Goal directed training

Helping you achieve goals that matter to you
Working towards a goal that is important to you – whether that is learning how to pack your school bag or riding a bike – makes therapy more fun, engaging and effective.

Goal Directed Training (GDT) is Cerebral Palsy Alliance’s therapy approach to improving daily life independence and overall functional performance.  It is activity-based, where the individual chooses a goal that is important and meaningful to them. They then learn and practice the movements needed to successfully achieve that goal:

  • For a baby, a goal may be learning to roll from their back to their tummy in order to reach a toy during play
  • For a pre-schooler, a goal may be learning to dress and undress independently
  • For an older child or adult, a goal may be learning to safely use a knife to cut food for a meal

GDT is more than about achieving goals – it is about supporting children and adults to do everyday activities alongside their peers and build on their feelings of inclusion and community.

What goal do you want to achieve?

Contact us to learn more about how Goal Directed Training can help you reach your goals.

Mum Iman

“Yaqoub just keeps reaching his goals. If you’d asked me a year ago before we started therapy what my hopes were for Yaqoub, I’d have said to walk and be an independent child. But he reached those goals so quickly and easily.
“(with support from CPA) I feel more confident, I know what I’m doing, how to communicate with Yaqoub and teach him.”

How does Goal Directed Training work?

Goal Directed Training uses an active training-based approach and can be delivered over several weeks or months. This will depend on your goals and abilities.

Our multi-disciplinary team of physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech pathologists and exercise physiologists will work with you to set specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely (SMART) goals. For GDT to be successful, it is important that:

  • Goals are important and relevant – something you want to be able to do
  • Movements needed to achieve the goal are generated by you – you come up with the best way to do the movement
  • Movements are practised in real-life activities that are enjoyable and rewarding – this is important as it encourages regular practice
  • Practice is high intensity – lots of repetition within a defined period of time

Specific feedback and environmental or task adaptations are provided to help the person achieve the best way to do the task themselves.

Importance of practice – and teamwork

Research shows that we need to practise a task many times to be proficient and confident. It is important that tasks and activities related to a goal are practised in everyday settings. These are places and spaces where you or your child are going to usually do the task. When Goal Directed Training is used as an intervention with children, a therapist will provide coaching to the family to help the child practice their task at home. Parents, family members and other supporters will be asked to help a child to get the right amount of practice.

In summary: 4 essentials of GDT approach

Part 1: Choose a goal (what to work towards)

Part 2: Assessment (understand what the child can do)

Part 3: Intervention (practice the task to get better at it)

Part 4: Evaluation (measure what has changed)

More information

What goal do you want to achieve?

Contact us to learn more about how Goal Directed Training can help you reach your goals.

Meet Yaqoub - the problem solving toddler reaching goals quickly

“He’s coming up to his second birthday which is really emotional for me, thinking back to when he was born and how far he’s come.” Iman, Yaqoub’s mum

Meet Claire

Claire is a physio who empowers clients to push beyond expectations.

“Leaps and bounds” – new therapy makes a huge difference for Wollongong clients 

A few weeks ago, two-year-old Harvey had never eaten a biscuit or enjoyed a lollypop. Two-thirds of kids with cerebral palsy experience dysphagia – a condition which can make swallowing and chewing safely difficult. 

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