Recruiting Now! NEW TRIAL for babies 8-24 months who have difficulties with sitting, getting in and out of sitting, or reaching!

Do you live in Greater Recruiting in Southern California, Seattle, Omaha, and Richmond, VA and surrounding areas. New Research Study Targeting Sitting and Reaching in Babies with Delayed Motor Skills. With the image of a black baby girl sitting and a white baby boy sitting and playing with blocks.

Does your baby have motor delays?

Researchers are looking for babies with motor delays and their families to participate in a NIH funded research project to evaluate possible benefits of two different interventions:

1) Sitting Together And Reaching To Play (START-Play), which targets sitting, reaching, and motor-based problem-solving. 


2) Movement, Orientation, Repetition, and Exercise-Physical Therapy” (MORE-PT), which targets motor milestones, movement patterns, and preventing impairments.

The goals of this research are to understand:

  • How do babies with motor delays learn to sit, reach for toys, play with toys and develop thinking skills?
  • How does the START-Play intervention compare to the MORE-PT intervention in influencing motor and thinking skills in babies with motor delays?
A little baby is sitting on the floor playing with a rainbow colored balloon with his mom, dad and a physical therapist sitting around him smiling and encouraging him.
  • Your baby must be 8 to 24 months old — adjusted for prematurity, if applicable.
  • A diagnosis of cerebral palsy or a motor delay and impairment in muscle tone, posture or active movement.
  • Your baby must be learning to sit; sitting for at least three seconds (with legs in front of them, with or without using hand support) but not able to get into sitting without help.
  • Must live in or have the ability to travel to Greater Los Angeles/Southern California, Seattle, Washington,  Omaha, Nebraska or Richmond, Virginia.*

* If you live outside of one of these areas and would like to participate you must have the ability to be at one of the sites 2 days per week for 12 weeks of intervention AND attend 4 assessment visits after the intervention is over. 

What Will Happen During the Study?

Assessment: Trained assessors would come to your home 5 times over 1 year and assess your baby’s thinking, toy play, language, motor skill, and problem-solving ability. 

Intervention: Your baby will be randomly assigned to either the MORE-PT or the START-Play group. 

  • Both groups will receive 24 sessions of physical therapy delivered by the research team.
  • A therapist will visit your home twice weekly for 3 months.
  • During these visits, therapist and families will work together to provide intensive, individualized daily activities.
  • You will be provided with activities and suggestions to practice with your child daily with the goal of improving sitting, reaching and global development. 
  • Your child can continue all their regular services. 

Your participation in the study and any information would be confidential and you are free to withdraw from the study at any point. 

Compensation and Potential Benefits of Participation
  • Each participant will receive $100 for fully participating in the study, provided in increments of $20 for each assessment session.
  • A toy will also be provided to enrolled children at each assessment visit.
  • The intervention participants receive as part of this study will be in addition to the services they normally receive.
  • Participants may see improvements in motor skills and learning.
  • Participants will have access to child development specialists during five regular assessments over one year.
  • Participants have the option for visits in the comfort of their home. 

Interested in Participating? Call Dr. Stacey Dusing at  323-442-0191 or email at

Learn More About This Study

“Young children, including those with motor impairments like cerebral palsy, learn through interaction with objects, people, and the environment around them."

Stacey Dusing, PhD, PT, PCS