Monessori therapy

The Montessori therapy is an educational and therapeutic system created and developed by the Italian Doctor Maria Montessori at the turning of the XX c.

The features that set this form of therapy apart from the conventional psychological and learning methods are the following:

  • The use of a specially prepared set of tools and materials, the specific rules and ways of working with this equipment;
  • The different adult attitudes towards the child as well as the different approaches to the child's development and its needs.

The main objectives of the Montessori therapy ( evident also from its system of specific tools ) are:

  • Development of rough and fine motoric;
  • Improvement of concentration and stability of attention;
  • Development of independence and sense of responsibility;
  • As a result of the latter, increase of self-confidence of the child, so that he/she would later be able to integrate with minimum problems in a wider social stratum, such as kindergarten, school, etc.

A child must gain sensorial experience in order to develop; later he/she will use this experience as important information. According to Maria Montessori, the hand is the basic organ of expression of a human's intelligence. This standpoint has led her to the working out of a system of tools - by using them the child could learn through 'taking hold of' or, as she says, the learning process should go from 'handling' ( of physical objects ) towards 'grasping' ( understanding ). In such a way the child can more easily understand abstract notions, learn about connections and features of the objects and events of reality, and the knowledge thus acquired will be more lasting. Concerning children with special needs, some stages of the process of gaining sensory experience are problematic, depending on the character and the level of the disability. For instance, children who have motor disturbances ( ICP and other neuro-muscular disturbances ), are not able to catch or reach certain objects from their environment and this leads to restriction and retardation of their intellectual development, their speech and language. They are hampered in terms of unfolding their intellectual potential because the process of 'handling in order to grasp' is disturbed. The Montessori therapy gives these children the opportunity to gain the experience they lack, to acquire different skills needed in everyday life and as a result to achieve independence, increase their self-esteem, as well as to learn to concentrate their attention.

Children with motor disturbances usually have problems too in their speech and language development, the degree of these problems being different for each case. This leads to communicative difficulties, sometimes to inability for normal communication. And the consequences are: self-isolation, apathy, provocative, even aggressive, behaviour. When treating such cases, the Montessori therapist stimulates the child's active speech, no matter how hard it is to do it, and thus enables the child to express him/herself in his/her own way. The Montessori tools offer a wide range of opportunities for enriching the patients' passive and active vocabulary, development of their abstract thinking and of intellect as a whole.

Another important problem with children with special needs is mental retardation. Due to the fact that their possibilities for contacts with the world are restricted, they cannot build the necessary amount of sensorial experience and this reflects on their development of various psychological activities. This is why the Montessori therapy with its specially designed system of tools, offers the child a 'key to the world'. In the working process the little patient should not be underestimated, and at the same time the expectations laid on him/her should not be too big. With a lot of work and patience on the part of the therapist, such children can be successfully taught to build notions, connections, associative ties, as well as to develop their memory.

In many cases the biological age of people with special needs is behind their developmental age. The Montessori therapy teaches the child how to use the utmost of his/her potential skills, being maximum self-reliable in order to integrate in a given social structure.

The Montessori therapy is an educational system of freedom - the child being delicately guided and helped by the adult ( therapist or parent ), as his/her needs are the factor that conducts the developmental process. At the same time it is an educational system which requires as much responsibility and discipline as the freedom it offers.

Chavdarov I. - ROBOT-ASSISTED THERAPY FOR GAIT TRAINING IN CEREBRAL PALSY, ALGORITHMS AND OUR 10 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE; Physical Medicine Rehabilitation Health Journal; vol.22, No.3/2023, 27p.
Chavdarov I. - REPETITIVE TRANSCRANIAL  MAGNETIC STIMULATION (RTMS) FOR CHILDREN WITH CEREBRAL PALSY; Physical Medicine Rehabilitation Health Journal; vol.22, No.3/2023, 32p.
VII - th Congress of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation with internetional participation -
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