A method of rehabilitation therapy and development training named "patterning" has been considered. The theories upon which the method is based and the findings which have stemmed from its application have both been analyzed.
It has been concluded that the data thus far advanced are insufficient to justify affirmative conclusions about the system of treatment. Consideration of the statistics of individual case reports suggest that the changes obtained may reflect normal growth and development occurring independently of the method applied, or the inadvertent consequence of social stimulation and environmental change inherent in, or resulting from, the application of almost any method. We have also noted evidence that is available that justifies questioning the theoretical premises of the method.
The problem of selecting optimal therapy for patients with brain damage and cerebral dysfunction is complicated by the finding that sensory and motor function are not affected in a uniform and consistent manner by damage to the central nervous system. Lack of understanding of the fundamental mechanisms which integrate sensory and motor activities continues to make the selection of a therapy most difficult. Until we gain a greater understanding of sensory and motor integrative mechanisms, scientific (statistically corroborated) proof is needed before "patterning" or any other method may claim sufficient universal applicability to serve as the sole therapeutic approach to one or more disturbances of intellectual and motor function.