Are you looking for an opportunity for your child to improve trunk control and reaching abilities?

A boy wearing blue glasses and a blue shirt smiling while sitting on a bench with a trunk control device wrapped around his waste
Does your child have difficulties sitting unsupported?  Is your child working on improving reaching and trunk control while seated? 

Researchers at the Center for Cerebral Palsy Research, Teachers College, and the Robotics and Rehabilitation Laboratory at Columbia University, are studying a new activity-based intensive postural and reaching control intervention for children with Cerebral Palsy, who have problems with independent sitting. Based in Manhattan, this no-cost study aims to improve upper body control and reaching abilities when seated so children can do more in their day to day lives.

A boy wearing blue glasses and a blue shirt is sitting on a bench with supports around his waste while he is reaching for a toy from a physical therapist.
What Happens During the Study?

Researchers are comparing two devices to assist with trunk control:  a robotic device called Trunk-Support-Trainer (TruST) or a static Trunk Support device. Children will be randomly assigned to either the robotic or static group. The training applies age-appropriate tasks using toys and games such as basketball, bowling, and boxing. 

Training will include:

•    12 sessions, 3 x per week for 4 weeks,1.5 - 2 hours per session at the Morningside Heights campus in Manhattan.

•    Clinical evaluations of gross motor, fine motor, and seated postural functions before the intervention begins, at the end of the intervention (4 weeks), and 3 months after the intervention has completed.

•    Training is highly individualized with flexible hours, including weekends, making it easy to fit within the school year and other duties.

Study Eligibility:
  1. Diagnosed with bilateral Cerebral Palsy

  2. Aged between 6-17 years

  3. Difficulties with sitting unsupported 

  4. Able to follow basic motor instructions (e.g. "keep your hands up" or "reach and throw the ball")

  5. If you answered YES to the above questions, your child may be eligible to participate!


•    Participation is free and all evaluations are free. 

•    Participants will be reimbursed for the costs of travel/commuting to the lab for each session upon study completion. 

•    If you live out of state, there may also be affordable housing available at the Ronald Macdonald House.

To Learn More: 

Contact the research team directly at or 212.678.3332.

The ultimate goal of this study is to improve postural control during independent sitting and to improve arm and hand function in children with bilateral Cerebral Palsy, merging motor learning-control principles with custom devices.

Andrew Gordon, PhD, Lead Investigator