as possible. The NDT-trained therapist works collaboratively with the individual, his or her family and caregivers, physicians, and other members of the rehab team to develop and implement a comprehensive treatment program for each person based on scientific principles and current research.


Training in the NDT approach is provided by NDTA certified Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Speech-Language Pathologist Instructors.  Each NDTA Approved Course is directed and managed by an NDTA Certified Coordinator Instructor.


The Neuro-Developmental Treatment Association (NDTA) furthers the development of this unique approach by supporting and providing continuing education, providing educational services to the community, supporting clinical research and promoting client and family advocacy.


For more information or to join the NDTA:


Do you have questions about NDT?

Neuro-Developmental Treatment (NDT):

  • Has been used to refer to  Neuro-Developmental Treatment since at least 1983
  • Is a continuation and advancement of the treatment approach originally  developed by Karel and Berta Bobath in 1943
  • Is also commonly known as “The Bobath Approach” or “The  Neuro-Developmental Treatment Approach”
  • Is the most widely used treatment in North America for children and adults with cerebral palsy and for adults with hemiplegia following stroke
  • Is the therapy approach sanctioned by the Neuro-Developmental Treatment Association (NDTA), which has been in existence since the mid-1970s and was registered in 1977 as an association of physical, occupational, and speech-language therapists who practice Neuro-Developmental Treatment.
  • Is definitively explained in the 2016 book, Neuro-Developmental Treatment: A Guide to NDT Clinical Practiceedited by Judith C. Bierman, Mary Rose Franjoine, Catherine M. Hazzard, and published by Thieme.

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