This advanced 10-day, 68 hour course is designed for Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapists treating infants and toddlers who have neuromuscular disorders such as cerebral palsy and congenital or genetic syndromes. Analysis of movement components impacting posture/alignment and the following functional areas will be included: typical and atypical development of infants birth to 12 months of age including gross motor, sensory, UE, LE, fine-motor, oral-motor, respiratory, speech production, communication, and feeding development, assessment and treatment planning from the perspective of the ICF Model, treatment strategies for infants, parent education, medical management and adjuncts to treatment. Review of central nervous system (CNS) pathophysiology, treatment demonstrations and completion of movement/handling labs will support the integration of the Neuro-Developmental Treatment (NDT) clinical practice model.


This course will have emphasis on movement analysis with an understanding of the relationship between the impairments present in an infant, the activity limitations and the secondary impairments and limitations seen in older children with cerebral palsy.


Teaching strategies will include:

  • lectures/didactic sessions;

  • movement labs during which the participants practice the facilitation of normal movement and treatment strategies with each other;

  • observation of typically developing infants;

  • analysis of movement using audio-visual materials: slides/video;

  • treatment demonstrations;

  • treatment practicums with infants.


Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course, participants will:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of how Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy contribute to the treatment of infants.

  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the details and principles of the typical motor development during the first 12 months.

  3. Describe how trunk development affects head control, upper extremity and lower extremity development and use.

  4. Describe how compensatory movements in the first year of life may lead to atypical motor development, compensatory movement, secondary impairments, contractures, activity limitations, and deformity by observing infant handling or actually handling infants.

  5. Develop assessment and treatment protocols, applying the ICF model.

  6. Describe the postural control requirements for performing functional tasks and its influence on movement in play, social interaction, communication and feeding.

  7. Analyze typical and atypical movement components throughout movement sequences during treatment demonstrations and treatment practicums.

  8. Identify and describe Activity Limitations and Participation Restrictions in infants related to PT, OT, ST.

  9. Prepare and demonstrate a discipline specific treatment plan including primary and secondary impairments, desired functional outcomes, parent education and equipment recommendations.

  10. Acquire and demonstrate, through performance, handling skills with the very young infant with special attention to:

    Correct placement of hands during therapeutic handling
    1. Appropriate placement of self in relation to the infants

    2. Appropriate moving of the therapist with the infant.

    3. Adjustment of handling relative to the infant’s response.

    4. Approach to infant to build security, trust and to support physiological and behavioral organization

    5. Appropriate selection of play activities and communication relative to the age and activity limitations of the infant as well as behavioral organization.

  11. Demonstrate when working with the infant:

    a. An ability to relate to the individual infant.
    b. An ability to interact with the parent.