Faculty of Psychology, Autonomous University of Puebla, Puebla, Mexico.
Low birth weight has a negative impact on psychomotor development, specifically on motor and perceptual functions. In order to prevent this effect, neurodevelopmental diagnosis should be supplemented by an effective therapeutic system. The aim of this work was to test a program for psychomotor development based on A.R. Luria’s concept of three functional brain units or blocks and the necessity of stimulation of the first functional unit in early childhood. Stimulation of subcortical systems associated with psychomotor and cognitive regulation may help to set the basis for positive functioning of the cerebral cortex in the coming years. Vestibular exercises and proprioceptive stimulation were used. All exercises included significant communicative activity as described by Vygotsky and Lisina, which provided positive direct emotional contact between adult and child. Twenty-five babies with low birth weight were included in the study, along with their parents. After 250 days in the program, all the underweight children presented positive functional development. We conclude that positive effects of these programs for correction and psychological development may be achieved during the first year of life. The methods for sensitive diagnosis and correction should be considered by all specialists involved in topics of early development.
Keywords: low birth weight, psychomotor development, subcortical systems, joint activity, early childhood