Current scientific research validates the use of the essential tools of online therapy - milestone charts, parent measurement, and early intervention (scientific references available on request).
1. Developmental Milestones
Major markers or points of accomplishment are referred to as developmental milestones in tracking the emergence of motor, social, cognitive and language skills in typical development. They show up in somewhat orderly steps and within fairly predictable age ranges. Milestone behaviours are those that typically developing children are likely to display at approximately the same age. A review of academic literature shows consistent reference to milestones as a valid means of measuring child development, and milestone charts are frequently used as a measuring tool. Frank Oberklaid, an eminent Melbourne paediatrician, states that although no two children develop exactly the same way, when one considers the complexity of the developmental process, there is a remarkably consistent sequence followed by most children.
2. Effectiveness of early intervention
Many studies show early detection and early intervention have been shown to be effective in cases of congenital brain injury. There is also evidence of considerable cost saving from early intervention - estimates in 1990 show that two years of intervention prior to kindergarten saves society between $30,000 and $100,000 per child. In today's economy, these savings are likely to be considerably more. Reports show that because developmental and social-emotional delays can be subtle and can occur in children who appear to be developing typically, most children who would benefit from early intervention are not identified until after they start school. Studies also demonstrate the effectiveness of early intervention following traumatic brain injury.
3. Validity of parental measurement
Numerous studies have indicated that parent-completed reports are reliable (Glascoe 2007, Bodnarchuk & Eaton 2004, Knobloch et al 1979, Squires et al, 1998).
4. Validity of family and friends as therapy assistants
Recent literature stresses the important role of caregivers in the recovery process following traumatic brain injury, and the inclusion of the family as active providers in the treatment plan. The effectiveness of a family-focused approach has also been demonstrated. A randomized controlled trial in 2005 explored the effectiveness of a clinician-delivered versus a family-supported intervention. While both clinician and family-supported intervention groups showed improvement, only those in the family-supported intervention group demonstrated both statistically and clinically significant improvements across both physical and cognitive domains.