2.4. Saint Mary's Kids-NewYork
The mission of St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children’s Locomotor Training Program
is to improve function and reduce limitations of children with paralysis by promoting
mobility and age appropriate activities to enhance the quality of life for the child
and their family.
What is Locomotor Training?
Locomotor Training (LT) is an intensive individualized therapy program that improves
function in persons with spinal cord injury (SCI) and other neurological diagnoses.
The interventions in this program focus on sending appropriate input to the nervous
system in a systematic way so that it can learn tasks such as sitting upright, standing,
and walking. This training includes three primary components; step training in a body
weight supported treadmill system, overground assessment and community integration activities.
Goals of Locomotor
Based on our current understanding of current research of how the brain and spinal cord
learn a new skill and how stepping is controlled, patients may be able to make gains in
trunk control, functional mobility, and/or independent ambulation. Studies are currently
underway to learn the effects of LT on overall quality of life; however results from studies
in adults have shown it has strong impact on cardiovascular, respiratory and musculoskeletal
Therapists and other clinicians who are trained in Locomotor Training develop an individualized
treatment plan for each child. LT includes 90 minute session for five days a week for a minimum
of 60 sessions. Each session includes 60 minutes in a body weight supported system over a treadmill,
and 30 minutes of functional activities off of the treadmill.
Who is a Candidate?
A child who meets the following criteria:
•Has a diagnosis of Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) through traumatic injury and/or infarct, Acute Flaccid
Myelitis (AFM) or Guillain-Barré Syndrome.
•Aged 18 or younger
•Has not had tendon lengthenings or Botulinum Toxin injections within the past six months
•Can tolerate supported standing for an hour
•Is deemed medically stable by the interdisciplinary team
How Do I Get Started?
•Fill out the form below, which will be sent directly to our team
•You can also call Sonali Loboda, Project Coordinator at 718-281-8987
•Within five business days, a member of our team will reach out to you to complete a phone screening
What is the Admissions Process?
•Our admissions team will review the below in order to deem candidacy into the program:•All medical records
•Current program capacity and wait-list
If My Child is Admitted, What Should I Expect?
•A full two day evaluation is completed of each patient that is admitted into the program which involves
items both on and off of the treadmill
•The Locomotor Training Program is an intensive therapy program, and therefore will challenge your child.
They will be monitored closely and given breaks as needed, but the team’s aim is to make each and every
session as productive as possible.
•We ask that a parent or guardian stays with their child throughout the 90 minute session, five days per week