Utilizing Neuroplasticity to Improve Pediatric Motor Learning

Elizabeth G. Harvey, PT, DPT, PCS, MSR, CKTI, CEIM, DHSc Student

Utilizing Neuroplasticity to Improve Pediatric Motor Learning

CE Information


Course Brochure

Contains CE information for additional professionals

Course Highlights

  • Confidently implement evaluation skills using an effective framework you can put into practice immediately
  • Practice powerful tests and measures to assess for underlying conditions and co-morbidities of the integumentary, postural, sensory, and respiratory systems
  • Practical treatment strategies to incorporate current principles of motor learning through a multisensory, dynamicsystems approach to promote functional change
  • Effective, evidence-based parent involvement strategies to increase caregiver engagement and follow through of therapist recommendations
  • Hands-on labs to engage in postural and scar assessment, joint mobilizations, and sensory strategies
  • Engage in functional nutritional education for clients for daily intake as well as pre/post op recommendations to promote healing from within

Additional Info

Researchers estimate that 49 million, or 15% of Americansare formally diagnosed with some type of delay annually and are seeing therapists with increasingly complex issues. In the fast-paced systems we operate within, it is imperative that a clinician be able to prioritize treatments for optimal outcomes. In addition, a large body of research is emerging that promotes using a multi-sensory approach to modulate thenervous system. This course combines the latest concepts of motor learning with manual therapy and modalities to promotechange at the cellular level. The essential role of functional nutrition/hydration and its impact on reducing chronic health conditions in pediatric patients will be explored. Researchers also estimate that 30 million children are dehydrated in the US and is the leading cause of pediatric morbidity and mortality worldwide, resulting in over 300 deaths annually. Relevant parental instructional strategies to increase follow through of recommendations will be discussed to improve upon practice within the context of daily life. Promoting a holistic treatment approach that encourages healing from the inside out is a must for every relevant healthcare professional!

This hands-on, relevant course will start with a review of neuroanatomy and physiology, including focused attention to the integumentary system, or the "diffuse brain," as a key component of the nervous system. Participants will be guidedthrough a user-friendly framework to screen across bodystructures and systems. The screen directs clinicians through a multisystem assessment, recommended by the APTA, resulting in the ability to identify the primary physiology/system(s) impacting function. Therapists will usethat information to guide interventions/stimulus options to promote improved, meaningful participation in life activities. Participants will engage in labs to exercise the use of assessment and somatic cues to rewire the body-brain connection. You will leave knowing how to prioritize and strategically employ interventions across body systems to improve patient outcomes!

  1. Explore the components of the central and peripheral nervous system.
  2. Determine key functions of the integumentary system and its relationship to motor learning and posture.
  3. Employ reliable assessment tools for scars.
  4. Apply contemporary concepts of motor learning and neuroplasticity into treatment application.
  5. Integrate parents/caregivers into the process of rehabilitation at home, including nutritional considerations
  6. Implement a multi-system screening tool to identify the key components impairing function, which will be prioritized andtargeted for intervention and goal setting.
  7. Describe the components of the core and how each impact postural control, as well as treatment strategies to improve function. (foundational and integration)
  1. Overview of the Central and Peripheral Nervous System
    • Structure and function (anatomy and physiology)
    • Sensory components and skin/therapeutic touch
    • Scars - Impact on function/posture
    • Review objective tests and measures (POSAS, Adheremeter)
    • Hands-On Lab
  2. The Respiratory System's Role in Motor Development
    • Normal development of rib cage; respiratory rates by age
    • Impact on postural control/core
    • Rib cage and breathing pattern assessment
    • Treatment strategies for various postural and skeletal deformation
    • Hands-On Lab
  3. Strategies to Enhance Posture and Function
    • Tonic/phasic muscle relationships
    • Impact on function
    • Chronic positions/postures and bony deformation
    • Evaluation/treatment strategies
    • Hands-On Lab
  4. Best Practices for Impacting the Movement System and Core Strength
    • Motor learning theories
    • Movement assessment (ie. TUG with video)
    • Identifying strengths and weaknesses
    • Employ multi-sensory treatment approaches
    • Hands-On Lab
  5. Effectively Improving Functional Nutrition and Family Engagement
    • Review of development/nutritional and hydration needs/gut health
    • Impact on chronic disease processes
    • Engaging family in therapy/follow through
    • Review of respiration-posture-movement-sensory systems screening tool

Dr. Elizabeth G. Harvey, PT, DPT, PCS, MSR, CKTI, CEIM, DHSc Student, brings over 18 years of clinical expertise to the table. Shespecializes in the treatment of pediatric patients with complex neurologic and orthopedic challenges, includingoral motor/facial dysfunction. She has experience across various settings and patient populations including earlyintervention, outpatient orthopedics, school-based, and sub-acute rehabilitation settings. Dr. Harvey employsmanual and multi-sensory techniques via therapeutic tapings, NMES, focal and whole-body vibration, nutritionalconsultation, and infant/sensory massage to promote neural plasticity. She serves Kinesio University as a CertifiedInstructor, Curriculum Design Specialist, and a member of the International Research Committee.Dr. Harvey is the owner and director of ABC Therapies LLC in South Carolina, where she is sought after dueto her holistic approach to treatment. She holds specialty certifications as an instructor for infant massage,trismus, IASTM, and NMES for orofacial treatment. In addition, she is a Level I Certified Clinical Instructor. Sheactively participates in international humanitarian efforts through medical camps across the world, includingHawaii, Haiti, Kenya, and Honduras. She is known for being enthusiastic in her approach to education, offeringpractical feedback, and making sense of difficult patient scenarios. She has authored multiple publications andinterdisciplinary curriculum. She is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and PediatricsSection Member, Neurodevelopmental Treatment Association (NDTA), and Infant Massage USA.Dr. Elizabeth Harvey earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Newberry College, a Master of RehabilitationScience from the Medical University of South Carolina, and a Doctor of Physical Therapy from AT Still University.


FINANCIAL: Elizabeth Harvey is compensated by Summit as an instructor.

NONFINANCIAL: Elizabeth Harvey has no nonfinancial 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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SATISFACTORY COMPLETION: Participants must register, pay tuition fee, sign in with a mobile device via scanning electronic QR code at workshop location, attend the entire workshop, complete an electronic evaluation, as well as any other required state-specific supplements (if applicable) and sign out with a mobile device via scanning electronic QR code in order to receive a certificate of completion. Participants not fulfilling these requirements will not receive a certificate. Failure to sign in or out and complete a course evaluation will result in forfeiture of credit for the entire workshop. No exceptions will be made. Partial credit is not available.

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Test & Certificate

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What is the post course test like, what is a passing score, and how many times can I take it?

Post course tests consist of True/False and/or multiple choice questions. You will be able to retake the post course test as many time as necessary to receive a passing grade. A passing "grade" is 75% or higher for general content, 80% or higher for certain state specific workshops, like ethics, jurisprudence, and laws and rules courses. You will be able to retake the post course test as many times as necessary to receive a passing grade.

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