TST Research history

Overall available physiotherapy, medical and psycological research papers show:

  1. Children with neurological problems are likely to have abnormal breathing.
  2. Breathing affects body structure so that abnormal body structure also be related to abnormal breathing.
  3. Breathing muscles are used as postural muscles therefore weaker posture (including sitting with round shoulders) is a consequence of weaker breathing.
  4. Breathing muscles are used for speech so that most speech problems also involve breathing abnormalities.
  5. Breathing affects blood circulation including blood supply to the brain.
  6. Breathing can be affected by stressful events occurring before or after birth.

In addition, it is noteworthy the theoretical basis for the Scotson Technique (TST) and the studies investigating its value for disabled children have been taken from Ms Scotson’s PhD thesis which was accepted for a postgraduate MPhil/PhD submission by the Institute of Child Health University College London

Linda Scotson’s Viva is planned for the late autumn. Meanwhile Ms Scotson is working on 2 further papers and a Medical Research Council Grant to statistically investigate the effects of TST on disabled children with a view to the approach also being incorporated into mainstream NHS physiotherapy therapy.

Bradford University completed a 3 year MPhil study titled, “An Exploratory study to establish a theoretical base for the Scotson Technique and investigate any potential effects,” by chartered  physiotherapist Rachel Sharples (Unpublished, 2005) View Report Here

Some further research is listed below:

Cerebral palsy

Differences of respiratory function according to level of the gross motor function classification system in children with cerebral palsy.

Differences of the Truncal Expansion and Respiratory Function between Children with Spastic Diplegic and Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy.

Abnormal breathing in cerebral palsy

Hardy (1964) No Abstract

Berg & Bejune  (1970) No Abstract

Effects of respiratory exercises on the vital capacity and forced expiratory volume in children with cerebral palsy.

Rothman (1978)

Abnormal speech breathing and CP

Blumberg (1995) No Abstract

Redstone (1991) No Abstract

Pulmonary and chest wall mechanics in the control of respiration in the newborn.

Davis & Bureau (1987)

Abnormal breathing and respiratory infections and CP

Respiratory problems in children with neurological impairment.

Seddon & Khan (2003)

Respiratory problems in the adolescent with developmental delay.

Toder (2000)

Abnormal breathing and co-ordinates swallowing and CP

Ventilation and swallowing interactions of normal children and children with cerebral palsy.

McPherson et al (1992)

Abnormal breathing and high oxygen consumption in CP

Chest wall kinematics in patients with hemiplegia.

Lanini et al (2003)   

Diaphragmatic movement in hemiplegic patients measured by ultrasonography.

Cohen et al (1994)  

Energy cost of walking in children with cerebral palsy: relation to the gross motor function classification system.

Johnston et al (2004)

Abnormal breathing and muscular skeletal structure in CP and other brain damaged children

Musculoskeletal and neuromuscular interventions: a physical approach to cystic fibrosis.

Massery (2005)       

Lung function and pre-birth hypoxia

Developmental plasticity in respiratory control.

Carroll (2003)          

Long-term effects of the perinatal environment on respiratory control.

Bavis & Mitchell (1985)

Neonatal maternal separation and enhancement of the hypoxic ventilator response in rat: the role of GABAergic modulation within the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus.

Genest et al (2007) 

Breathing and postural control CP, ASD and general

Changes in intra-abdominal pressure during postural and respiratory activation of the human diaphragm.

Hodges & Gandevia (2000)

Spinal stiffness changes throughout the respiratory cycle.

Shirley et al (1985)       

Effects of respiratory-muscle exercise on spinal curvature.

Obayashi et al (2012)    

Autism and abnormal breathing

Wright (2012)    No Abstract on Pubmed

Takashi et al (2000)   No Abstract on Pubmed


Where is the rhythm generator for emotional breathing?


Can slow breathing exercises improve seizure control in people with refractory epilepsy? A hypothesis.

Epileptic seizures, movement disorders, and breathing disturbances in Rett syndrome: diagnostic relevance of video-polygraphy.

Developmental delay

Prenatal and perinatal complications: is it the link between race and SES and childhood sleep disordered breathing?


Sleep and breathing in Prader-Willi syndrome.


Intermittent hypoxia during development induces long-term alterations in spatial working memory, monoamines, and dendritic branching in rat frontal cortex.

Parents' Stories

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Adam Cerebral Palsy Adam and his twin sister Gemma were born at exactly 27 weeks. 

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