Client background:

Tom is a 3 year old boy, born at 28 weeks. He has a diagnosis of evolving dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy, GMFCS V. Tom has a history of seizures.

Pia met Tom while teaching a therapist course about the Key to CP approach. Tom was a demo child, meaning he only spent about an hour with Pia.

Tom was not receiving direct Physical Therapy at home and he did not have any positioning equipment at the time. He was spending his days held by caregivers or on the floor.

Tom’s journey

See how doing the right thing, at the right time, in the right order helped set the stage for Tom to develop play and communication skills during an hour therapy session at Key to CP in this case study, or continue reading below.

Goals before treatment:

Family goals for Tom were to achieve better trunk and head control, to gain strength, and to achieve a level of independence.


It was quickly clear that Tom need support of his trunk in order to improve his head and trunk control for sitting and standing. At Key to CP we often use trunk orthoses to help the child gain upright control. For Tom, a TheraTogs garment was the obvious choice.

As soon as Tom was fitted with TheraTogs there was an immediate improvement in his head and trunk control. He became much more animated and was easily interacting with his parents and with me. He gained a whole new perspective of the world in just the 15 minutes it took to fit him with TheraTogs.

Tom’s parents were surprised to see the changes and they immediately ordered TheraTogs for him. They were also able to try a corner seat and a low table and Tom was happy and interactive.


What does this case teach us? If a child with poor trunk and head control is given the right trunk support, not only does their body control improve, but also their ability to interact with their environment. For Tom, TheraTogs brought his trunk muscles into mid-range alignment (where they are strongest) and the compression gave him sensory input. This tool allowed Tom to better experience his body in relation to his environment. 

It also teaches us that when children have to struggle less to maintain body control, they can focus on communication and learning more.

Tom is now able to develop communication and play skills, and he can participate in activities with his family. 

And it took less than an hour to bring about this transformation.

Doing the RIGHT thing

Adding TheraTogs and appropriate seating, and most importantly, abundant parent coaching

At the RIGHT time

Giving Tom an opportunity to PARTICIPATE and create positive neuroplastic changes during the first window of abundant brain growth and development

In the RIGHT order

Alignment, Awareness, Activation and Strength

Tom feels much more stable in TheraTogs. We have noticed lately how his head control is coming along and he is really looking up and engaging with everyone, especially his sister. He has been a lot more vocal too. And he is being much more aggressive with telling me he is hungry by sticking his tongue out.

He is so content in his new chair that I almost cannot believe it. We feel energized and grateful to have found you.Tom's mother