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The Chailey approach to postural management. Pountney TE, Mulcahy CM, Clarke SM, Green EM. (Pp 157, spiral bound, £25.00) Active Design Ltd. ISBN 09538262 0 1.
When teaching about children with neurological disability or when advising their parents or when, wearing an editorial hat, advising on publishability, the feedback I receive consistently includes requests for information on personal practice and “how to do it”. Responding usefully to these requests is challenging.
What a pleasure it has been therefore to have made available to me for review, the Chailey approach to postural management.
Chailey Heritage Clinical Services is an NHS provision that works in conjunction with the independent Chailey Heritage School. The authors of this manual are a physiotherapist, two occupational therapists, and a consultant in paediatric rehabilitation. They have taken as their remit to provide an explanation of the theoretical aspects of posture management and thereafter its practical application through treatment and equipment. Active Design Ltd, the publisher of this manual, develops and manufactures the equipment detailed in this publication. What is provided within it are sections describing posture; a detailed exposition of assessment based upon the Chailey levels of ability; a good section on the relevant knowledge base, including discussion on subjects as diverse as biomechanics and motor learning theory; and helpful descriptions of assessment and putting theory into practice.
Having read through the volume as a textbook I consider that I have acquired some useful understanding of postural management.
This, however, is not the book's main strength. Rather, it has been prepared and bound as a bench manual and its whole approach is one of practical instruction. Within that context, I have no doubt that it would be most useful as an accompaniment to attending a series of workshops and practical demonstrations given by the authors. Used in its own right as a training manual, I have major doubts that the very directing pedagogic style might limit the attentional capacity of readers, the majority of whom are likely to be therapists with significant experience in this field.
I nevertheless recommend this manual as one that should be both available and used in centres offering multidisciplinary services for children with disabilities.
It would be nice to believe also that future editions of this and similar volumes would be able to illustrate more sophisticated technology than is usually available for children with disabilities.