About Optimi

About Us


OPTIMI is a Charity that has been established to bring the theory and practice of Targeted Training therapy to a worldwide audience, including therapists, families and those with a more general interest in movement control. OPTIMI is registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales.

The charitable objects of the OPTIMI are:

The relief of sickness and the promotion of health among those suffering with Neuromotor and Neuromuscular disorders, by means of:

  1. Advancing the education of professionals, specifically to promote, sustain and increase individual and collective knowledge and understanding of specific areas of study, skills and expertise relating to the model of physiotherapy known as Targeted Training.
  2. Nurturing the concerns of all those, worldwide, who have interest and/or involvement in the sequential and segmental approach to the development of human movement control.
  3. The creation, monitoring and encouragement of maintenance of clinical standards of the model of physiotherapy known as Targeted Training.


OPTIMI endeavours to ensure that, in the promotion of measuring movement control and implementing Targeted Training, the safety of therapy staff and their clients is always at the forefront.

In the teaching material you will often encounter the invitation to “Try this out:”.  Since we cannot know the health status of individuals reading this, nor their environment, we ask that you think about your safety, and that of others, before engaging in the activity.

Some of the teaching examples show work with very young children where manual handling is less likely to present difficulties.  As children grow the forces required to support them for testing control status or delivering Targeted Training increase to levels where equipment may be required to make matters safe.  We have spent many hours working with equipment manufacturers to help ensure that suitable equipment is available although, at present, not all age ranges are covered across all international territories.  This will undoubtedly lead to the situation where there is a temptation to adapt available equipment or request the manufacture of locally made devices to assist you.  OPTIMI strongly urges you to ensure that when making such moves you work within your local legal framework relating to the supply of Medical Devices.

By way of example the situation in Europe might be considered.

In Europe, all equipment manufactured for use by children with disability is classified as a ‘Medical Device’. This will include any commercially available products for SATCo and for Targeted Training. There are a set of regulations for such devices with respect to their design and testing.

But this does not only apply to commercial products. All devices/equipment made for use by a child with a disability will come under this umbrella, including those that are home-made by you or a family member / friend or even a by professional who is not authorised to make such devices. This includes everything, including for example, a flat board with a slight tilt for the child to stand on!

Although we are referring here to the situation in Europe, all countries worldwide will have a similar arrangement with regulations.

”I can just ignore that…Everyone ignores that!”

This may be your reaction and we understand.  It is not always easy or affordable to use authorised manufacture.

But please don’t just ignore. The problem arises if something goes wrong.  Let us suppose the child falls off the board with a tilt and breaks their ankle. The person responsible is YOU. You commissioned the board, and you are thus legally responsible for its design, structure, use and safety. If there are legal proceedings ensuing, the responsibility is yours, but it is very unlikely that your professional indemnity will cover this, as equipment design is almost certainly beyond the scope of practice for which you are covered.

Please think twice and take advice.

Note: Optimi has no affiliation to any commercial equipment organisations


Penny Butler:

Penny is a paediatric physiotherapist and researcher with more than 30 years’ experience and a particular interest in the biomechanics of movement control. She has pioneered Targeted Training therapy in the UK.

Richard Major:

Richard is a Chartered Engineer who has worked in partnership with Penny for more than 30 years in developing Targeted Training. Although now retired he maintains an interest in exploring movement control issues.


Free Material & History


Free Material

From time to time OPTIMI will be making free material available to Registered Members.  To access this material click the button below (Please note that you cannot view this if you are not registered as a member.)


Targeted Training is a (physio)therapy strategy to help children with problems of movement control to improve their every-day functional abilities by gaining better control of the upright posture. Children may have a neuromotor disability such as Cerebral Palsy, a genetic condition or may have a neuromuscular disease that has impact on postural control. The ideas underpinning Targeted Training came from initial work conducted by Penny Butler that explored the role of equipment to help children gain postural control (Click below to see specifications from 1989 report). This was a radical approach at that time when therapy equipment, such as standing frames, provided postural support but were not considered to have a role in delivering therapy to help children gain their own active postural control.  Penny had many discussions with Richard Major, from which evolved the theory of Targeted Training (TT) and its associated measures of  trunk and lower limb control (the Segmental Assessment of Trunk Control (SATCo) and the Segmental Assessment of Lower Limb control (SALLCo)).   This theoretical basis required the design and development of appropriate equipment so that the theory could be tested.  Penny and Richard formed The Movement Foundation whose clinical arm, The Movement Centre, used a variety of equipment supply routes to demonstrate the effectiveness of TT.

Equipment is now commercially available for Targeted Training to promote head and trunk control and OPTIMI was launched to provide the necessary information and training so that children worldwide can receive TT, optimised to their specific needs. OPTIMI will continue to support and develop Targeted Training beyond head and trunk control so that people of all ages can benefit from this therapy.


Over the years Penny and Richard have been assisted by many organisations, individuals and charities.  There are far too many to list completely, but some are shown here.  Any omissions are our fault, and these will be corrected if brought to our attention.


Action Research
BBC ‘Children in Need’ Appeal
Hospital Saturday Fund
Institute of Othopaedics, Oswestry
Moorgate/ New Morgate Trust Funds
Patients’ Aid Association
PF Charitable Trust
Sir Samual Scott of Yews Trust
Sir William Coxen Trust
The Walker Trust
The Westcroft Trust
Yapp Education and Research Trust


Barry Meadows
Brendan Lomas
Colin Peacock
Danielle Bellows
Derek Curtis
Elaine Owen
Garth Johnson
Geoffrey Kidd
Gordon Rose
Ian Loram
John Stallard
Marjorie Woollacott
Nicky Thompson
Paul Charlton
Paul Holmes
Roger Carlyle
Sandra Saavedra
Tamis Pin



Bath Institute  of Medical Engineering
Liverpool John Moores University
Manchester Metropolitan University
Newcastle University
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
The Movement Centre
University of Hartford
University of Oregon