Once they can be put in the upright position, trunk support is the first requirement. The difference in function with the addition of adequate trunk support is obvious. Just as obvious is that the abnormal tone in the infant on the left is “activity dependent tone” and the vest stops it, allowing the infant to explore and learn.
I am often asked if this type of support garment leads to muscle weakness. The exact opposite is true. This type of vest allows the child to strengthen in the correct position. Your therapist can limit activity dependent tone with positioning and support from the hands. The two approaches are complementary, but a support garment lasts longer.
Alignment leads to awareness in the baby and infant stages and it is just as necessary in the toddler and young child. If the hand is not in view, the brain will forget about it.
If the hand is not supported in a position of use, the child will not use it. It really is not complicated…the brain pays attention to what it sees, so our job is to facilitate use. Once the child is aware of the hand, use follows quickly.