Dadkhah, A., University of Welfare and Rehabilitation, Iran
Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a relatively common condition, one would in most Western countries count on an incidence of about 1-2 per 1,000 infants born alive. For Portugal, this would correspond to a total prevalence of some 7,000- 10,000 individuals. A high proportion of children with CP receives care within the non-governmental organisations, many of these based on family initiatives and leadership. Treatment usually starts early in life and is provided over several years. There is no doubt a lack of competent, specialised personnel in the world to look after all the needs of persons with CP. For the specific therapies there are several techniques available, based on the application of neuro-physiological research and on experience of the outcome of practice. A large body of research indicates that the active and daily participation by the family is of great importance for reaching an optimal result. The course will introduce a very successful technique that has been practiced and developed in Japan for some 60 years: the Dohsa. Because of its origins in Japan and the language difficulties, it is relatively little known outside East Asia. It is built on an effort to combine physical training with psychological stimulation, aimed at improving the body image and self-confidence. Parents are trained and supervised by technical personnel so they will be able to actively take part in the treatment Dr Helander, formerly the Chef Medical Officer for Rehabilitation at WHO in Geneva was very impressed by the results of the Dohsa technique.