Evidence-Based Strategies for Infant Positioning and Handling

Carla Pister, PT

Evidence-Based Strategies for Infant Positioning and Handling

CE Information


Course Brochure

Contains CE information for additional professionals

Course Highlights

  • Immediately improve your understanding of the impact that tummy time has on fine, oral and gross motor development such as sitting, crawling, feeding and swallowing
  • Functional strategies to decrease the risk of plagiocephaly and torticollis
  • Hands-on labs to practice safe and effective prone treatment strategies to positively impact future development
  • Accurate assessment and identification of red flags of typical vs. atypical infants
  • Parent education strategies and home treatment routines to maintain and improve function
  • Effective tummy time techniques that impact vision and how this correlates to future development

Additional Info

According to the March of Dimes, in 2016 premature births increased for the first time in eight years to 9.6% or almost 1 in 10 babies. As therapists we are now confronted with even more medically complex infants many of which will suffer from motor, vision and language delays. It is critical that we as clinicians be equipped with the knowledge to influencedevelopment as early as possible as it will have a lasting effect throughout their entire life. Many therapists have been introduced to the benefits of using tummy time, however, many clinicians knowledge of strategies and benefi ts to have a lasting effect on many issues are limited.

In this one-day, hands-on course attendees will be able to look at the uses and benefits of tummy time on motor, vision, and language development. This course will specificallyguide participants through hands on activities on how tummy time has a direct correlation to motor activities such as crawling, jumping, catching a ball, hand writing, reading, drooling, feeding, articulation and vision. Participants will seethe impact vision plays in all aspects of development and how tummy time is the first and best position to improve a baby's ability to use their eyes together. Attendees will also review documented case studies on how simple eye convergence exercises can impact how a child functions as they develop. Therapists will leave with the knowledge to educate parents of the benefits of tummy time that willempower them to follow through in this critical point in development.

[ASHA:Intermediate level, Professional Area]
  1. Explain the impact that tummy time has on motor, vision and language development.
  2. Utilize assessment and identifi cation strategies of typical vs. atypical infants using case studies.
  3. Implement the use of tummy time techniques to influence development and reduce the risk of common infant diagnoses.
  4. Distinguish tummy time techniques that impact vision andhow this correlates to future development.
  5. Demonstrate how to accurately document progress forhead position in infants and toddlers.
  6. Evaluate the effective education of parents in order to improve follow-through at home.
  1. Understanding Infant Development and the Importance of Tummy Time
    1. Brief review of tummy time progression in normal development
    2. Understand the impact that a "pelvic block" has on tummytime
    3. Review diagnoses that negatively impact tolerance for tummy time
    4. Discuss helpful modifications to increase success with tummy time
    5. Hands-on Lab
  2. Accurately Assessing Typical vs. Atypical Babies
    1. Assessment of normal developing babies in all positions via still photos and videos
    2. Watch immediate impact that addressing eye teaming has on babies in treatment
    3. Learn how to use head position measurement photos to document progress objectively
  3. The Impact That Inadequate Tummy Time has on InfantDevelopment
    1. Gross motor: Late sitting/crawling/walking/stairs/jumping
    2. Fine motor: Poor tracking/reach and grasp/reading/toy manipulation/hand writing/ball skills/depth perception
    3. Oral motor/language: Increased drooling/increased open mouth posturing/trouble with front sounds and bi-labialsounds/poor tongue lateralization for feeding
    4. Vision: Poor midline eye convergence/possible need for glasses to correct for double vision/discuss impact on depthperception
    5. Case StudyHands-on Lab
  4. Tummy Time and the Long-Term Impacts on Older Children
    1. Impacts on vision and when an evaluation by a pediatric optometrist is indicated
    2. Optometry verses ophthalmology referral
    3. Who is appropriate for vision therapy
    4. Autism and vision
    5. Handwriting and reading for school-aged children
    6. Sports and confidence
  5. Parent Education and Documentation to Maintain and Improve Function
    1. Discuss importance of making home programming aboutmore than just putting their baby on their tummy
    2. Use still photo improvements for feedback to parents on progress
    3. Documentation
    4. Use of photos and videos for objective measurements
    5. Case Study
  6. Using Practical Tummy Time Treatment Strategies to Influence Motor, Vision and Language Development
    1. Treatment ideas for working in prone at all ages for alldisciplines
    2. Discuss importance of working in elevated prone positions
    3. Review the importance of working in diagonal planes of motion
    4. Treatment ideas to improve midline eye convergence at any age
    5. When and how long to work in prone

Carla Pister, PT is a pediatric physical therapist with over 30 years of experience in pediatric physical therapy. She has both her Pediatric NDT and Advanced Baby NDT Certifi cations and received her Bachelors of Science in Physical Therapy from Marquette University. Ms. Pisterdeveloped and ran an outpatient pediatric clinic for over 25 years and currently has her own private practice seeing pediatric patients in their homes. She has a strong passion for vision and its impact on development. Carla has been studying the impact that tummy time and early midline eye convergence vision exercises can have on development alongside a pediatric ophthalmologist and optometrist. She has spent the past 15years training first, second and third year family practice residents on the importance of tummy time and how best to encourage families to work with their baby on their tummy.


FINANCIAL: Carla Pister is compensated as the owner of a private clinic and by Summit as an instructor.

NONFINANCIAL: Carla Pister has no non-financial relationships to disclose.

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Content Level: Intermediate

ASHA CE Information

ASHA Continuing Education

Summit Professional Education

Intermediate Level

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