DMI Therapy (also known as Dynamic Movement Intervention) is quickly gaining popularity as one of the hottest new therapies today for kids with motor delays and neurological disorders.
Due to the incredible results children are experiencing, DMI therapy services wait lists are rapidly growing. With that said, let’s explore…
- What DMI therapy is
- What to expect during a session
- Who offers DMI therapy
- And MORE…
This post was created to provide you with helpful resources along with the necessary information you need to know about DMI therapy. More importantly, HOW this type of intensive therapy may help a child with motor delays or a neurologic disorder thrive in their daily life.
Let’s dive in!
First, My Experience With DMI Therapy…
From prior posts, you may already know about the 501c3 nonprofit called The LENN Foundation in which my sister and I started in 2017 to help kids with cerebral palsy receive grants for intensive therapy.
We’ve worked with intensive therapists all over the country who help kids through our foundation receive this life-changing therapy called DMI therapy (Dynamic Movement Intervention therapy).
We’ve seen firsthand the AMAZING results kids with motor delays and neurological disorders have accomplished through DMI.
From taking their very FIRST steps to sitting up on their own, walking independently, and the list goes on. The boost in confidence and skills this therapy has allowed kids to receive gets me emotional as I write this post.
So let’s dive into WHAT DMI therapy is.
What Is DMI Therapy?
Dynamic Movement Intervention (DMI) Therapy is a powerful exercise technique to help children with neurological impairments or motor delays build body control through stimulation and movements.
Common conditions that experience motor delays can benefit from DMI such as:
- Brain injury
- Cerebral palsy
- Developmental delay
- Chromosomal abnormalities or genetic disorders (such as Angelman Syndrome, Down Syndrome, or Rett Syndrome)
- Global developmental delay
- Spina Bifida
Even kids who were born prematurely can benefit from this type of therapy due to the strong neuroplastic changes that this treatment stimulates within the developing brain.
How DMI Therapy Started
If you’ve gone down the rabbit hole researching intensive therapies, you may have already heard the term Cuevas MEDEK Exercises (CME).
Ramon Cuevas from Santiago, Chile created the original therapeutic protocol called Cuevas MEDEK Exercises (CME) to help children with Down Syndrome and other developmental delays. MEDEK stands for Metodo Dinamico de Estimulacion Kinesica which means Dynamic Method of Kinetic Stimulation.
Jake Kreindler and Jo-Anne Weltman have expanded on some of these methods to create DMI Therapy founded in February 2021.
DMI therapy focuses on helping babies and kids with delayed motor development. The goal of DMI is to teach a child how to move so they can be as independent as possible.
Speaking of Jake and Jo-Anne, I’ve personally had the pleasure of working with each of them through our nonprofit. They’ve also been spotlighted as a guest on my other blog, Intensive Therapy for Kids, where they’ve written wonderful content!
- “Are You And Your Child New to Physical Therapy? 8 Ideas For A Successful Mindset” by Jake Kreindler
- “Non-Invasive Hip Dysplasia Prevention in Children with Cerebral Palsy” by Jo-Anne Weltman
Definitely check these articles out, as these are filled with a TON of golden nuggets straight from the expert themselves.
The Goal Of DMI Therapy
Through a series of focused exercise movements, the therapist helps a child focus on improving their posture, strength, and overall mobility.
The goal is to progress toward developmental milestones like learning to roll, sit and stand, or walk.
The therapy is ‘intense’ due to the continuous exercise movements that are repetitive in nature. But overall, one of the main goals of DMI is to allow a child to gain the confidence and independence needed to flourish in their development.
What To Expect During A DMI Session
The therapist will assess your child to find out what they struggle with. Ultimately this helps the therapist pick out which exercises are right for them. These exercises aim to help a child gain strength, move better, and learn how to keep their posture and balance.
During a DMI session, a child will do different activities to challenge their senses and movements.
These activities are repeated about 5 times. The exercises will be done over and over until it becomes like second nature which helps with balance and functioning better. The exercises can be done on a table or on the floor depending on what the child can do.
DMI Therapy also works well with other types of therapy and therapy equipment. All these things might be used in one session to help the body line up better in order to get the best result possible.
Common equipment used during a DMI session may include:
- Big boxes
- Slotted boxes
- Small boxes
Registered DMI Therapy Practitioners
There are currently DMI therapists worldwide so chances are there may be one near you. Here are some of the top registered DMI practitioners who are considered “Masters/Teachers”:
- Jake Kreindler, Get Your Baby Moving, New York, New York (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Jo-Anne Weltman, SMILE Therapy for Kids, Toronto, Canada (email@example.com)
- Rebecca Weiss, NAPA Center, Los Angeles, CA (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Nikki Rice, NAPA Center, Boston, MA (email@example.com)
- Elizabeth Farsi, NAPA Center, Denver, CO (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Biranit Keret, Israel (email@example.com)
- Regiane Krakauer, Fisio Clinica ABC, Brazil (firstname.lastname@example.org)
There are more Masters/Teachers as well as a TON more trained DMI practitioners! To find a DMI therapist near you, click here.
How can DMI benefit my baby or child?
- Improve gross motor skills like automatic movements and how they respond to challenges
- Help with body alignment and posture control
- Increase muscle and joint range of motion with movement exercises
- Improve balance
- Teach functional movements like rolling, sitting, standing, and walking
How is DMI different from other therapies?
DMI leverages the power of neuroplasticity and really focuses to improve a child’s brain function through movement. The exercises a therapist does use gravity, different kinds of support, and other things to help children do better.
After my child completes a DMI session, is there a home exercise program?
Your therapist may give you exercises to do at home. Talk to them about how comfortable you feel doing the exercises with your child. The therapist will provide materials and help to make sure that you know how to do the exercises right. It is suggested that parents work on the exercises at home, but not everyone can do this.
How much does a DMI therapy session cost?
The cost varies and depends on the practitioner. It’s best to reach out to that therapist directly for pricing information.
Does insurance cover DMI therapy?
Sometimes you can use insurance for DMI Therapy. It depends on the clinic and the practitioner. For instance, NAPA Center clinics offer DMI Therapy and they accept insurance. Depending on who is giving it, DMI Therapy can be counted as Physical Therapy or Occupational Therapy.
To Wrap It Up
I hope you now have a better understanding of precisely what DMI therapy is. More importantly, the positive changes it can make in the life of kids with motor delays or a neurologic disorder!
As highlighted throughout, DMI therapy has been shown to produce incredible results for countless children as stories of progress continue to come forth. While wait lists are growing for these services, it’s comforting to know more and more therapists are being trained as DMI practitioners.
These unique therapeutic exercises provide success in many ways, unlocking doors to various skills that were once obstacles or barriers.
Until the next post, I’m sending all the positive parenting vibes!
Do you have anything to add or share about DMI therapy? Don’t hold back, let me know in the comments below. Your input means a lot and helps other fellow parents who read this post!
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About The Author
Linds is the proud mom of two little miracles, Mono Mono twin girls, and one AMAZING older brother! She is the founder and content creator of Mono Mono Twins, Intensive Therapy for Kids, and Co-Founder of The LENN Foundation, a 510c3 that helps children across the United States with cerebral palsy receive grants for intensive therapies to thrive. ♥
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