Article Content

Jo E. Cowden and Carol C. Torrey, Charles C. Thomas Publisher, LTD, Springfield, IL, 2007, 334 pages, $53.95, ISBN: 978-0398077655/0-3980776-5-7


This second-edition book is a great resource for healthcare professionals, including nurses and therapists, as well as preschool teachers, early intervention therapists, students, and caregivers working with infants and children with motor delays. A practical approach is used for an easy adaptation of the theories discussed in the home setting. The book focuses on children ages 6 months to 6 years old, but may also be used for older children with significant motor delays.


The first three chapters discuss motor development, organization of the nervous system, and muscle tone. Another chapter reviews the implications for motor delays in several conditions including prematurity; chromosomal abnormalities; congenital infections; autistic spectrum disorders; and neurologic conditions such as spina bifida, hydrocephalus, cerebral palsy, and seizures. A team approach is used for assessment of motor delays with a review of available assessment tools and the use of tools appropriate for young children. An entire chapter is dedicated to the analysis of movement sequences, progression of balance development, and the progressive model of infant stepping movements. Early intervention for infants and preschoolers is emphasized, and key principles that can be followed in a variety of settings are discussed.


The last three chapters discuss activities that can be incorporated in the management of children with hypotonicity or delayed sensory motor development and include activities for reflex integration and manipulative activities. These chapters guide the reader in skill assessment and development of activities that are age appropriate. The glossary is an excellent comprehensive resource for students and caregivers.


The book contains many illustrations, diagrams, and examples of how to develop a comprehensive approach when working with children with motor delays. It provides caregivers with essential information for positioning, handling, and carrying children with poor muscle tone. The authors also discuss the importance of intervention strategies and developmental programs that assist children with motor delays.


This book would be an excellent resource for healthcare professionals, students, preschool teachers, early intervention therapists, and caregivers. The beginning of the book gives an excellent overview of normal motor development and conditions that often have motor delays. The authors emphasize the importance of the team approach to assessment and intervention of motor delays in children. This book also would be a good reference in the development of motor programs for older children with severe sensory-motor delays.


Reviewed by Diane Baudendistel, CNP, nurse practitioner in pediatric neurosurgery, at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH.