MAES therapy Approach


The MAES therapy model has been developed by Jean-Pierre Maes following 20 years of experience working within the field of cerebral palsy (CP) and other similar neurological conditions.  The MAES therapy model is a new approach to treating children and adults with movement disorders which aims to modify the environment and focus on developing and building the skills a child / adult needs to achieve better functional outcomes.

The traditional approach

The treatment and management of neurological conditions has been around working on changing the tone and atypical patterns of movement which are seen externally as a result of the brain lesion / damage (as it see’s these external symptoms as the problem).  

This traditional approach places children in symmetrical positions for all activities to prevent deformities and contractures, but due to this they are missing out on opportunities to be asymmetrical and build on a repertoire / combinations of movements.

The difficulty lies in that we are starting to realise that the traditional approach is not having the results we expect it should be.  What we are seeing with this approach is that over time children with CP do progress and are engaging with complex tasks, however, they are not developing better means or ‘tools’ and plateau with their development. 

Occupational therapy & MAES Therapy - A new and positive way forward

Children with CP have preferred asymmetry and MAES aims to promote a range of asymmetries to build a large repertoire of movements so when they coordinate and move their body it has the skills  / larger combinations to enable them to complete tasks of higher complexities without the introduction of atypical symptoms.


Bobath Centre, (2018). The Bobath Concept. [Online]. Available at; [Accessed 01 June 2018].

J.P. Maes. (2013). Definition of cerebral palsy. MAES therapy Course handbook, Somerset (2018).

Goal Attainment Scaling (GAS)


Butterflies children's occupational therapy uses GAS as a method of scoring the extent to which children's individual goals are achieved in the course of intervention. In short the process is split into the following 5 sections:

1) Identify your goals

2) Weight the goals - Importance and difficulty

3) Define the expected outcome

4) Score the baseline

5) Review during and following intervention

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Skills for the job of life

What is occupational therapy??

The purpose of childrens occupational therapy is to support children to engage with activity. Through doing this it will have a positive impact on their independence, health and well-being. We want children to build on their skills for life which they can take them into adulthood.

Skills for life which have a positive impact on the above include (there is much more!):

  • Dressing,
  • Eating,
  • Using the toilet,
  • Following routines at school or nursery,
  • Playing with friends, 
  • Doing sports or / and being interested in hobbies.

Butterflies Children’s occupational therapy Leeds can work with children who may be having difficulties with the above which is having a negative impact on their well-being. Goal setting and 1:1 therapy is based around the child using play and children’s interests to ensure they are engaged throughout and get the most out of their time with us. 

Children's occupational therapy


Miffy and Children's occupational therapy

Miffy gives a very clear idea of how children's occupational therapy can help children to meet their full potential.

Please contact the team if you feel that your child could do with some extra support with;

  • Motor skills and fine motor skills including handwriting as well as visual perceptual skills, sensory skills and sensory difficulties.
  • Facilitating independence in self care eg. Dressing, toileting, washing and mealtimes.
  • A neurological condition which requires a Maes Therapy approach.

We are based within and around Leeds.


Occupational therapy????

What is occupational therapy?

‘Occupational therapy is a person-centred profession concerned with promoting a balanced range of occupations to enhance health and wellbeing. Occupations refer to everything people do in the course of their daily life. 

Occupational therapists believe that everyone has the right to the opportunity to fulfil their potential’ (COT, 2015).

‘Occupational therapists will spend time finding out about the child’s and family’s typical daily life and what they want, need or are expected to do. They will then work together with the child, family and other key people to evaluate what helps or hinders their involvement in daily life roles. Together, possible solutions will be developed, such as exploring alternative ways of doing things or making changes to the environment to support participation’ (COT, 2015). 


(2015) Occupational Therapy evidence – Fact Sheet: Occupational Therapy and Young People. College Of Occupational Therapists.